Sarantou waves the white flag in election dispute

Toledo City Councilman George Sarantou is throwing in the towel in his challenge of the November election results.

Sarantou (R) lost his bid to become Lucas County Commissioner by 193 votes to Carol Contrada. He then challenged the results saying provisional ballots that put Contrada (D) ahead of him were flawed.

However, Sarantou's lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss the complaint because they didn't want everyone who cast a provisional ballot to testify in court. "Today I made the difficult but correct decision to stop my challenge to the Lucas County Commissioner election," Sarantou said in a statement released Thursday. "I did so because I believe it is the right thing to do for the community and myself."

Sarantou still maintains he won. "I believe in my heart that I won this election. But given the law on the subject, the only way I could show that in court would be to call individual voters to ask them how they voted, and I respect the rights of voters to vote privately, which is a hallmark of our democracy," Sarantou said Thursday. " While I think the public is entitled to know about its elections, I do not want to drag the community through a trial and contribute to the cynicism of the public about the political process, only to have that hollow result."