Evergreen mayor claims runoff win close contest

EVERGREEN, Ala. (AP) - Evergreen Mayor Larry Fluker was declared
the winner of a hotly contested runoff with racial overtones, finishing with 1,028 votes to challenger Pete Wolff III's 1,026.

Two provisional ballots determined to be valid by the Conecuh County Board of Registrars gave the incumbent - Evergreen's first black mayor - the margin of victory. Wolff, who is white, said he will challenge the results. Results were announced Tuesday.

The campaigns divided the town racially, leading to charges of voter fraud from both sides. Of about 2,400 registered voters, 2,054 cast ballots in the Oct. 7 runoff, making turnout about 85 percent. More than 300 absentee ballots were cast.

The municipal election was held Aug. 26.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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