Texas town settles council election with coin flip

Reuters News
Posted: May 19, 2012 1:44 AM
Texas town settles council election with coin flip

By Jim Forsyth

(Reuters) - In the small Texas town of Wolfforth, it's "Heads I win."

A city council election there came down to a coin toss on Friday.

After church administrator Bruce MacNair and banker Bryan Studer wrapped up last Saturday's election with 118 votes each, the men agreed to settle the town's first electoral tie with the flip of a coin.

A special election to decide a winner would have cost "north of $10,000," said Darrell Newsom, city manager of Wolfforth, population 3,600, which is southwest of Lubbock in the Texas Panhandle.

"That's a lot of money for a small town like this," Newsom said. "These two guys have to be commended for settling this in a civic-minded and painless fashion."

First, Newsom said the men had to sign a three-page document laying out the rules of the coin toss. It specified that a $1 U.S. coin was to be "tossed in the air in the manner used by officials prior to a football game."

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Each man drew slips of paper, with MacNair drawing heads and Studer drawing tails. Then with Newsom flipping the coin, heads it was. MacNair won.

Studer took his loss well, Newsom said, shaking hands with MacNair and wishing the councilman-elect luck in his new post.

"These are west Texas guys," Newsom said. "That's the way we do things here."

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Xavier Briand)