Greensboro Councilmember Justin Outling isn't ready to give up his bid for mayor after Tuesday's results found him narrowly trailing incumbent Nancy Vaughan.
Outling and Vaughan's contest was the closest of the night. By the time the precinct votes were counted, Vaughan was ahead by just over 400 votes. That was enough though to give her more than a 1 percent margin of victory, the threshold for Outling to call for a recount.
Outling notes the results aren't yet final. Mail-in and provisional votes have yet to be counted. Until that happens, Outling, an attorney, says he's not yet ready to call it “case closed.”
“Given how close the race is, less than 1.5% separating the two top vote-getters, we want to know how many votes are still out there that haven't been counted and for those votes to be counted," he says.
Hunter Bacot is a political scientist at UNC Greensboro. He says he's not optimistic about Outling's chances.
“Typically these things — whatever votes there are — they would have to break off disproportionately to him or one candidate," he says. "And that usually doesn't happen. They typically reflect what you saw in the election.”
Both Outling and Bacot say a write-in campaign by businessman Chris Meadows may have played a role in the outcome. Write-ins accounted for 15 percent of the mayoral vote, and Outling says they were heavy in District 3 precincts, the area he has served as councilman.