Feliciano beats Valle in 137th recount by 1 vote

Who says every vote doesn’t count?

Milta Feliciano, the head of the city’s veteran’s affairs office, has won her 137th District City Council primary by one vote.

Feliciano and former Councilwoman Maria Valle were tied with 424 votes each following Tuesday’s Democratic primary. That changed when the recount found one more ballot had been cast in a voting machine for Feliciano.

Feliciano ran with Councilwoman Lydia Martinez, D-137, who petitioned her way into the race after losing the party’s endorsement this summer.  Martinez unseated Valle a few years back.

Feliciano’s slim victory means all eight of the petition candidates triumphed Tuesday over those who secured the Democratic Town Committee’s backing earlier in the summer.

It also means that another city employee will join the handful already on the council if she wins November’s general election. Critics argue it is a conflict-of-interest and makes it too easy for the mayor and others to arm-twist when they need votes.

Feliciano did not attend the recount, which began at 10 a.m. and took around five hours in the City Hall Annex.  And she declined to take a phone call for this story at work.

Martinez sat through the recount and was clearly pleased with the results.

“She’s my partner. We struggled for this for two months together, getting the votes out, bringing the message to the people,” Martinez said. “(She’s) a good, young woman.”

Brian Lockhart