Friday, November 27, 2009

Recount gain 6 votes installs new mayor

Recount affirms Ward's victory as Brownsville mayor
A recount yesterday of votes cast in the November election for mayor of Brownsville confirmed earlier results showing Lester Ward as the winner.

The recount showed Ward with 353 votes to incumbent Lewis Hosler's 340, according to the Fayette County election bureau.

Hosler asked for the recount after initial returns indicated Lester had won by 7 votes. The recount turned up an additional 6 votes for Ward, increasing his lead to 13 votes.

A public recount of the Brownsville mayoral race Wednesday ended with challenger Lester Ward prevailing by 13 votes over incumbent Lewis Hosler Sr.

After about an hour of recounting paper, provisional and electronic ballots, Larry Blosser, acting director of the Fayette County Election Bureau, announced that Ward received 353 votes and Hosler had received 340 votes. Hosler, a Democrat, received votes on both the Democratic and Republican ballots. Ward, who previously registered as a Democrat, ran as an Independent candidate.

Ward called the announcement good news, but cautiously said he would "see where it goes from here," joking that it may go to the Supreme Court.

If Ward's win stands, he said he is looking forward to seeing what he can do for the people of Brownsville.

Attending the recount with his attorney, Ward said he was "very happy" to be at another stage.

"It is very encouraging and a good Thanksgiving gift," Ward said.

The vote total following the recount gives Ward the largest lead he has had since the Nov. 3 municipal election. At different times after the election, Ward led with 11 votes, six votes and then seven votes.

Advertisement The road to become the first black mayor in Fayette County history was littered with obstacles for Ward from the beginning. He was initially thrown off the Democratic ballot for the May primary after he didn't properly file his paperwork. Then he tied for the Republican nomination with Hosler with write-in votes, but lost the nomination with the drawing of lots.

Ward then ran as an Independent candidate, but hasn't been able to savor a victory as of yet.

Blosser said with the recount, the results of the Nov. 3 municipal election are now complete. The results will be official once the county commissioners sign them and five days pass.

Ward previously said he and his wife knocked on about 1,000 doors in the borough during the campaign and he feels good about doing some good in the town.

Hosler, who is finishing his first four-year term, previously said he always would be friends with Ward, no matter which way the vote came out.

Hosler has said he intends to remain active in the community, mentioning that he would like to see a veterans memorial built and an addition to the public library.

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