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One-Vote Winner of Caddo Sheriff's Race Rejects Election Lawsuit Claims

Caddo Parish Sheriff-elect Henry Whitehorn calls a news conference on the eve of a court hearing challenging the election results.
Jeff Ferrell
/
Red River Radio News
Caddo Parish Sheriff-elect Henry Whitehorn calls a news conference on the eve of a court hearing challenging the election results.

Sheriff-elect Henry Whitehorn addressed the media on the eve of a court hearing on a lawsuit against election results.

The one-vote winner of the Caddo sheriff’s race, Democrat Henry Whitehorn, dismisses any legitimacy in a lawsuit challenging the results of the November 18 runoff election. Republican John Nickelson filed the lawsuit in Caddo District Court on Monday [November 27] after his request recount resulted in the same one-vote difference. A hearing on that lawsuit was scheduled to get underway at 9:30 a.m. on this Thursday [November 30]. So Whitehorn addressed the media ahead of the court proceedings, insisting the race is over. “Listen folks, we won the election. And the recount shows that I remained the winner. Even if it’s by a thousand vote [sic] or one vote. But now we are saying that one vote doesn’t matter.” Whitehorn did not take any questions after making his statement. But perhaps one of the most obvious is this: If there really are unsigned and unwitnessed absentee ballots, as Nickelson claims, legally those ballots should never have been counted in the first place for Whitehorn. Then is it really still all about one vote?
Another critical factor, according to Nickelson, is the rejection of his request for a hand recount, especially when you consider that only one vote [among 43,247 total votes] separated Nickelson and Whitehorn. Nickelson contends a hand recount would have easily spotted any absentee ballots rendered invalid by no signature or no notary-confirmed witness for the ballot, and as such, could have prevented much of this growing controversy.

Jeff Ferrell
/
Red River Radio News

But Whitehorn dismisses the claims. He told the gathered media in the lobby of a downtown Shreveport hotel, “The secretary of state has certified this election. Now the court has been asked to disregard that process and overturn this election. Nickelson is asking the judge to either remove the invalid ballots for a final count and declare a winner or call for a new election. Meanwhile, the judge in the case has changed yet again, in fact several times on Wednesday alone. Retired judge Joe Bleich of Ruston has now been called in for this Thursday court hearing. It happened after all Caddo District Court judges recused themselves from this case.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.