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South Bend council candidate Jorden Giger calls off recount attempt

Ophelia Gooden-Rodgers, left, and Jorden Giger
Photo of Giger provided and Jeff Parrott, WVPE
Ophelia Gooden-Rodgers, left, and Jorden Giger

A candidate for South Bend’s city council who challenged the result of the recent primary election has officially withdrawn his request for a recount.

In May, Ophelia Gooden-Rodgers defeated Jorden Giger by just 15 votes in the Democratic primary for South Bend’s 2nd District on the west side of the city.

That slim margin will now officially stand as Giger withdrew his call for a recount late last month, meaning Gooden-Rodgers will be the party’s nominee for November’s general election.

The 2nd District race was open in this year’s primary after Henry Davis Jr. vacated the seat to run for mayor. Gooden-Rodgers is a retired A&M General employee and she received support from Mayor James Mueller’s campaign in the final days before the election.

Giger is a founding member of the South Bend chapter of Black Lives Matter and was part of a group of Democratic challengers to the incumbents on the city council. Of the anti-incumbent coalition, only Oliver Davis, who is a former council member himself, won a seat. Ultimately, he lost to Gooden-Rodgers by a total of 545 to 530 in an election that saw lower than normal voter turnout.

Giger filed for a recount in May, saying he wanted to exercise all his options. According to court filings, clerks had begun the recount process but hadn’t completed it when Giger called off the effort. The recount is the first in St. Joseph County since 2018 when Tim Corbett lost by 18 votes to Democratic challenger Bill Redman in the primary election for sheriff. No recount in recent memory has switched the outcome of an election.

Gooden-Rogers will now face Republican Roosevelt Stewart in the general election.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.