GLOVERSVILLE — In a stunning announcement this morning, Fulton County Board of Elections Commissioner Lee Hollenbeck, said Dayton King is the actual winner of the Nov. 7 election for Gloversville mayor.
“That’s true,” said Hollenbeck. “We [wouldn’t play a joke] on anybody.”
He said only a 28 vote difference separated the two candidates, King and William Rowback, Jr. King had 1,516 to Rowback’s 1,488.
Hollenbeck said the totals on the day after the elections are technically unofficial and that this sort of incident can happen.
“As we try to explain to everybody, those [numbers] are unofficial,” said Hollenbeck, noting that two years ago, the same thing happened with a local election.
He said the problem was with two wards accidentially doubling one of their two district’s numbers, giving Rowback the unofficial win.
The wards were three and five and both doubled the numbers from each’s 2nd district.
“A couple of wards didn’t give the correct numbers,” said Hollenbeck. “It’s nobody’s fault.”
He said both King and Rowback were made aware of the results earlier today.
“That’s a hard phone call to make,” said Hollenbeck.
King ran as a Conservative in the race, after his petition to run on the Gloversville part was found to be invalid following a petition challenge by Rowback’s son Brandon Rowback.
The race between the two was a sometimes-contentious one, with supporters from both sides making accusations about the other side on Facebook.
King has spoken about his plans to start implementing and building on past planning and investments. He said he wants to start working to secure more businesses into the city and lobbying Albany for more funding for Gloversville.
This morning King said while he is happy to have been declared the winner, he feels bad for Rowback.
“It’s a weird feeling, actually,” King said. “I feel bad for Mr. Rowback to think that you have won and you’ve actually lost.”
But he added he was happy the count, which will become official tomorrow morning and includes all districts and absentee votes, and that he was ready to move forward.
“We wanted to win, so I am glad we did and I am happy for my team and [the opportunity] to continue those relationships.”
On Facebook, Rowback said he would like to thank each and every person for their hard work and dedication throughout this campaign.
“After a reporting error by the Board of Elections, I have learned this morning that I have lost the election by 28 votes,” Rowback wrote. “I would like to congratulate Dayton King on winning this election. Now is the time to put this election behind us and to come together to better our community. The people have spoken.”