CAPE CARTERET — One vote decided Cape Carteret’s mayor’s race, according to preliminary figures.

Mayoral Candidate Will Baker garnered a ballot count of 265, while his opponent, current commissioner Charlie Evans, secured 264 votes.

“I’m pretty shocked,” Mr. Baker said. “I’m sure there will be a recount.”

Ballot canvassing is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 15.

Cape Carteret’s sole incumbent commissioner in the race, Don Miller, managed to secure his seat in a town election filled with newcomers and challengers.

Mr. Miller, along with Jim Nalitz and Jeff Waters, secured the available three seats, leaving Patricia Ruddiman the odd-woman-out of Tuesday’s town commission race.

As of late Tuesday, the state reported Mr. Miller, Mr. Nalitz and Mr. Waters secured a respective 374, 342 and 409 votes, while Ms. Ruddiman garnered 228 votes.

“I’m very happy with the results,” Mr. Miller said. “I think we have a good board and I look forward to working with them.”

Mr. Waters joined Mr. Miller in congratulating the evening’s winners.

“I’m very humbled and honored to be elected commissioner of the town of Cape Carteret,” Mr. Waters, a former Emerald Isle police chief, said. “I want to be able to serve in that capacity and I want to make Cape Carteret a great place to live.”

Each of the incumbents went into Tuesday’s election feeling confident about their chances.

“I am confident in the outcome,” Mr. Evans said. “Whoever, here in Cape Carteret gets elected mayor, the town will have a good servant.”

Mr. Baker reflected on the campaign season.

“I’m brand spanking new to all this so if I get one vote I’ll be happy,” Mr. Baker said. “That was the thing that concerned me. No one was running, my opponent was running unopposed. It just seemed un-American.”

Prior to learning the election results, Mr. Waters thanked Cape Carteret voters for their support and participation in the election.

Ms. Ruddiman, in a Facebook post, congratulated all of the winners. She had been one of the originators of a petition that led to a referendum, also on the ballot Tuesday, that proposed the town move back from a town manager form of government to a town administrator.

That referendum failed, 365 to 155, so Zach Steffey, the town’s first administrator who was controversially but legally promoted to manager after commissioners changed the form of government without a referendum, will remain manager.

Mr. Baker said that he was glad of the referendum’s outcome.

“I understand it was looking very good as far as the no vote on that, which is what I based my campaign on, so that’s made me very happy,” Mr. Baker said. “The way it was written there was a lot of confusion. I wanted to keep it as a manager-council form of government and I think that helped me tremendously.”

 Terri Ashby and Ms. Ruddiman were proponents of the ballot initiative. Neither were available before presstime.  

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

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