ELIZABETHTOWN — The totals are in and the vote canvass is complete in the Bladen County municipal elections.
The canvass, which was completed at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, essentially made the unofficial results of last week's municipal elections official.
Folks in Dublin, who were anxiously watching and waiting for the final tally to learn who won the town council race will have to wait a little longer to learn who will represent them, as challenger Tommy Thompson has requested a recount.
As of the completion of the canvass on Tuesday morning, incumbent Jeff Smith edged out Thompson by one vote, 44-43. At the end of last week's voting, both candidates had 43 votes and there were three provisional ballots cast that had to be ruled on by the board.
The board ruled that two of the provisional votes did not count and one was allowed to stand.
“Tommy Thompson has asked for a recount,” said Gina Ward, assistant deputy director of the Bladen County Board of Elections. “He came in on Friday with his request for a recount.”
The recount is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m.
In Tar Heel the write-in winner for the third town council seat was Derek J. Druzak, who said he has been contacted and indicated he would accept the position.
Joining Druzak will be Sam Allen and Angie Hall, who both received 23 votes each. Roy Dew was re-elected as mayor.
In Bladenboro, based on the results from the canvass, Rufus Duckworth III defeated incumbent Mayor Livingston Lewis by 46 votes. Duckworth received 264 votes to Lewis' 218, and Ken Chavis was a distant third with just 56 votes. There were seven write-in votes cast in the race.
Two incumbent councilmen were voted off the board on Tuesday. They were Mitchell Hughes and Stephen Bryan. Hughes received 156 votes and Bryan received 191 votes.
The top three vote-getters who will be taking seats on the town council are Jeff Atkinson, who received 366 votes; incumbent Billy Ray Benson, who received 287 votes; and Curtis Timothy Benton Jr., who received 284 votes.
Also running but not earning a seat was Bud Freeman with 224 votes. There were two write-in votes cast in this race as well.
A referendum was also put before the voters to change the town's form of government which passed overwhelmingly. Before last week's municipal election, the town of Bladenboro had operated under a council-manager form of government to provide the necessary services and to carry out the duties of the town spelled out under N.C. General Statute 160A-148. Prior to the election, the makeup of the town's governing body consisted of a town council, a mayor and a town manager.
Now, after the voters have spoken, the town will return to a mayor-council form of government.