The one active race for Williamsport City Council came down to the wire on primary Tuesday when all of the candidates seeking nominations for the Republican and Democratic parties as six candidates face off for three open seats in the fall general election experienced a day of low voter turnout.
Only 17.8 percent of the registered voters turned out to the polls, according to the unofficial primary election results.
Three spots are open in the general election, with six nominees vying for them.
Capturing the most Republican votes were council incumbents Randall J. Allison with 775 votes and N. Clifford "Skip" Smith with 653 votes, according to unofficial results.
But it was the photo-finish for the third GOP nominee that was the tightest race. It went down to the final two of 17 precincts but shortly after 10 p.m. Scott Miller, of 822 Tucker St., had narrowly defeated Joel E. Henderson, of 1010 Elmira St. Miller garnered 545 votes to Henderson's 536 votes according to unofficial results. There were 28 write-in votes.
Voters also chose three Democrat candidates, all of whom will move onto the general election. Councilwoman Liz Miele, received 539 votes, the most, followed by Kelly Anderson of 533 Seventh Ave., with 522 votes and Alison D. Hirsch, with 498 votes. There were 49 write-in votes.
Allison and his wife, Debbie, of 1308 Elmira St., were filled with gratitude at their home a few hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m.
"I want to thank the voters who took the time to come out," he said. "It was such a low turnout that I hope more people realize that an engaged and active citizenship is the lifeblood of a democracy, especially on the local level. I am hopeful in the general election there is a lot better turnout."
Allison appreciated all of the support and assistance he's received to get through the primary.
Smith, of 835 First Ave., also was thankful for his second-place finish and was enjoying snacks along with his wife, Faith, and friends and supporters.
"I'd like to thank all the voters for believing in what we're doing on City Council, believing in what I'm doing and having confidence in me that the last 5 1/2 years have been productive on council," Smith said. "I certainly look forward to the fall and also continuing projects we've begun for the city."
"I want to thank all the voters and my supporters and look forward to going onto November," Miller said as he was walking to Executive Plaza on Pine Street to watch the final unofficial results on the screen shortly after 10 p.m.
Henderson was surrounded by his family and friends. His children made a card just in case he won. "Thank you to all those who worked so hard giving your time, energy and resources in this primary election," he said.
"May this city be known not just for its Little League or its business or its pleasant appearance; but also, and more importantly, for its citizens of integrity, justice and morality."