Write-in candidate leads in Ithaca council race heading to recount
A write-in candidate has likely won a seat on the Ithaca Common Council. Cornell University student Patrick Kuehl ran a surprise campaign for the four-year seat in the city’s 4th Ward, and has secured 49 votes in the low-turnout district.
This comes after the Tompkins County Board of Elections finished counting all affidavit, absentee and write-in ballots Thursday morning. Kuehl leads Democratic incumbent Jorge Defendini by just nine votes.
The race will require a hand recount after results are certified next week. Under New York state law, any race with a margin of victory of 20 votes or less requires a hand recount.
Democratic elections Commissioner Stephen Dewitt said the recount will likely happen after Thanksgiving.
Another close race for an Ithaca Common Council seat was in the city’s 5th Ward. Democrat Clyde Lederman defeated Jason Houghton, who ran on the Ithacans for Progress line, by 25 votes.