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Bryson City election may be too close to call

election timeBryson City’s town election may be too close to call given that there were eight provisionary ballots left to count on election night.

The unofficial results Tuesday night have Mayor Tom Sutton winning re-election by three votes. He had 102 votes compared to challenger Catherine Cuthbertson’s 99 votes. The tides could turn once the other ballots are counted. 

Sutton ran as a write-in candidate for mayor four years ago to give people an option at the polls and he is ready to serve another term.

“I’m really excited and ready to get back to work and put this election stuff behind me — that’s definitely not the fun part of the job,” he said. 

He said the town was wrapping up several street projects that he would like to see come to a close before next year. He and the new town manager Josh Ward are already working on the town’s goals for 2016. 

Just a few provisionary ballot results could make all the difference on who makes it on the board. As of Tuesday night, incumbent Jim Gribble was the top vote getter with 94 votes, but challenger Heidi Woodard was right behind with 93 votes. Incumbent Kate Welch received 91 votes, which means she could still be in the running for one of the two available seats on the board. 

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Whatever the results are, Sutton doesn’t think it will impact the board’s progress.  

“I think we’ll work really well together — Heidi has been a neighbor of mine for a long time and I have a lot of respect for her. Jim has served on the board for a long time and he knows his way around so I think we’ll be just fine,” he said. 

Six candidates were vying for the two open seats on the boar and all the newcomers were running for change. 

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