By Matt Rivers
ATLANTIC CITY (CBS)–It was a very close race, one that came down to counting up mail in provisional ballots. But after the dust settled last night, it appears Atlantic City will have a Republican mayor next year for the first time since 1990.
A happy Don Guardian claims victory in the race for Atlantic City mayor against long time Democratic incumbent Lorenzo Langford.
It was close on election night with Guardian up initially by just 162 votes.
A weeklong effort to validate and count provisional and mail-in ballots boosted his lead to 433.
Atlantic County Superintendent Of Elections Maureen Bugdon says, “Every vote is critical and should be scrutinized so that you can uphold the integrity of the election.”
The board of elections is still canvassing other races in the county and until all races are done none will be officially certified.
It’s all but assured, Atlantic City gets a new mayor come January.
Mayor-elect Don Guardian says he is, “trying to pull together about 100 people to make up a transition team in 6 or 7 different focus areas determining how we’re going to pull the city together and move forward.”
Guardian capitalized on a struggling Atlantic City economy, promising change for a city still getting out from under the recession and Hurricane Sandy, all while battling increased gambling competition in surrounding states.
Guardian says he stands behind Governor Chris Christie’s five year plan to revitalize Atlantic City, but admits there’s a long way to go.
“Clean the streets every day, get the lights working, improve the parks and playgrounds, work with our police department to get them the technology they need.”
He plans to do that on top of trying to get casino revenue higher.
Mayor Langford still has not officially conceded in the race, despite its outcome being all but determined at this point.