Final but unofficial results show Bussells edging Bailey 54-46%, or 1,495 total votes. Both were political newcomers seeking their first public office.
Bussells is a public health researcher with Children’s Trust who received her PhD in public health at the University of South Carolina. she said she believes that everyone, “regardless of their zip code, deserves to have equal opportunities to thrive.”
Bailey is an attorney in Columbia.
The at-large seat is one of two on the Columbia City Council where the entire city, not just one section of town, can pick their representative.
The at-large seat was up this year because the longtime holder of the seat, Tameika Isaac Devine, decided not to run for mayor instead of another term. She had held that seat since 2002.
Voters did pick a new representative Columbia City Council District 1 two weeks ago, when they selected Tina Herbert to succeed Sam Davis, who decided to retire after 23 years on the council. And Joe Taylor ran unopposed to pick up the Council District 4 race left vacant when Rickenmann ran for mayor.
The net result of these changes is that half of the Columbia City Council seats will have new representation come the new year.
While the results appear to be clear, there will now be a full hand count recount that was ordered by the South Carolina Election Commission.
Howard Knapp, the interim executive director of the commission, said he ordered the recount after hearing what happened at some precincts. Some precincts weren't able to get the right ballot for voters when polls opened. The problem was corrected, but some voters had to vote on emergency paper ballots while others claimed they were turned away at the polls.