San Luis Obispo County’s tightest 2014 race has finally come to a close.
After a two-day recount supported by both incumbent Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham and challenger Kevin Kreowski, Higginbotham was once again declared the victor as the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office announced recount results on Nov. 25.
Initial election results certified on Nov. 19 showed that Higginbotham had held onto her mayoral seat by a two-vote margin—1,637 votes to Kreowski’s 1,635—and that result held up after an extensive manual recount.
Both candidates were observing the process at the Clerk-Recorder’s Office as the tally was finalized, and Higginbotham broke down crying when the results were announced.
“I’m obviously very happy, and everyone in the clerk’s office did a fantastic job,” Higginbotham said. “It’s a real testament to how every vote counts.”
County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald told New Times that the recount was a validation of her office’s abilities, adding that obtaining the same result gave everyone “a good feeling.”
Kreowski—who crowd-funded the expense of the recount on GoFundMe—said that he would be donating all the leftover recount funds to Shell Beach Elementary for the school to purchase art supplies.
“It was too close not to recount, and I’m proud and humbled by the support I received,” Kreowski said. “I love my life, win or lose.”
Higginbotham will join fellow newly elected Pismo Beach City Council members Mary Ann Reiss and Sheila Blake, along with returners Erik Howell and Ed Waage.