Candidate who lost by 100 votes to Coun. Sean Chu withdraws recount application

DJ Kelly, who narrowly lost Ward 4 to Coun. Sean Chu in Calgary's election in October, says he has withdrawn his application for a judicial recount of election results. 

DJ Kelly has offered his congratulations to the incumbent, who narrowly won Ward 4

DJ Kelly, left, narrowly lost Ward 4 to Coun. Sean Chu, right, in the Oct. 18 election. He said Thursday that he has withdrawn his application for a judicial recount of election results.  (Submitted by DJ Kelly, Rebecca Kelly/CBC)

The Calgary candidate who narrowly lost Ward 4 to Coun. Sean Chu says he has withdrawn his application for a judicial recount of election results. 

On Nov. 10, DJ Kelly said he had filed an application for a judicial recount. On Thursday, he said that application has been formally withdrawn. 

In a statement, Kelly said that according to the Local Authorities Election Act, judicial recounts are not permitted wherever a municipality chooses to use voting machines rather than a traditional ballot count.

Calgary uses electronic tabulators to count votes, and has since 2018.

"Regardless of whether or not a recount would have changed the outcome of the election, the current law is that in Calgary, and anywhere in Alberta where a machine is used on election day, there is no way to request a recount," Kelly wrote in a statement. 

Kelly said that means, without the financial means to mount a challenge to the election act, he has no choice but to withdraw his recount request.

"As a result, I offer my congratulations to Sean Chu on his election as Ward 4 councillor. Calgarians living in Ward 4 deserve strong and effective representation, and I will watch closely to see if he is able to deliver on that expectation," Kelly said. 

Elections Calgary official results say DJ Kelly came second to Chu by just 100 votes in the Oct. 18 election.

When Kelly first filed for the judicial recount, he wrote in a statement that there are other "topics of interest around this particular race, but those have no place in this process. The purpose of this application is solely to ensure that all votes cast were counted correctly." 

Chu has been under scrutiny and faced increasing calls for him to step down since Oct. 15 after CBC News broke the story that when he was a 34-year-old police officer in 1997, he faced allegations that involved a 16-year-old girl.

CBC News also reported that Chu was involved in a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm, confirmed through court records.

Chu has maintained that the matters were investigated and resolved, there were no criminal charges, and he was elected to represent Ward 4 residents.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?