Ott and Ward Elected, London Calls for Recount, Scholar and Fussell head to Runoff

Last Updated 11/7/2019 @ 12:49 p.m.

The City of Richmond Hill held its regular election on Tuesday which included city council posts 3 and 4, as their terms are set to expire, as well as post 2, which was vacated by former Councilmember Tara Baraniak back in August. Also up for vote was the redevelopment powers law, allowing council to create tax allocation districts inside city limits. This referendum passed 870 to 432.

We only have the unofficial results at the time of writing, as the secretary of state’s office needs to certify the results, which usually takes 2 to 3 days. We spoke with elections supervisor, Dawnne Greene, who informed us the official count could come as early as Friday.

The unofficial winner of post 2 was Robbie Ward by a slim margin of 684 over David London, who received 630 votes. Due to the closeness of the results, David London has officially requested a recount which will take place Tuesday, November 12 at 9:00 a.m. in Pembroke at the Bryan County Elections office. This recount has nothing to do with the results being unofficial.

“I wish to give a heartfelt thanks to all of my supporters,” Robbie Ward told us in a statement. “I am honored and humbled by your belief in me and I promise to work hard every day over the next two years to make Richmond Hill a welcoming and successful community for all of its citizens. I look forward to working with the other council members as a team to make decisions that will affect the future of our city. I wish to thank my opponent David London. It was a clean, respectful, and hard fought campaign and I truly admire him. I hope to serve with David in some capacity in the future.”

Since Ward is replacing Baraniak, his term is set to expire in 2021, along with post 1, currently held by Mayor Pro-Tem Kristi Cox, as well as the mayoral seat, held by Mayor Russ Carpenter.

The unofficial winner of post 3 was Mark Ott with a count of 713 votes over incumbent Bill Donahue with 545.

Mark Ott told us in a statement, “I’m honored the residents of Richmond Hill voted for me and are entrusting me to represent them on city council. I want to thank everyone that helped during our campaign! I want to credit my opponent, Bill Donahue, for running a great campaign. Now we need to roll up our sleeves and work together as a community to make sure we have the proper infrastructure (Fire, Police, Streets, etc.) in place to support our growing city. Again, a cannot thank the residents enough that voted for me to represent them on city council!”

Neither incumbent Les Fussell nor challengers Steve Scholar or Chakiris “Chuck” Moss received the required 50 percent plus 1 of the votes to avoid a runoff election. The runoff will be between Steve Scholar and Les Fussell and will be held on December 3rd. Details to come soon.