Steven Strawn, the Republican candidate for mayor, has conceded the race to incumbent Democratic Mayor Gavin Buckley, The Capital learned late Wednesday.
Strawn’s concession followed the first day of ballot canvassing that showed all nine Democratic candidates leading their respective races, including a nearly 2,500-vote lead for Buckley thanks to the mayor receiving more than three times as many votes as his opponent during Wednesday’s canvass.
Buckley has received 4,206 votes so far. Strawn has 1,713. There are still at least 3,700 left to be counted. A second canvass is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Glen Burnie to count any final mailed ballots and provisional ballots and certify the election. An official winner has not been announced.
Buckley, who is seeking a second and final term in office, said he received a call from Strawn around 6 p.m. to tell Buckley he was bowing out. He credited Strawn for campaigning hard, especially in Ward 2 and Ward 8, where the Republican currently holds vote leads over Buckley. In 2017, Buckley won all eight wards.
“I’m excited about four more years. It’s completely different from the first four years because I know what I’m doing now,” Buckley said. “I know what I want to get done. And I’m on the way to getting some exciting stuff done that I want to be part of, so I’m really happy.”
After the canvass results were announced, Strawn told The Capital he was shocked by the numbers showing Buckley had received 3,172 mail-in votes while Strawn had 854.
Strawn confirmed Wednesday night he had conceded the race.
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”It’s not that I’ve given up it’s just that, you know me, I’m common sense,” he said. “I was gonna give Annapolis what I had and that was it because I love this city.”
The count of about 4,000 ballots that were mailed or placed in drop boxes on or before Oct. 28 took about six hours to complete Wednesday at the Anne Arundel County Election Board headquarters in Glen Burnie.
The canvass was equally as fruitful for the Democratic City Council candidates. Tuesday’s in-person results showed two Republicans in Ward 2 and Ward 8 leading their Democratic opponents. Those leads disappeared Wednesday.
Scott Gibson, a Ward 2 Republican, received 488 votes. Ward 2 Democrat Karma O’Neill received 571 votes. Ward 8 Republican Rock Toews is trailing incumbent Democrat Ross Arnett, 526 votes to 681 votes.
Ward 5′s Brooks Schandelmeier received 472 votes; Monica Manthey, his Republican challenger, received 250. In Ward 6, DaJuan Gay, the Democratic incumbent, tallied 216 votes to 97 votes for Republican George Gallagher.
In Ward 4, Sheila Finlayson, the Democratic incumbent, tallied 311 votes.
One hundred and twenty-five voters cast write-in ballots in Ward 4. Toni Strong Pratt, a Democrat, launched a write-in campaign following a five-vote defeat to Finlayson in the primary. Election officials did not report if all 125 write-ins were for Strong Pratt.