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By Steve Steiner
Executive Editor 

Githens Defeats Incumbent Pfeiffer in 11-Vote Squeaker

Recount Possible


Last updated 4/8/2020 at 11:58am

Steve Githens

As of 8:30 p.m., the unofficial result had City Commissioner Trish Burdin-Pfeiffer holding onto a slim lead, with 234 votes (49.58%) to Steve Githens' 222 votes (47.03%); perennial candidate Gerald J. Cochran had garnered 12 votes (3.3%). Not even 10 minutes later, with all ballots tallied, the lead shifted, with unofficial results resulting in Githens pulling off an upset. The final count show him winning by a scant 11 votes: 949 (47.83%) to Pfeiffer's 938 (47.28%); Cochran netted 97 votes (4.89%).

According to the Supervisor of Elections Office, the count includes mail-in ballots.

Again, as has been the norm, turnout was low, with only 1,984 ballots cast.

For the most part, the campaign was low key, especially on the part of Githens. Outside of signage and two mailings (one at the early stage of campaigning, the latter shortly before election day), Githens' campaign was "under the radar" compared to Pfeiffer's.

In comparison, Pfeiffer's campaign was a "full-on press," primarily with daily postings on social media, touting her efforts and accomplishments as both a city commissioner and a private citizen.

The campaign was not without controversy, though. Each concerned signage. At the beginning, a number of Githens' signs were placed on right of ways. After being notified, Githens set out to correct this situation. However, in the remaining weeks leading up to election day, charges were raised anew that his signs again were placed illegally. However, it was not raised by Pfeiffer.

In Pfeiffer's case, a number of her large signs were vandalized. One of the signs was at the corner of East Main Street and Floral Avenue. The other sign was noted near Simply Storage, which is owned and operated by Pfeiffer and her husband.

At presstime, requests for comment from Githens and Pfeiffer had yet to be received.

On his Facebook page, Githens wrote: "Thank you Bartow - for your support, for your trust and for your votes. I am honored to serve you!"

Author Bio

Steve Steiner, Executive Editor

Steve came out of a two-year retirement to helm Following a career in journalism/advertising/public relations --- at one point being a partner in an advertising/PR agency --- he shifted professions and focused on food service and hospitality before returning to journalism. As a journalist, rose from reporter to sections editor to managing/executive editor with newspapers in North Carolina, Mississippi and Florida. He is enjoying restoring a quality news site for his adopted hometown. Send him your story ideas.


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