Richard Arthur wins Neptune Beach City Council Seat 4 'by chance'

Deadlocked vote after election settled by drawing ping pong balls from bag

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – The Neptune Beach City Council race that ended with a tie vote finally has a resolution. Richard Arthur won a game of chance Saturday morning at the Supervisor of Elections office by drawing a higher numbered ping pong ball than his opponent, Rory Diamond.

It didn't take long -- Diamond won a coin toss to decide who would draw first and elected to choose second. Arthur pulled a 12 out of the bag and Rory drew a 4.

With that, months of campaigning and hard work came to an end.

"You just have to prepare mentally for either way because it can go either way. You can never prepare for a game of chance. You just have to go in with the best attitude either way however it turns out," said Arthur.

"The statute says a game a chance. I would have done a coin flip, because if it's good enough for the Super Bowl it's good enough for me. But ping-pong balls is just fine," said Diamond.

Both candidates agreed to the rules for the game of chance that Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland came up with. Holland said he thinks there are two other tied races in Florida from this election that would be decided by game of chance, but he it was historic for Duval County.

"We've seen so much. We've seen close races, as close as two votes, but I've never seen a tied race. So it's great to be a part of history," said Holland.

Now that Arthur knows that he will hold the council seat, he said he can focus on helping make Neptune Beach a better place to live.

"A lot of work to do. I am excited," said Arthur, who has already served for four years. "(This) gives me the opportunity to continue doing what I've been doing to improve the area."

With this race decided, Holland was able to certify all of the election results in Duval County from earlier this month.