Thursday, July 18, 2024

Election Commission board members and staff prepare to announce contest results Nov. 7 in Cambridge. (Photo: Marc Levy)

There will be no recount for a School Committee seat in Cambridge, as candidate Andrew King opted to let a 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline pass without a challenge.

That means Richard Harding will be reseated on the six-member committee in January after a six-year absence; he’d served seven previous terms on the committee ending in 2017.

There was only an eight-vote margin of difference between Harding and King as Election Commission workers wrapped up a count Friday, the latest in turnarounds that saw Harding elected Nov. 7 but unseated temporarily by King as counts proceeded Nov. 9. In terms of No. 1 votes on Cambridge’s ranked form of ballots, Harding had 1,765 to King’s 1,879, and analyses of a potential recount showed a knife-edge balance with Harding winning 51.4 percent of the time in 36 reruns of the election through commission software.

“I’m just very humbled and honored to have made it this far, and I’m very grateful for the election workers for their countless hours of work It’s been a roller coaster, but I just trust the election process,” King said Wednesday by phone. “And I look forward to continuing to advocate from the outside.”

Though the decision against petition for a recount was at times difficult, King said, he made it conscious of the state of national politics, in which candidates refuse to accept that they lost.

“That was definitely a factor as well, just given the national political climate,” King said. “It’s difficult for both candidates. But I have a lot of respect for my fellow candidates and I look forward to working with them whether on or off the council.”

He hoped to build an educational justice movement in Cambridge with families, educators and students across the city, King said.

The School Committee to be sworn in after New Year’s is Rachel Weinstein, Elizabeth Hudson, David Weinstein (no relation to Rachel Weinstein), Caroline Hunter, Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal and Harding. The city’s mayor is the committee’s leader and seventh member.

A recount petition requires at least 50 signatures in support. In 2013, the commission agreed to a recount petition from city councillor Minka vanBeuzekom when challenger Nadeem Mazen was 14 transfer votes ahead.

An attempt was made Wednesday to reach Harding by phone for comment. The phone’s mailbox was full and not accepting messages.

John Hawkinson contributed to this report.