Victory squeaks in Nelson for Johnson

The results of a hotly contested Board of Supervisors election in Nelson County were finally validated today ending a saga that has dragged on for more than two months. In a complex legal and bureaucratic battle that brings to mind the 2000 presidential race, a recount was held and then contested in court by Republican Larry Saunders, the losing candidate, and his attorney Daniel Rutherford.

Joe Dan Johnson's narrow victory of the South District seat by three votes was officially validated this morning by a three-judge panel in Nelson Circuit Court, according to the Nelson County Times.

Lying south of Albemarle, Nelson County is a sparsely populated, rural farming community.

Although Johnson, a Democrat, was sworn in on December 20, he did not officially take his seat at the Board's first meeting of the year on January 9 because of an injunction, according to the Nelson County Times.

The three votes that decided the local election there last November (final count 324 to 321) appear to repudiate any notion that individual votes do not count. The decision of the three-judge panel today cannot be appealed.