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Florence mayoral candidates speak on runoff election results

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FLORENCE, Ala. — Florence mayoral candidates, their family, and supporters gathered Monday in the city hall auditorium during a special called council meeting as City Clerk Bob Leyde counted the provisional ballots from the October 6 runoff election.

In the end, 3,060 votes counted for Councilman Andy Betterton and 3,050 for incumbent Mayor Steve Holt. The difference of just ten votes elected new leadership for the city of Florence.

“I feel so excited,” Mayor-Elect Andy Betterton said. “I’m just humbled, very humbled to have gone through this experience and I’m certainly reminded today that every single vote counts, every single vote counts.”

Despite the loss, Mayor Holt remains optimistic.

“We’re blessed no matter what,” Holt said. “We know that from the beginning of last term that we’ve been blessed.”

Still, the results were so close, Holt said he’s considering calling for a recount.

“This is kind of the first day in a next step for us,” Holt said. “Being that close, I understand we’ve got 48 hours to evaluate what, if anything, we might do next. I’ll pray about that and think about it and go from there.”

City Clerk Bob Leyde said it was unbelievable how close the race was.

“Have it that close where it was ten votes back in August and then turn around and have all this and count provisionals today, and you’ve got the same ten-vote difference,” Leyde said. “The chances of that are unbelievable but again, this is 2020.”

If Mayor Holt decides to request a recount, he has until noon on Wednesday to do so. The city clerk said the cost of a recount, would be around $5,000.

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