NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The results of a pair of tight races in New Hanover County were upheld Friday by county elections officials.
The New Hanover County Board of Elections gathered Friday morning to canvass last week’s municipal election votes, including 152 provisional and absentee ballots, and finalize the results.
Incumbent Wilmington City Council candidate Neil Anderson prevailed by five votes over fellow incumbent Paul Lawler.
In Carolina Beach, Jay Healy beat incumbent Steve Shuttlesworth by the same number of votes for a seat on town council.
Lawler, Shuttleworth and Scott Monroe are all eligible to call for a recount, but must do so by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.
In response to the final results, Anderson said he is relieved the process is over.
“Being so close and knowing the wait would be so long, I had resolved to find positives win or lose. Paul has been a dedicated public servant that takes his job on council very seriously. So had I lost, it was comforting to know he would be the one winning the seat," he said. "I am humbled and greatly appreciate the help of all my supporters and those who voted for me.”
Overall, New Hanover County saw a record turnout for a municipal election, with 18,141 people casting a ballot as of Election Day, or about 19 percent.
In Brunswick County, a close race for the third seat on Shallotte’s Board of Aldermen did not change after the Board of Elections canvassed votes. Carson Durham led Steve DeRose by one vote, 244-233, after Tuesday’s results. Following the canvass, Durham’s lead stretched to six votes, 251-245. That is still within the one percent difference allowing DeRose to call for a recount.
Bellville’s commissioner race did not change from the election day results. Morgan Mehler and Chuck Bost are the winners, with Ryan Merrill trailing Bost by four votes. It is not within the one percent allowable for requested recount.
In Columbus County, the race for three seats on town council in Sandyfield is still not decided. Azalie Graham and Joseph Brown appear to have secured two of the three open seats with 60 and 58 votes respectively. Following Friday’s canvass there are two candidates, Claudia Bray and Randolph Keaton, with 57 votes. WECT has inquired with the board of elections to determine how the tie will be broken.
The race for the second seat on Tabor City Town Council is also close enough for a potential recount. Ronnie Graham got one more vote than Nelson Lee, 164-163, after the canvass.