Costa Mesa council candidate Jay Humphrey conceded the race Friday afternoon in an announcement that declared he will not be seeking a recount of the Nov. 4 election results.
Humphrey came in 47 votes behind Mayor Jim Righeimer for the second of two open council seats, according to the results certified earlier this week.
The former councilman, who served from 1990 to 1994, had 7,477 votes to Righeimer’s 7,524.
During most of the ballot counting, Righeimer maintained his lead against Humphrey, though it got as low as 18.
Throughout the past few days, Humphrey said he has consulted with his supporters, election specialists and attorneys, and felt even with a recount — which would have cost thousands of dollars — it would not have resulted in a big enough change to nudge him ahead.
“It was certainly not big enough to justify spending the dollars to do a recount that won’t accomplish anything and won’t show a significantly bigger outcome,” Humphrey told the Daily Pilot.
He said he has “every bit of confidence in the registrar of voters. They have been very forthcoming with all the questions that I’ve had for them.”
Righeimer’s narrow win keeps his three-man voting bloc intact for at least the next two years. His supporters on the dais, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger and Councilman Gary Monahan, are not up for reelection until November 2016.
Humphrey and running mate Katrina Foley, a school board trustee who solidly achieved the most votes, campaigned on a platform that opposed the direction of the Righeimer-led council majority. Foley received 9,346 votes.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, Righeimer called Humphrey, who was sitting in the audience, an “absolute gentleman.”
Councilwoman Wendy Leece, who is termed out, also received a standing ovation from the audience and her fellow council members.
Humphrey, who called Righeimer on Friday to let him know he would not be seeking a recount, also thanked his supporters and voters.
“It has been a joy and a privilege to participate with and have them be participants with me,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’ve gotten more than anyone has a right to expect. My people have been the best.”
And what of Humphrey’s future plans?
“I’m going to be here, be part of this community and continue to share the word of people who are not being heard.”
Foley and Righeimer begin their new terms Dec. 2, when council members also will choose a new mayor from among themselves.