Incumbent Mayor Patrick Rockinberg finished just two votes ahead of challenger Larry Hushour in Mount Airy’s mayoral election on Monday. Because it was so close, a recount was called for and undertaken on Friday night.
The hand-counting process took nearly two hours and was streamed live on Facebook. And a discrepancy of two votes was, indeed, found. Instead of Monday’s result changing, however, Rockinberg’s victory margin doubled.
Rockinberg finished with 806 votes this time while Hushour’s 802 votes remained the same.
There were six write-in votes for mayor and seven no-votes. Nine no-votes had been recorded Monday. The reason given during the recount was that the two votes had not scanned properly for some reason.
It is Rockinberg’s fourth mayoral election win in the town, having first been elected in 2010 and then reelected in 2014 and 2017, but this was easily the closest of the four.
Rockinberg said Tuesday he thought the tight race resulted from his lack of campaigning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the reasons the race was so close is because my competitor did a door-knocking campaign,” he said. “I decided against that. I prefer the safety for my community than my reelection.”
Stephen Domotor, and Lynne Galletti won seats on the Town Council with 969 votes and 956 votes. There was no recount done for the council election.