The final results of the hotly contested Precinct 5 constable's race are now in that a second recount has been conducted, but reports of voting irregularities may continue the contest in court.
A recount requested by Frank Flores III put the final tally at 861 votes for Dionicio "Don" Ysassi and 836 votes for Flores, clsoing the gap from 27 to 25 votes.
Ysassi initially received 859 of the 1,691 votes cast in the April 8 run-off, or 50.8 percent, while Flores initially received 832 votes, or 49.2 percent, according to results provided by the Nueces County Clerk's office.
Flores won the early voting 615 to 507, but Ysassi won 352 to 217 among the votes cast on April 8 in the Democratic run-off.
The outcome sets the stage for Ysassi to be sworn into office in January to succeed retiring Precinct 5 Constable Mike Roldan, although Independents have until May to file for the office.
The second recount of the race was conducted April 25 at the Nueces County Courthouse and narrowed the margin to 25 votes.
Flores said a sealed mail-in ballot was discovered during Friday's recount. In addition, several uncounted votes were discovered during the canvassing of the run-off election results last week.
"What really shocked me, after it was canvassed, they discovered another mail-in ballot," Flores said. "That's really a surprise to me. You would think that after they canvassed the first time after the run-off, that everything was counted for."
Perhaps more troubling, Flores said there were reports of voter irregularities at San Pedro Elementary School.
The newspaper also received unconfirmed reports of supporters offering cash for votes.
Flores said he was hoping for an investigation of the reported voting irregularities by the secretary of state's office to avoid the expense of filing a lawsuit.
"We've got 30 days from the canvassing of the votes, that was Monday, to see if we're going to contest the race," Flores said. "I would have to go to court and hire and attorney and all that."
Flores also said there was a slim possibility that he would run as an Independent in the general election in November.
"I haven't made up my mind. I've always been a Democrat, so I don't know if I want to do that," Flores said. "We're still talking about that and the whole election process and how it turned out. We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do."
Flores, who was the top vote-getter after the March 4 Democratic primary that included five candidates, said all the controversy hasn't affected his willingness to continue serving the community through the end of the year.
"I'm OK with it," he said. "I respect the fact the people came out and voted and I'm still available for them. I'm still available for the community as the chief deputy until the end of the year and if people have any questions or concerns, they can call me."
Flores, currently the Precinct 5 chief deputy constable, was the top vote-getter during the March 4 Democratic primary for Precinct 5 constable. Flores won 1,379 of the 4,179 votes cast, or 33 percent, while Ysassi, a truancy officer at Seale Junior High School, won 960 of the votes cast, or 23 percent.
Lt. Gilbert Gomez of the Robstown Police Department finished third in the March 4 primary with 934 votes, or 22 percent; Corpus Christi deputy marshal Gerardo "Gerald" Ochoa won 603 votes, or 14.4 percent, while Robstown businessman Rolando Martinez received 303 votes, or 7 percent.
The April 8 run-off was necessary since none of the five candidates for Precinct 5 constable received more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the primary.
Gomez ordered a recount after the March 4 primary and picked up one additional vote from mail-in ballots, and four early voting votes that weren't counted on election night, but that was not enough to close his 26-vote gap with Ysassi for second place in the primary voting.
After Gomez's recount, Ysassi garnered the support of the three former Precinct 5 constable candidates.
The battle lines were clear leading up the April 8 run-off, with supporters of Flores campaigning on the north side of Main Avenue in front of the Johnny S. Calderon County Building in Robstown, while Ysassi's supporters gathered on the south side of Robstown's downtown thoroughfare.
Flores said the other four Precinct 5 constable candidates ganged up against him and he was disappointed with the turnout and results.
Ysassi said he understood why Flores would want a recount considering that the margin of victory in the run-off was initially only 27 votes.
Ysassi could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.