The election for Siler City mayor ended in a tie Tuesday night, and the outcome may hinge on five ballots that have yet to be counted.
John Grimes and Thomas “Chip” Price III each got 288 votes Tuesday. On Friday at 4 p.m., the Chatham County Board of Elections will meet and open the five remaining ballots – three provisional and two late absentee ballots.
The board will publicly certify the election at the Pittsboro office on Tuesday. If the tie remains, the Board of Elections will draw names to determine the new mayor, said Dawn Stumpf, the elections director.
“They will put both names in a something, a bowl or hat, and have one of the board members draw one out,” Stumpf said.
After that, she said, the candidates have until 5 p.m. the following day to call for a recount.
Price, at-large commissioner, said he got a call from the board about 10:30 p.m. notifying him of the tie and of the five unopened ballots.
“Something like that would only happen to me,” he said with a chuckle. Price added that he knew it was going to be a “close, tight race” against Grimes, city commissioner in District 4 and mayor pro tem.
“Any time you’re going up with somebody that has been in office or involved for 30 some years with all kinds of recognition, I knew that was going to be tough,” Price said.
Grimes said the tie was a surprise.
“I’ve been involved in elections since 1958, and this is the first one I can remember,” he said.
“Opponent ran a really good campaign,” Grimes said, “and I hope I did, too.”
Siler City resident Carlos Simpson also won nine votes, and write-ins earned four.