Absentee votes confirm Johnson’s win

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, November 6, 2008

Unofficial results from Suffolk’s absentee ballots indicate Linda Johnson will be the city’s first directly elected mayor, upholding preliminary results from Tuesday night.

Suffolk’s Clerk of the Circuit Court, Randy Carter, said Johnson received nine more absentee votes than did her closest competitor, Dwight Nixon, adding to her lead of about 4,700 from votes cast Tuesday.

Carter, reached on his cell phone after business hours, couldn’t remember exact results for the rest of the competitors, but said the order of candidates was unchanged.

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“There was nothing dramatic,” Carter said. “It was pretty much spread out.”

Unofficially, Johnson received about 37 percent of the vote. Nixon finished with about 22 percent, and Thomas Powell Jr. was third with about 17 percent. Michael Debranski came in with about 13 percent, Andrew Damiani at 5 percent, and Roger Leonard at 4 percent.

About 800 votes were cast for write-in candidates. The names written in have not been reported, but many likely were for Deborah Wahlstrom, who ran a write-in campaign endorsed by the Suffolk Republican Party after missing the required number of signatures to be on the ballot.

Although Carter and Johnson knew about the numbers, Voter Registrar Sharon Thornhill said the Board of Elections has to meet Friday to resolve discrepancies found in the absentee ballot numbers. She would not disclose any numbers or whether the results changed the outcomes on any Suffolk races.