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Ronald Pittman to get recount in Democratic primary for Cumberland Board of Commissioners

Following canvass of results, Pittman trails Karla Icaza by 38 votes


In this year’s Democratic primary race for the three Dist. 2 seats on the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, candidate Ronald Pittman will have a recount.

As of Friday, Pittman trailed Democrat Karla Icaza by 38 votes. Icaza had 4,466 votes and Pittman had 4,428. With their margin below 1%, state law entitles Pittman to a recount at his request.

“I want to give the people that voted for me — I want them to know I’ve done everything I could on my end to make sure that we were covered,” Pittman said on Friday. 

“Do I think it’s going to change enough for me to win? Probably not. But just to be on the safe side, take the extra step to make sure,” he said.

In a text message on Friday, Icaza said she doesn’t expect the recount to change the outcome.

“I’m not worried about it. It will be hard to overturn 38 votes,” she said. “I can see 1 or 5, but not 38.”

Elections Board Chairwoman Irene Grimes said Friday a recount date hasn’t been set, and it isn’t likely to occur any sooner than late next week.

State law requires the recount to be finished before the statewide canvass to certify the election results, which is scheduled for March 26.

Following the March 5 primary, the county board of elections processed provisionally cast and overseas absentee ballots on Thursday. The board counted the ballots that qualified to be counted, then held a canvass on Friday to certify the local results.

The Democratic primary for the county Board of Commissioners is the only local race where the margins are close enough for a recount.

No local races qualified for a second primary, also called a run-off primary. However, Cumberland County’s Republican and unaffiliated voters are expected to participate May 14 in a statewide run-off primary election. This is to select the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor and state auditor, since none of the candidates in the March 5 election received enough votes to win. 

In the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners election for Dist. 2, there are three seats. Voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries were asked to select up to three candidates. The top three vote-getters in each primary advance to the general election to face each other in November.

The Democratic primary results as of Friday:

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

The top three finishers in the Democratic race will face Republicans Henry Tyson, Peter Pappas and Pavan D. Patel in the general election on Nov. 5. The top three candidates in that race will take office.

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.

elections, 2024, cumberland county, commissioners, primary, democrats