A candidate for the Arlington City Council who lost by two votes in the May 6 election filed a lawsuit Monday claiming illegal voting occurred and that he should be declared the winner – even though his opponent has already been sworn into office.
Marvin Sutton, a candidate for City Council District 3, lost the runoff by just three votes.
A recount conducted June 19 narrowed the margin to two votes. He had 923 votes compared to 925 for Roxanne Thalman.
Thalman, a business consultant, was sworn into office a week later.
"I am surprised but not completely shocked," Thalman said about the lawsuit Tuesday. "He's playing the last card he has. We've already done a recount."
Thalman said she expects to win the lawsuit.
"He's known for being a hard worker. I worked harder," she said. "I know it's a difficult loss."
She denied being involved in any fraudulent effort to win the election.
"It's just a fishing expedition," she said. "He doesn't have any evidence."
Sutton did not respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit claimed the number of "illegal votes" that were cast was a "number sufficient to change the outcome of the election."
Sutton, an air traffic controller, alleged that ineligible voters used mail-in ballots, that some voters were denied the right to cast their ballots, and that other ineligible voters cast ballots that were counted in the election.
The lawsuit asked a judge to call a new election if there is not enough evidence to declare him the winner outright.
District 3 is in the southeast part of the city and includes the Arlington Highlands shopping area.