Former Raleigh Mayor Tom Bradshaw requested a recount on Monday afternoon in his race for the North Carolina Senate against Republican John Alexander, with 701 votes separating them in the closest General Assembly contest this year.
Alexander led Bradshaw by .86 percent in a race with a turn-out of about 82,000 voters, according to certified Wake County Board of Elections results.
While a large majority of the state electoral districts are comfortably Republican, the closeness of this race underscores that a handful of seats in purple swaths on the map such as Wake County are hotly contested.
Other closely fought races leading up to Nov. 4 were in Wake County: incumbent Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot’s win against Democratic challenger Sarah Crawford and Democratic Cary Councilwoman Gail Adock’s win over incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Murry.
Bradshow, an investment banker and lobbyist who served as Raleigh mayor and state transportation secretary in the 1970s, ran an aggressive campaign against Alexander, raising and spending more than $1 million in advertisements that sought to link Alexander with controversial environmental and education votes made by the Republican majority this year. In return, the state Republican party sent voters mail criticizing Bradshaw, calling him a “Wall Street lobbyist.”
In a letter to supporters on Monday, Bradshaw said he has confidence the final results of the re-count will be accurate.
“I have heard from many supporters who feel strongly that we should ask for a recount to ensure the accuracy of the election results,” Bradshaw wrote.
Alexander said in a phone interview that he welcomes a re-count to confirm who got the most votes.
“And if the re-count shows that he got more votes than I did, I'll salute him and wish him the best,” Alexander said.
Bradshaw and Alexander publicly say they’re long-time friends and have worked together for community non-profits such as the YMCA of the Triangle. If Alexander holds his lead, the Republican party will have 34-16 majority in the Senate, comfortably keeping its veto-proof super majority over Democrats.