Incumbent Frankfort Mayor William May narrowly won re-election to a fifth term Tuesday in a contest with current city commissioner and former Mayor John Sower.
In unofficial results with all precincts reporting, May took 50.7 percent of the vote while challenger Sower took 49.3 percent. May won by only 149 votes, 5,550 to 5,401.
“We knew it was going to be much closer by the amount of money the Sower campaign was spending,” said May, 57. “They’ve had a lot of negative ads. We stayed positive the whole way.”
Sower, 69, said he has asked Franklin County Clerk Jeff Hancock for a recanvass.
“The clerk is going to look at that,” possibly as early as Wednesday, Sower said. “As I understand it, it’s a pretty quick process.”
A recanvass is a common procedure and simply involves rechecking printed vote totals against the figures sent to the state Board of Elections.
May was mayor for three terms from 1996 to 2009, and was a city commissioner from 1992 to 1996 and from 2009 to early 2013. His fourth term as mayor began in 2013.
Sower served one term as mayor from 1980 to 1983 and served as city commissioner in the late 1970s and from 2014 to the present. His father served as mayor in the late 1960s and ‘70s.
The candidates took different approaches to encouraging downtown development.
May said tax incentives should be provided to private investors as a way of encouraging more development in the downtown area.
Sower said he wanted to see buildings renovated with more apartment space as a way of getting more people to live downtown.
Frankfort Mayor (NP)
John R. Sower 5,401
William May 5,550