By Joel Hall
On Nov. 6, one vote separated Latoshia Gray from a chance to compete in a Dec. 4 runoff for the Lovejoy Post 1 council seat.
In a highly anticipated recount Thursday morning, just one vote made the difference, again.
Thursday morning at 9 a.m., the city of Lovejoy held a recount for Latoshia Gray, Tommy Green and Bob Lynch, the three challengers for the council seat. After recounting the ballots for an hour, the results were the same -- Gray with 103 votes and Green and Lynch tying with 104 votes.
As a result, Green and Lynch will be in the runoff election next month.
Lovejoy city clerk Marie Burnham said this is the first time in the city's history that an election required a runoff.
"The results were surprising because it was so close," Burnham said. "The fact that a request [for a recount] was made was not surprising."
The city used paper ballots in the election, so each one had to be counted individually.
Lynch, a retired Army military police office and one of the recount winners, was not surprised by the results.
"They counted it five times the night of the election," said Lynch. "The count was going to be correct no matter what ... I was not surprised that it turned out exactly the same."
"I felt confident that they were going to stay the same," said Green, a labor relations director for the Georgia Association of Educators. "I was humbled that it did though. Now, the hard work begins."
Lynch said that he was glad that the election was so close, because it showed that "the three people running for that post actually care for the city," and could rally similar support from the citizens. He believed the upcoming runoff between himself and Green would be a equal race.
"[Green's] a good man ... I know that he'd do a good job," said Lynch. "I think that I'd do a good job. We'll just have to see who the voters want."
"I want everyone to compare and make their best choice," said Green, added that, if elected, he will focus on smart growth.
"The biggest thing is ensuring that our little city grows in the right direction and having a 5-to-10-year plan ... so we don't have the kind of development that other cities are having, and having to redevelop," said Green.
"We need to make sure that we attract the kind of businesses that add to the city and not the ones that decay."
Lynch said that if elected, "the foremost thing in my mind is to get a police station up and running." After that, he said he would like to focus on getting citizens more involved in the Lovejoy community.
"I think it's imperative, because we are growing so much," said Lynch. "I've been in Lovejoy for years and the growth in that time is incredible."
Lynch hoped that an equal number of people would come out for the Dec. 4 runoff.
Gray was called several times, but could not be reached for this article.