COLUMBIA, S.C. — Final results are now in for the Columbia mayor race and the city council at-large seat. Those numbers show Daniel Rickenmann is now the mayor-elect and Aditi Bussells is the next council member at-large.
You can see full, real-time elections results by going to the WLTX 2021 Election Results Page.
In the race for Columbia mayor, Daniel Rickenmann defeated his longtime fellow councilmember Tameika Isaac Devine. Both were vying to succeed Steve Benjamin, who decided not to seek re-election after 11 years leading the city.
The runoff was necessary after no candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote in the election on November 2 that featured four total candidates. Rickenman got the most votes, but under city rules, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the vote.
The other runoff was for the City Council at Large Seat. That contests featured Aditi Bussells versus Tyler Bailey. Bussells, a political newcomer, edged out Bailey 54 percent to 46 percent, or 1,495 total votes.
Bussells got the most votes in the earlier contest but as in the mayoral race, no candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote.
Bussells replaces Devine, who didn't seek reelection for the seat so she could run for mayor.
Complicating matters is that 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.
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.