TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The votes have been tallied. Shawnee County election officials confirm retired Topeka physician Shanti Gandhi has won the close 52nd Republican House primary race.
The results of Tuesday's (8/28) special election put Dr. Gandhi ahead of retired Naval and State Department officer Dick Jones by just 46 votes. The re-vote was held only at Light of the World Christian Center, where a number of voters were given the wrong precinct ballots on August 7th.
Gandhi came into the election with a 45 vote lead on Jones. On Tuesday, the votes fell 53 for Gandhi, and 52 for Jones. A third candidate, William Scott Hesse, picked up 3 votes.
The results still must be confirmed with the Kansas Secretary of State's office, but they mean Gandhi will face Democrat Ted Ensley, a Shawnee County Commissioner, in November.
Election workers spent more than an hour hand counting the ballots.
Jones declined to speak on camera, but told 13 News even though he's disappointed with the results, he won't challenge them. He says he'll do anything he can to help Gandhi win in November.
Gandhi says the race has been a roller coaster. He graciously accepted the victory.
"Somehow I feel bad that he lost, but both of us couldn't win, and I hope things go well for him. He worked very hard, he and his lovely wife both worked really hard. I think this whole campaign has been shrouded with a lot of problems. There was the wrong ballots and then a special election which Mr. Eckert, Rich Eckert, said he can't even guarantee that it's not going to be thrown out. So I'm waiting for the other show to drop, and you can't blame me for being gunshy," Gandhi said.
Shawnee County Election Commissioner Elizabeth Ensley Deiter said reprinting ballots cost about $6, and hand counting them saved money.