A count of provisional ballots in the Sea Bright election has given the mayoralty to Democratic Council President Maria Fernandes by a mere three votes, redbankgreen has learned.
The final tally was 274 votes for Fernandes to 271 for one-term Republican Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams.
It was a horserace even after the polls had closed. Out of nine provisional ballots that remained as of Thursday, Kalaka-Adams took four, Fernandes took two, and three were disallowed.
We’ve been unable to reach Kalaka-Adams to find out if she’s planning to ask for a recount.
Fernandes was restrained in victory. “I’m very appreciative the vote turned in my favor,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with the council.”
The governing body is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans
3-2, in favor of the Republicans, giving the mayor the tiebreaker. If Fernandes’ victory is upheld, the prohibitive favorite to get the party’s nomination to succeed her would appear to be Susana Markson, who came in third on Tuesday in a race for the two open seats of incumbent Republicans Brian Kelly and Peggy Bills.
Fernandes said she didn’t want to speculate on who might be nominated to take her council spot.
The local Democratic committee, headed by Councilwoman Dina Long, has 15 days to put a name before the council, which in turn has 30 days to vote on the nomination.