Herkimer, N.Y. - After a final recount by the Herkimer County Board of Elections, challenger Mark Netti has defeated incumbent Tony Brindisi by just 11 votes to become Herkimer's next mayor.
The final tally, 334 to 323. Brindisi congratulated Netti after the 3 1/2 hour recount was over on Friday.
Brindisi has served the Village of Herkimer for over 30 years, first as a police officer, then a village trustee, and the last four as mayor.
After Tuesday's night's election, Brindisi was down to challenger and former Herkimer Village Trustee Mark Netti by just 21 votes, so Brindisi asked for a recount.
Herkimer County Board of Election officials say the difference between the first count and the final recount on Friday was some of the ballots were disqualified on Friday because they the board went by election law to determine which ballots should be counted and which should be disqualified, and that brought the difference down from 21 votes to 11 votes.
Netti says he respects Brindisi's decision to ask for a recount, "It’s part of the election process and he has every right to do that. There’s nothing wrong with that."
With only 653 people out of a possible 4,300 registered voters turning out to vote, which is only about 15 percent, both men were disappointed with the turnout. The last mayoral election had twice that turnout.
After Friday's meticulous recount of every ballot, to not only count them, but to see which were deemed valid, the Board of Elections determined Netti won by just 11 votes and Brindisi congratulated Netti and his wife, "We all know each other, look, we all want the same thing we want what’s best for the village that’s not changed."
When asked if he would consider another run for mayor in four years, since this race was so close, Brindisi said, "I'll have to think about that."
Netti says he appreciates what Brindisi has done as mayor and he says he is looking forward to doing what he can now do to improve the village that both men care about so much, "I’m excited, very excited. I feel very positive about what we can do, it takes time, and I know everything takes time."
Netti is scheduled to be sworn in as Herkimer's next mayor on July 2nd.