Rich Alt leads Joe Hatem by a single vote in Southport mayoral race after canvassing
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Rich Alt currently leads Joe Pat Hatem by a single vote in the Southport mayoral race after the Brunswick County Board of Elections completed its canvassing of votes Friday.
After voting ended on Nov. 7, Hatem led Alt by just three votes, 833-830.
But after provisional and absentee ballots were added during the canvassing meeting, Alt has 840 votes and Hatem has 839. Mike Barbee got 93 votes and there was a single write in, per the State Board of Elections.
This makes Alt the unofficial winner, but he said he’s not celebrating just yet.
“I’m not doing a victory dance, anything like that,” Alt said. “This could change...when the recount is done.”
Brunswick County Board of Elections announced Hatem is well within the margin to ask for a recount.
“I’ve already written the letter. [Sara Lavere, Board of Elections director,] just needed a letter asking for a recount. I’ve already done it,” Hatem told WECT minutes after the results were announced.
This serves as a reminder that every vote counts, especially in municipal elections.
“I hope people, particularly in Southport, will remember this and get out and vote in two years,” Hatem said.
Hatem has been mayor of Southport since 2019 when he defeated then-incumbent Jerry Dove.
In an update, the Board of Elections said there are two other races in Brunswick County where candidates are tied. One for the Ocean Isle Beach Commissioner and the other for Bald Head Island Council.
According to a press release from the Board of Elections office, “In the Bald Head Island Council contest, Scott Thomas received 106 votes, and Jerry Maggio and Virginia (Ginnie) White tied for the second seat with 102 votes each. For the Ocean Isle Beach Commissioner contest, Mike Wade received 309 votes, Mark Holland received 298 votes, and David Green and Stephen S. Turner tied for the third seat with 219 votes each.”
The Brunswick County Board of Elections said the recount will be on Tuesday, November 28.
To see the full list of election results, you can visit this website.
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