Sea Bright Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka Adams will get a recount of the ballots in the election that appeared to have resulted in her being ousted by just three votes, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.
The news surprised presumptive mayor-elect Maria Fernandes, in part because her Republican opponent hasn’t been heard from publicly since the Nov. 6 election. Kalaka-Adams hadn’t said or signaled that she might challenge the result. She also didn’t appear at last week’s borough council meeting, the first since the balloting, and news reports indicate she wasn’t returning reporters’ phone calls.
The mayor couldn’t be reached for comment on today’s report, the Press says.
Fernandes, the council’s president and a Democrat, appeared to have made Kalaka-Adams a one-term mayor after a count of absentee and provisional votes on Nov. 9. (The Press gives the vote count as 272 to 269 in Fernandes’ favor, while the Monmouth County elections website gives the tally as 274 to 271.)
Here’s Fernandes on the latest news, via the Press:
“I found out about it Thanksgiving morning when there were notices about the recount dropped at my front door,” Fernandes said Monday. “They have the right to have a recount, but what’s the chances they’re going to pick up four votes? They were telling everyone they were going to let it go. I don’t know what changed. I haven’t seen (Kalaka-Adams) since the election, and she didn’t go to the last town meeting (Nov. 19).”
County Clerk M. Claire French said candidates have 10 business days from an election to request a recount.
Fernandes said the paperwork she received included an order sanctioning the recount from Superior Court Judge Lawrence M. Lawson.
The recount is scheduled for Dec. 4 at 10a, the Press says.