ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An upset in Annapolis. The city officially has a new mayor — 30-year-old Mike Pantelides. He’s a Republican in a city dominated by Democrats.
Meghan McCorkell went one-on-one with the mayor-elect.
It was one of the tightest races ever in the city of Annapolis. In the end, the votes separated the candidates by less than one percent.
A nail-biter in Annapolis. More than 25 hours over two days were spent reviewing and counting absentee and provisional ballots. Now, three days after Election Day, it’s official: Republican Mike Pantelides defeats Democratic incumbent Josh Cohen by just 59 votes.
“The voters have spoken. I respect the will of the voters and the voters have said they want a different direction for Annapolis,” said Cohen after the announcement.
WJZ caught up with Pantelides after the big win.
McCorkell: “Did you ever think it was going to come down to just 59 votes?”
Pantelides: “No, not at all. I thought I was either going to win by a lot or lose by a lot.”
But the challenges may be just beginning. He’s the first Republican mayor in more than a decade in a Democrat dominated city.
At just 30, Pantelides will be one of the youngest mayors in the city’s history.
“I think I have the leadership and the vision to take the city in a new direction. And I look forward to working with people,” he said.
Annapolis residents say they hope that work makes the city even better.
“I really look forward to our new mayor really being open-minded and working with everyone. And really seeing Annapolis for what it’s been, what it is and what it can be,” said Lynayn Mielke, Annapolis business owner.
“Trying to make things look nicer and bring the businesses back. I think it’s a wonderful thing,” said Keith Himmer, resident.
Pantelides says he’s ready to get started.
The mayor-elect says some of his biggest goals include lowering taxes and water bills.
The candidates have 10 days to file a petition for a recount.
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