Gulfport city council race gets ever closer

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - An extremely close city council race in Gulfport got even closer the day after the election.

Ward two councilman Ricky Dombrowski began the day Wednesday with a three vote lead over challenger David Andre. Now, that margin is down to just two votes.

"Yes, both of these are good," said a Republican executive committee member as they looked over ballots on Wednesday morning. "Both in the book, the poll worker just overlooked them," she said.

They're checking to see which will be accepted. The two candidates were among those anxiously watching.

"Your heart is just in your throat. And it's just so nerve wracking," said Ricky Dombrowski, as he carefully watched the proceedings.

"It hasn't been nerve wracking at all," said challenger David Andre, who was hoping to pick up just a few votes.

"I don't like losing the election. We were here to make sure we didn't get beat out of an election," said the challenger.

"We just need to know which ward the new address is in," said one of the people reviewing the affidavit ballots.

"People that said, 'Wait, wait, wait. I will affirm that I'm supposed to vote and here's my information. Our job this morning is to count as many of those ballots after research as we possibly can," said Don Hartfield with the Republican committee.

After nearly 90 minutes of careful research and review, the new total was announced by the clerk.

"David Andre: 615. Ricky Dombrowski 617," she said.

An overwhelmed Ricky Dombrowski was happy he's still in the lead, even if it is by just two votes.

"And that's what really affects you the most, is the fact that you sit there and think about, 'Gosh, what could I have done that day I stayed home and didn't go out?' That kind of thing," he explained.

Challenger David Andre will now pursue a recount, saying he owes that much to his supporters.

"I've spent a lot of other people's money and I certainly owe it to them to make sure that there were no errors made or mistakes coming up with this tally," he said.

"All those people that said my vote doesn't make a difference and stayed home in Ward 2, they've got to be scratching their heads right now," said Hartfield.

Wednesday afternoon, the three member "resolution board" met to review "questionable" ballots that were set aside by poll workers.

Each of the candidates picked up one more vote, so the margin remains the same, with Ricky Dombrowski leading by two.

The results will be certified in the next few days; after that, David Andre has 12 days to file for the recount.

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