Minutes before the Union Bridge election judge emerged from Town Hall, two newcomers to politics exchanged pleasantries and wished each other "good luck" in the run for a council seat.
Antonia "Toni" Eder and Vickie Lynn Greenwood waited for nearly 45 minutes after the polls closed, before Ms. Greenwood was receiving congratulations and Ms. Eder consolations.
"I know those judges had a long day in there," said Ms. Greenwood, among the first to vote when the polls opened at 7 a.m. "The waiting was the worst part for me."
The newcomers were among four candidates vying for three seats in yesterday's election. Nearly 40 percent of the town's 436 registered voters returned incumbents Selby Black and Bonnie M. Hyde to the council. With 123 votes, Ms. Greenwood earned the third seat.
Mr. Black, who has served on the council for 14 years, was the top vote-getter with 137. Ms. Hyde, running for her second term, had 105. Ms. Eder trailed the winners with 94.
"All four candidates worked so hard and they were all capable," said Town Clerk Kathleen Kreimer. "Voters had a hard choice, and somebody had to loose."
Sam Myers, a former councilman, and Richard Zile each received one write-in vote. A total of 167 voters cast ballots.
"It was a really close race," said Naomi Sinnott, election judge.
Ms. Greenwood, chairwoman of the Town Hall Funding Committee, attributed her success to old-fashioned campaigning.
"I went door to door and talked to nearly everyone in town," she said. "I think I only missed 10 or 15 homes."
Ms. Greenwood, 29, a lifelong town resident and a familiar face at town meetings, said she decided to test the political waters after serving on several committees.
She wants to see Union Bridge "grow and give some input" about how it should progress.
"I have enjoyed working with the people, and now I'd like to work for the people," she said. "I realize it is going to take a lot of time, but I believe I have the time to give."
All the candidates said they wanted to thank everyone who came out to vote.