Incumbent Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy said Tuesday he will not seek a recount of the Nov. 3 results in the city council race despite his coming just 127 votes shy of re-election to a third term.
Lovejoy, a Republican, had left open the possibility of requesting a recount last week after a final count of provisional and absentee ballots on Friday showed the race eligible for a recount due to the narrow vote margin.
On Tuesday morning, however, Lovejoy said he did not believe a recount would turn up enough votes to make a difference in the contest.
When the results were certified on Monday, Lovejoy had garnered 6,834 votes, making him the fourth-highest vote getter in the race. The three open city council seats were won by incumbents Pam Sebesky and Mark Wolfe, as well as newcomer Tom Osina, all Democrats.
Lovejoy said he estimated the recount would cost about $10,000 in fees to the city and attorney’s fees, an amount he said he felt “confident” he could raise. But he said he decided it was unlikely to change the results.
Lovejoy attributed his loss what he called the “strong headwinds” of the presidential race in which President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, won the support of 61% of Manassas voters. Incumbent President Donald Trump garnered 36.9% of the 16,968 votes cast in the City of Manassas.
“The fact we did as well as we did is a testament to the effectiveness of our campaign,” Lovejoy said Tuesday.
Sebesky, who will return to the city council for a second term, came out on top of the city council race with 8,533 votes. She was followed by Wolfe, who won a fourth term with 8,505 votes, and Osina who won a first term with 6,961 votes.
Incumbent City Councilwoman Michelle Davis-Younger, also a Democrat, won the race for mayor of the City of Manassas with 8,203 votes, or 51% of the votes cast, compared to incumbent City Councilwoman Theresa Coates Ellis, who garnered 7,834 votes or 48.7% of the vote.
Davis-Younger will become the first woman and the first Democrat to fill the mayor's office.
Ellis will return to the city council, as her term is not up until 2022. The city council will have to appoint another member to fill Davis-Younger’s seat in early 2021 and likely will hold a special election to coincide with the general election in November.
Lovejoy said he had no immediate political plans but would “continue to find a way to serve” the community.
“I’m very happy with all the council has accomplished in the last eight years,” he added.
Professionally, Lovejoy runs a business that organizes job fairs and recently launched Treasure Quest Adventures, which stages in person scavenger-hunt-like events with $10,000 cash prizes. The business has conducted five search events since August and has plans to expand to Dallas and Miami this winter, Lovejoy said.