CHARLOTTE — Chad Stachowicz declared victory on Twitter on May 11 in the District 39 N.C. Senate Democratic Primary after the south Charlotte resident saw his lead increase to 20 votes after 23 absentee and military ballots were counted.
But challenger Ann Harlan says the race is not over. The Matthews resident will request a recount after the results are certified May 18.
The two are vying to take on incumbent Republican State Senator Dan Bishop in November. Bishop won re-nomination May 8 when he defeated challenger Beth Monaghan with 71 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
Stachowicz held a five-vote lead on election night when he received 5,219 votes to Harlan’s 5,214 votes. Stachowicz now holds a 5,238-5,218 lead with only nine provisional ballots to be considered on May 17. After those ballots are counted, the Mecklenburg Board of Elections will certify the results at 11 a.m. May 18.
Since Stachowicz’s lead is less than 1 percent, Harlan can request a recount. Harlan said May 15 she will do just that.
“Oh yeah, absolutely, it is too close,” Harlan said when asked if she would request a recount. “The provisional ballots have not even been counted. I know Chad is calling himself a winner, but he doesn’t get to call it. The board of elections gets to call it.”
Stachowicz said he is confident his lead will hold up after a recount and that the party will be unified come November.
“We ran a really strong campaign,” Stachowicz said. “If you look at what both I and Ann ran on, we had close messages. I think the party will be completely unified. The feedback from Democrats and moderate Republicans alike is that it is time for a change. I do expect it to be a tough race (in November). We expect to put a lot of work in.”
Harlan said her message resonated with voters and that she was happy with the way she ran her campaign.
“I was pleasantly surprised (on election night) because Chad had a ton of money,” Harlan said. “I raised $3,000, so this is the people speaking and money not speaking. I was out there talking to people, knocking on doors and talking to people. I think if I had more time, I would have been able to reach out to more people.”
The general election is Nov. 6.