Caroline Vickery has conceded the 43rd Ward aldermanic race to Ald. Michele Smith.
Vickrey made the announcement late Tuesday afternoon in an email blast to supporters. In it she described the race as a “roller coaster”, detailed the positive gains she made in the runoff and subtly alluded to potential Election Day “irregularities” and “illegal electioneering”.
The 43rd race was the only contested aldermanic race so far where the leading candidate changed as a result of absentee ballots. Vickrey, who was ahead of Ald. Smith by 6 votes before the count of late arriving absentees, ended the race 85 votes behind the incumbent aldermen.
“The [votes] just weren’t adding up. We we are trying to be realistic at some point,” Vickrey told Aldertrack yesterday.
While the Board of Elections is still processing absentee ballots postmarked by April 6th, the number of returned ballots has significantly dropped; as of Tuesday afternoon the BOE only received 7 absentee ballots since their last count Saturday.
“Our lawyer said with numbers like this […] it’s hard to overturn ballots that have been cast,” Vickrey added.
Vickrey said that she called Ald. Smith and left a voicemail “wishing her luck” before announcing her decision to concede the race to supporters.
Neither Vickrey nor Ald. Smith filed a petition to contest the election results by yesterday’s filing deadline.
When asked what’s next, Vickrey said she wants to renew her law license and get more involved in the community. She’s also not closing the door on any future political aspirations.
“When [you] get that close, it makes you want to do it again and give it another shot,” Vickrey said. “Most people did not expect me to do this well.”
Shortly after Vickrey’s announcement, Ald. Smith released a statement announcing her re-election after a “hard fought campaign”.
“I’d like to thank Caroline Vickrey for her passion and hard work,” Ald. Smith was quoted as saying in the release. “She has been a committed community member for over twenty years, and she ran a strong campaign. We look forward to working with her for the betterment of our community.”