Close, but not recount close

By Jason Hawk -



A mere five votes have decided the race in Amherst city council’s fourth ward.

Republican Matt Nahorn’s extremely narrow election night win has been validated after a weeks-long certification process.

Hours after the polls closed on Nov. 7, unofficial results put him up 397-391 over Democrat Martin Heberling III.

Several provision and absentee ballots — received at the last minute, just inside the legal window for voting — were added to the tally, said Paul Adams, director of the Lorain County Board of Elections.

The final count: Nahorn 402, Heberling 397.

The split was just outside the range that would have triggered an automatic recount.

Under state law, that difference must be less than half a percent. With middling voter turnout — 799 ballots cast in the race, or 41 percent of registered voters — the split was 0.62 percent.

Nahorn will be sworn in at the start of the year, taking over for longtime fourth ward rep Jennifer Wasilk.

She gambled by giving up her seat of 18 years to run for council president, ousting Democrat John Dietrich, who also had held his position 18 years.

“Our campaign worked diligently and for an extended period of time to gain the trust of Amherst residents through positive messaging,” Nahorn said of his win. “We did a lot of walking house-to-house. Certainly on election night we were excited to see we were ahead, but by a very small margin.”

Now he looks forward “to honoring the past while looking to the future” — his campaign slogan. Planks include encourage small business growth, respecting the local environment, and honoring Amherst’s history.

Nahorn said he’s excited “to make sure the residents’ voices, the people I’m representing, are heard.”

Constituents can reach him at or 440-787-7507.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.


By Jason Hawk