WARREN - Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold was in the fight of her political life as newcomer Erica Royster nearly toppled the incumbent councilwoman in Tuesday's Democratic primary.
Saffold was the apparent winner with 51 percent of the vote compared to Royster's 49 percent in unofficial and incomplete results. Some provisional and mail-in ballots have yet to be counted.
During the campaign, Saffold described her role as a city council member as one of the most gratifying in her life. She was active in the campaign to get rid of massage parlors and reduce violence in the community.
Earlier this week, Saffold hosted an expert in placing surveillance cameras in cities.
"I am very grateful for this opportunity," Royster said. "The people have spoken. I still will be here to help my community in any way I can."
Royster said the closeness of the vote is a reminder that every vote counts and people need to go out and do their part, whether there are many issues on the ballot or just one.
"I've learned many things in this campaign," Royster said. "The most important is not to give up. You have to keep going. There are going to be periods of ups and downs, but you have to continue doing what you believe in."
Saffold could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.