Incumbent Orange County Commissioner Penny Rich requested a recount of the district 1 election on Friday after a full canvas showed her just nine votes short of another term on the board.
Voters chose candidates to fill two seats on the board from district 1 during the March 3 election. While Rich was ahead of her fellow incumbent Commissioner Mark Dorosin on election night, the addition of provisional and absentee ballots showed challenger Jean Hamilton with 37.73 percent of the vote, Dorosin with 31.14 percent and Rich with 31.12 percent.
Rich would not be the only incumbent to lose her seat on the board — Amy Fowler, a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools District Board of Education, unseated incumbent commissioner Mark Marcoplos in the at-large race.
Rich, who is also the current chair of the Board, faced opposition from local PAC's whose goal was to put more money into the school buildings in Orange County. Chapel Hill Leadership PAC and Save Orange Schools PAC both spent money to support Fowler and Hamilton, and to unseat the incumbents.
In elections with less than a one percent margin separating candidates, the non-prevailing candidate can request that the county board of elections conduct a recount.