ALBANY -- The mayoral and Ward VI races in Tuesday's municipal election are headed for a runoff, but the city of Albany -- barring the results of an expected challenge -- will have a new Ward IV commissioner next year.
In a vote that came down literally to the wire, businessman Chad Warbington edged veteran incumbent Commissioner Roger Marietta by 20 votes, 1,474-1,454, to claim the Ward IV seat.
"I'm so excited; I've been through so much anticipation the last three hours," Warbington said moments after the Dougherty Elections office released final numbers just before 10 p.m. "I did the preliminary numbers, and I knew this was going to come down to the wire, down to a few votes. I'm just ready to give 100 percent to try and make our community better."
Warbington discounted the impact of a much-talked-about video released days before the election that showed Marietta taking two of the challenger's campaign signs out of people's yards without permission. Those homeowners filed charges against Marietta, and action on those charges is pending.
"I was feeling good, feeling the momentum shift toward my campaign before that happened," Warbington said. "I don't think that one action had a whole lot of bearing on the eventual outcome. It certainly wasn't the cornerstone of my campaign."
In the mayor's race, incumbent Dorothy Hubbard, seeking a third term in office, received 3,501 votes, or 30.25 percent of the votes cast in the seven-person race, to hold off second-place finisher Bo Dorough, who received 3,206 votes. Henry Mathis, like Dorough a former City Commissioner, held the second spot most of the night as precinct totals trickled in, but when the last of the votes were counted, Mathis was in third place with 2,774 votes.
James Pratt Jr. finished fourth with 1,146 votes.
"I am very disappointed that I polled less than 10 percent in south and east Albany," Dorough said after election results were reported. "But what this election showed is that 70 percent of the people in Albany who went to the polls voted against the incumbent. The only question now is will the people who claim they want change seize the opportunity to make that change while they have this chance?
"I'm going to hit the bricks, talk to those voters. And I will debate Ms. Hubbard any time or anywhere."
In the Ward VI race, Demetrius Young edged John Hawthorne by 13 votes, 705-692, to come in first in the three-person race. But Leroy Smith's 177 votes were enough to keep either of the two top vote-getters from claiming the seat.
In the city and county votes for Sunday alcohol sales, measures to increase the hours of Sunday sales in the city and county and to allow Sunday package sales in the county passed by large margins.
The mayoral and Ward VI runoffs will be held Dec. 3.