Skip Kelly hoped to avoid a runoff in the Ward 7 Council election last night. He found out this morning he fell three votes short. The Oklahoma County Election Board counted the final vote in the race at about 1 a.m. With all precincts reporting, Kelly had 1,141 votes, or 49.9 percent. His runoff opponent will be John Pettis, who received 724 votes, or 31.6 percent.
Attorney William Hollis had 334 votes, or 14.6 percent, and industrial engineering technician Ebony Muhammad had 89 votes 3.9 percent. Kelly, an attorney, believed he had won the election outright until he double-checked the results with the election board and found his numbers were slightly off. Kelly said he hasn't decided whether to challenge the final tally. "We will seriously look at that in the morning," Kelly said. "Three votes. When you are talking about three votes, we would be concerned. I’m sure there is going to be some concern as to where and how those numbers came about." Pettis, meanwhile, said he will search for a way to close the gap in the Feb. 5 runoff. "I’ll have to get with my staff to sit down and see how we can turn it around," said Pettis, a housing manager. Council members set a special election for the seat after former Ward 7 Councilwoman Willa Johnson resigned in September, having won a seat as an Oklahoma County commissioner. Bryan Dean: 475-3206, firstname.lastname@example.org