Another election day has come and gone in Columbia, but the race to fill the council seat from District 3 is only beginning.
Candidates Moe Baddourah and Daniel Coble are heading for a runoff election in two weeks; after neither reached the 50% mark Tuesday.
Turnout, as expected, was low. Only 12% of registered voters went to the polls.
USC Research Associate Dennis Lambries said there were many reasons for that.
"Vacation for a lot of folks with Easter break coming up. It was an off year election as there was no national election going on, no primaries, no mayoral canditate election."
The margin is too close to call. Baddourah leads Coble by about 60 votes. Third place candidate Jennifer Isgett and Michael Miller; who came in fourth, will not be a part of the runoff.
"The two candidates are relatively new" said Lambries. "It is a matter of getting name recognition. So it does not surprise me in a three way race with no well known, inexperienced candidates, that it was close."
Both men have their supporters. Baddourah is a restaraunt owner catering to businesses. Coble is the sone of former mayor Bob Coble and a former law student. His main focus is helping neighborhoods grow. Bothe know the importance of keeping and expanding their core supporters; as turnout for the runoff April 17th is expected to be even lower.Coble said he is already starting.
"We're going to continue to stay out there, knock on doors, make phone calls. And hopefully we will have a few debates. The issues will emerge and people will see that there are clear differences between myself and my opponent."Baddourah was unable to speak with WACH Fox, but has agreed to speak Thursday.