Tim Ceplina announced Friday he would file a petition to seek a recount in this week's Texas County sheriff's race. 

A Republican candidate for Texas County sheriff who was narrowly defeated will ask for a recount.

Tim Ceplina who lost by 21 votes in balloting on Tuesday made the announcement Friday night. Ceplina was defeated by James Sigman in the Republican Primary. The winner faces Melissa Dunn, a Houston Democrat who is the department’s lieutenant and acting sheriff in the absence of Carl Watson, who recently underwent cancer surgery.

In the announcement on a social media website, Ceplina said he had decided to ask for a recount. State statute allows for one when the difference is 1 percent or less of the total number of ballots cast in that race.

“I believe that James (Sigman) did a great job and should be congratulated. It should also be known that there were 376 votes unaccounted for in the sheriff’s primary. This could be from several causes,” Ceplina said. “That many may have left it blank on purpose. Or the machine may have not read the markings. Or the people may have marked the ballot showing their intent but not marking it as instructed.”

Added Ceplina, “The people should be heard, and we must be sure.”

Ceplina said he would file a petition seeking the recount in a few days.

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