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Ballot recount set for Thursday in Democratic primary for Cumberland Board of Commissioners

Candidate Ronald Pittman wants to double-check whether he lost to Karla Icaza


Cumberland County will recount votes on Thursday in the Democratic primary for the Board of Commissioners Dist. 2 election, the county Board of Elections announced on Monday.

The recount is to verify whether Karla Icaza defeated Ronald Pittman in the March 5 election.

Pittman requested the recount after the county Board of Elections certified that Icaza was ahead by 38 votes, which was within 1%. With the margin that tight, Pittman was entitled by law to have the recount.

Pittman told CityView on Friday that he does not expect that a recount will put him ahead of Icaza, but he feels he owes it to his voters to do everything he can to be certain whether he won or lost.

Ballots from 52 precincts, eight early voting sites and from absentee voters will be counted starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, the county Board of Elections Office said. Staff will feed ballots into high-speed ballot-counting equipment, Board of Elections Chairwoman Irene Grimes said on Monday.

A total of the number of ballots to be recounted was not available on Monday. County-wide, 36,908 ballots were cast. But Dist. 2 does not cover the whole county, and only ballots cast in Dist. 2 will be recounted.

“The voted ballots are kept in sealed ballot boxes,” Grimes said. “They have to be opened. They have to be stacked and then ran through the machine, and then sealed again.”

Grimes expected the job will take until early afternoon. “We will be there, I think, until after lunch,” she said.

Dist. 2 is a U-shaped area that covers most of Cumberland County. It includes western and central Fayetteville, the Ramsey Street and traditional “northside” area of Fayetteville, Hope Mills, southern Cumberland County, all of the county east of the Cape Fear River, and the Linden area north of Fayetteville.

Dist. 2 has three seats, and four Democratic candidates sought three slots on the general election ballot. The results of the Democratic primary as of this past Friday:

  • Kirk DeViere, 7,651.
  • Toni Stewart, incumbent, 6,780.
  • Karla Icaza, 4,466.
  • Ronald Pittman 4,428.

Once the recount is complete, the top three from the Democratic primary will face the three winners of the Republic primary in the November general election. Those are Henry Tyson, Peter Pappas and Pavan D. Patel.

Senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at 910-261-4710 and pwoolverton@cityviewnc.com.

This story was made possible by contributions to CityView News Fund, a 501c3 charitable organization committed to an informed democracy.

election, recount, cumberland, county commissioners, 2024