*UPDATE* With recount complete, Davis edges out Gray by 35 votes in City Council race

Pictured: Jan Davis

UPDATE: A recount of the votes completed and certified by the Buncombe County Board of Elections this afternoon, Nov. 18, didn’t significantly change the results of the election. Incumbent Jan Davis retained his third place finish – and his seat on Asheville City Council – by a total of 35 votes over challenger Lael Gray. The final tally:

Jan Davis: 7,701
Lael Gray: 7,666

The Nov. 15 post:

After sifting through more than 200 provisional ballots, the Buncombe County Board of Elections certified the official results of the Asheville City Council election today: Incumbent Jan Davis retained his third place finish ahead of challenger Lael Gray by a razor-thin margin of 34 votes.

The unofficial tally released the night of Nov. 8 had showed Davis with a 40-vote edge. Some observers had speculated that after the provisional ballots were counted, Gray could overtake that deficit.

Immediately following the announcement of the official results, Gray requested a recount, which the board said they would try to complete by the end of the week.

“It stinks having to wait some more,” said Gray before speculating that it might be the closest election in the history of Asheville City Council. “This is really wild. It’s a little surreal.”

The official results also confirmed Marc Hunt as the top vote getter and that Chris Pelly came in second, with both winning seats on Council. The board also confirmed the success of the sales-tax referendum by a margin of 503 votes.

The official Asheville City Council results:

Marc Hunt: 8,760
Chris Pelly: 8,202
Jan Davis: 7,703
Lael Gray: 7,669
Mark Cates: 5,263
Saul Chase: 1,762

The official sales-tax referendum results:

For: 16,874
Against: 16,371

Pictured: Lael Gray

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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3 thoughts on “*UPDATE* With recount complete, Davis edges out Gray by 35 votes in City Council race

  1. Barry Summers

    Gotta ask – would this be the same result if we had learned about the US Cellular deal three days earlier?

  2. Viking

    .01 precent ‘non-win’ win for Jan. Lael’s mailers set in ‘limbo’. Crazy.

    The worst part about the reporting on the Gray-Davis contest is this omitted piece of information:

    “The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician.”

    Ref: http://law.onecle.com/north-carolina/163-elections-and-election-laws/163-182.2.html

    Who was the statistics consultant? Where is his or her report so people can understand how Jan’s statistically insignificant ‘non-win’ win was conceptualized?

    It matters who gets into office. but it seems like as fewer voters turn out we should get the picture as to how any candidate is ‘selected’ based on statistical analysis when there is no popular mandate. Autopaleoconservatives should be interested in these questions as well.

    Bottom line: .01 percent can’t be a popular mandate… is it? It’s a statistical SWAG. The idea of Jan being a legitimate member of council is a SWAG. Thus, Jan is a SWAG.

    Good point about the US Cellular deal. It’s also amazing to hear Terry talking about congress with the all the COA (explicative deleted) performance problems in the past couple of years.

  3. Viking

    Surely a runoff election was the appropriate next step. The problem with that is Jan would probably win… and at the same time he really doesn’t deserve that upper hand in terms of a one-on-one race with a newcomer like Lael. Jan is literally a ‘total loser’.

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