In a statement released Wednesday in regards to the Fayetteville mayoral election, Val Applewhite said she "will continue to wait for the official numbers before making a decision on next steps."
Based on unofficial results, Nat Robertson defeated Applewhite to be the next mayor of Fayetteville Tuesday night. Robertson will be the first new mayor for the All-American city in eight years.
The margin of victory was 270 votes. Robertson won with 11,571 votes (50.52 percent) to Applewhite's 11,301 (49.34 percent). There were 34 write-in votes (0.15%).
The board of elections will make the votes official on Tuesday. There are still some provisional votes and absentee votes to include in the total. Terri Robertson, the Director of the Cumberland County Board of Elections, said there likely will not be more than 270 votes remaining to be counted.
The unofficial margin of victory is 1.18 percent. That percentage would have to drop below 1 percent for a recount to be allowed. If the margin of victory is less than 1 percent when official results are released on Tuesday, Applewhite will have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to request a recount.
I her written statement Applewhite also said the following:
"I want to thank everyone for their support and votes. To think that my grassroots campaign – with tens of thousands of fundraising dollars less than my opponent, but heavy in hope and volunteers – could come within 200 votes of winning this election, speaks volumes about my vision for Fayetteville and those who believed that I have the leadership and experience to lead our city."
Robertson said he knows a lot of people in Fayetteville voted for Applewhite but he hopes to gain their support.
"One of the things we've said throughout the campaign is we're about unity, we're about bringing people into the tent, about hearing different ideas from everybody," Robertson told WNCN. "So I look forward to doing that, and I look forward to the next two years being two years of inclusion."
Robertson had previously made an unsuccessful bid to be mayor in 2011. He served on the City Council for three consecutive terms from 1989 until 1995 and a fourth beginning in 1999.
Applewhite has served on the City Council for the last six years.
While the office is non-partisan, Robertson identifies as a Republican, and Applewhite identifies as a Democrat. Mayor Anthony Chavonne was first elected in 2005. He chose not to run for a fifth consecutive term. After the 2013 primary election, he endorsed Robertson in the race.