Following a close race in Tuesday’s Ward 1 Laurel City Council election, the absentee and provisional ballot count Wednesday did not change the unofficial outcomes. Councilwoman Valerie Nicholas, with 480 votes, and newcomer Carl DeWalt, 467 votes, were elected in what city officials called one of its closest races.
Ward 1 Councilman H. Edward Ricks fell 16 votes behind DeWalt with 451 votes. Ricks, who was seeking a fourth term, said Tuesday it was “a very tough race.”
Kim Rau, clerk to the Laurel Board of Elections, said the city confirmed 23 absentee ballots and three provisional ballots for both wards.
Wednesday’s final count also confirmed the re-election of at-large Councilman Michael Leszcz with 806 votes, defeating Jeffrey Mills, who received 627 votes. In Ward 2, Councilman Frederick Smalls, 382 votes, was re-elected to an eighth term and Keith Sydnor, 454 votes, was elected to his first term over candidates Adrian Rousseau, 242 votes, and Thomas Matthews, 271.
Voters cast their ballots between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day at the Laurel Municipal Center for Ward 1 residents and the Robert J. DiPietro Community Center, 7901 Cypress St., for Ward 2 residents.