The Lee County Board of Elections tabulated four absentee ballots for Mark Akinosho in the Sanford City Council Ward 1 Democratic primary on Friday, putting him in the lead over Ken Britton by just one vote out of 491 cast.
Britton, a corporate strategist who led by three votes going into the day, has submitted a written request for a recount, which will be conducted on Thursday, June 2.
“I’m excited about it,” Akinosho said when contacted Friday. “I’m looking forward to facing (Republican Blaine) Sutton in July.”
Akinosho, a pastor, business owner and former chairman of the Lee County Board of Education, had previously told The Rant he would “absolutely” ask for a recount if he was still behind when all the votes were tallied. On Friday, he said he was aware of Britton’s request, and predicted that “nothing will change.”
“I just want to thank all the voters of Ward 1 for everything,” he said.
For his part, Britton said he was disappointed but looked forward to the recount.
“Obviously I’m disappointed,” he said. “What are the odds that you’re up by three votes at the end of Election Day, and four absentee ballots show up before the May 20 cut off date, and all four go to your opponent? We will have a recount this coming Thursday and we’ll see if we can get some luck our way.”
The Ward 1 seat on the Sanford City Council, which covers most of west Sanford, is being vacated by Democrat Sam Gaskins. Gaskins was defeated in a race for mayor on Election Day by fellow council member Rebecca Wyhof Salmon.
The Sanford Municipal Election will be held on July 26. The Ward 1 race and an at large race between Republican Richard Porter and Democrat Linda Rhodes will be the only contested races on the ballot.