After making the race for Erie mayor a real contest, attorney John Persinger called Joe Schember Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his win.

He greeted and thanked a wall-to-wall crowd of supporters at Calamari's Tuesday night. They stayed around for hours, hoping the numbers may add up differently.

However, Persinger called the Erie County Board of Elections Wednesday morning and learned there are only about 100 outstanding votes, which was not enough to close the gap with Schember.

He said many Democrats told him at the polls they voted for a Republican for the first time.

He is proud of the race he ran.

"We set out to run a great race," said Persinger. "We think we did. We wanted to talk about the issues. We wanted to make sure people were aware of these issues that are affecting these neighborhoods and how we could be doing better here to reach our potential. We talked about that throughout the campaign, and we're not disappointed in anything about this race."

During the campaign, Persinger said he learned how many people are struggling and need help now.

"People who are concerned about the blighted properties next the their house, seniors who can't get out, professionals laid off, and workers who can't find good quality work. Children not receiving the educational opportunities they should receive. These are serious issues in the city," said Persinger. "That's why we got into this, and we hope these issues can be addressed."

Erie News Now asked Persinger if he would consider running again in four years or for another office. He said his focus was here and now because the city needs change right now.

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