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Losing Candidate Contests Third Ward Vote in Ocean City

Losing Candidate Contests Third Ward Vote in Ocean City

By Vince Conti

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OCEAN CITY – The candidate who lost by two votes in Ocean City’s Third Ward council election on May 14 has asked for a recount.

Amie Vaules, who was facing incumbent Jody Levchuk for the seat, was defeated by a 402-400 margin, according to election results certified by the Ocean City clerk.

On June 11 Vaules said she is contesting the results.

“This is about making sure everybody’s vote counts,” she said, as she promised to “respect the results after a thorough review.”

Levchuk was the only incumbent in the race for council seats who did not have the backing of Mayor Jay Gillian, who supported Vaules, a newcomer to city politics.

Vaules was one of five candidates to have the endorsement of FOCUS, a citizens organization founded in March; three of those candidates won. The group says it advocates for and supports candidates and elected officials who possess “the leadership, experience and vision to advance policies and solutions that will preserve our rich heritage and traditions, while preparing our community for the future.”

Another candidate in the election, Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes, who lost her Fourth Ward race against Gillian- supported incumbent David Winslow, criticized the new organization, arguing it was formed to give support to a specific group of candidates, those endorsed by Gillian.

Vaules said several factors contributed to her decision to contest the election, including the narrowness of Levchuk’s victory, voter concerns and issues with specific mail-in ballots. She said she had a responsibility to see that “the true will of the voters is accurately reflected.”

Levchuk had no comment other than to acknowledge that contesting the election results is Vaules’ right.

The winning candidates for council are normally sworn in at the council’s reorganization meeting, which this year is on July 1 at noon.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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