Democratic primary for Howard Co. Council seat came down to couple of votes

WASHINGTON — A Howard County Council Democratic primary race came down to a difference of just two votes.

Liz Walsh, whose campaign slogan was “Walsh For One,” beat out incumbent Democrat Jon Weinstein for the District 1 seat after the provisional and absentee ballots were counted Friday.

Walsh, who ran for office for the first time in the June 26 primary, was at the Howard County Board of Elections when the results were posted. She described her reaction as “delighted shock.”

The District 1 seat includes Ellicott City, Elkridge and Hanover.

Walsh credits her win to running a race in which she fought for every single vote. “I think that this validated it — that we needed every single vote — and thank God we had those last two,” she said.

Howard County Board of Elections Director Guy Mickley said he’d never seen anything like the District 1 race. “I’m 22 years into elections and I’ve never been part of an election this close,” he told WTOP.

The results are unofficial — the election still has to be certified, and as of Friday afternoon, it wasn’t clear if Weinstein would ask for a recount. WTOP contacted Weinstein for comment.

Under Maryland law, there are times when the candidate asking for a recount would have to cover the expenses to do that. But Mickley said if Weintsein opts for a recount, he won’t have to cover the cost.

“He was in the 0.1 percentage between the two candidates, so it would be totally on the shoulders of the county to pay for the recount,” Mickley said.

Raj Kathuria, the Republican candidate for the District 1 seat, ran unopposed.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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