Pat Bomhack declared winner in 17th Senate district Democratic primary despite missing ballots

According to according to unofficial results reported to the state Government Accountability Board on Thursday, Democrat Pat Bomhack was declared the winner of the Democratic primary recount over Ernie Wittwer in the 17th Senate district. Wittwer was originally declared the winner of the primary by a narrow 7 vote margin, and a recount of the primary result took a turn for the bizarre when 110 ballots were found to be missing and a local canvassing board chose to take no action regarding those missing ballots.

While Pat Bomhack was quick to declare himself the winner on Facebook, Ernie Wittwer doesn’t appear ready to concede the election.

Wittwer said he is contemplating taking legal action to challenge the outcome of the recount because “there were irregularities all over the place” leading up to the recount. He added he will make his decision after talking to his attorney and advisors. Wittwer also has five days to challenge the results of the recount with the GAB.

“The Monroe votes I didn’t think cost me the election in and of itself,” said Wittwer, 66, of Hillpoint. “I’m befuddled by the irregularities, Monroe was just the biggest. It has undermined my confidence in the electoral process.”

Besides the lost ballots in Monroe, Wittwer said there was an open ballot bag found in Juneau County and absentee ballots were mishandled in other parts of the district prior to the recount.

“I don’t know what I’ll do but there are so many different threads to pursue here that you could make a lifetime career out it if you wanted to,” he said.


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