Bob Holk is set to take office as mayor of Magnolia Springs after his one-vote winning margin was upheld last week in Baldwin County Circuit Court.
Circuit Judge C. Joseph Norton ruled in favor of Holk Monday, Oct. 31, the mayor-elect said Friday. The case remains open because the issue of who will play attorney’s fees has not been resolved, Holk said.“He found nothing wrong with the election itself or anybody involved and ruled in the town’s and my favor that the election stood as is and there were no improprieties or anything.”
Holk’s opponent, Jim Gaines, challenged Holk’s election by a margin of 135 to 134 votes. A formal recount ended with the same vote totals before Gaines took the case to court that there were enough voting irregularities to change the outcome.
Among the issues raised by Gaines were whether a woman who voted in Magnolia Springs actually lived in Pensacola, and whether some absentee voters, including Holk’s own wife, said they would be out of town on election day when they actually were in town. Holk himself applied for an absentee ballot, thinking he was going to be out of town, but declined to accept it when he realized he would be in town to vote. His wife did vote absentee but turned out to be home on election day, he said.
Holk has been a member of the Town Council for 10 years and mayor pro tem for four. “Actually my job doesn’t change much. I’ll be doing pretty much the same thing I’ve been doing. We’ll just move on.”