Butler, Kentucky, mayor’s race determined by coin toss

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Butler, Kentucky, mayor's race determined by coin toss

The mayor of a Kentucky city lost his reelection bid by the flip of a coin.

The rudimentary method was used in the city of Butler to break a tie between incumbent Greg McElfresh and his 25-year-old challenger, Mason Taylor — who both garnered 55 votes in Tuesday’s mayoral election.

Pendelton County Sheriff Edwin D. Quinn assigned heads to McElfresh and tails to Taylor before flipping the fateful draw.

“The coin circled around the floor about three times and spun and then it just flopped over on tails and I had this big exhale of relief,” Taylor told WCPO.

Kentucky law stipulates that split votes in an election must be broken by “lot,” or at random.

According to Taylor, who’s a member of the city council, it’s the second time Butler turned to a coin toss to choose a government leader. In 2018, the city council used the method to break a tie for its own election.

The 25-year-old mayor-elect works as a firefighter and paramedic in addition to his city council duties.

Hand ready to flip coin. Blue background.
Kentucky law stipulates that split votes in an election must be broken by “lot,” or at random.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“I want to reassure people that, going forward, my visions for the city are going to remain [the same as] the campaign promises that I ran on,” Taylor told WCPO, adding that he aims to increase revenue growth by expanding geographically and attracting new businesses.

“But I also want to make the city of Butler a place where my kids can grow up and my kids’ kids can grow up,” he said.

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