Young newcomer Mike Pantelides has become the first Republican to win the Mayor’s office in Annapolis, Maryland after narrowly defeating the incumbent, Josh Cohen, by 59 votes after provisional ballots were counted on Nov. 8, three days after voters first went to the polls.
Pantelides went into the last counting with a 50-vote lead over the Democratic Mayor. When the 65 provisional ballots were run through a scanner as an anxious crowd watched, 37 were for Pantelides and 28 were for Cohen, making Pantelides the winner by 59 votes out of nearly 8,000 cast. The totals: Pantelides, 3,934; Cohen 3,875.
Pantelides’ supporters briefly cheered when elections officials read the tape of results from the ballot scanner about 6 p.m. before the rest of the races were announced.
“It feels fantastic. … this has been a long journey,” said Pantelides, standing on a file cabinet that was turned on its side to serve as a makeshift podium and surrounded by relatives and well-wishers, including Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman.
Cohen, who was not present during the marathon two days of tabulating absentee and provisional ballots, called Pantelides a short while later. He then drove to the city’s old recreation center to congratulate Pantelides in person, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“You truly have a heart for public service, and I wish you the best,” Cohen said before pinning an official city lapel pin on Pantelides’ suit and shaking his hand.
Both sides had indicated that legal action was possible, and elections officials conducted their work carefully with that in mind. But once the counting wrapped, legal action seemed less likely, as Cohen conceded to Pantelides.