CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A whirlwind political race in Cary is now heading to a runoff election, with District D Cary Town Council voters getting another chance to make history.
On election night, Sarika Bansal was initially thought to have won the three-way race outright, defeating Rachel Jordan and incumbent Ryan Eades. Because she would become the first Indian-American Cary councilmember in history, the election even made international headlines.
But as the final numbers came in, Bansal was just shy of the 50 percent mark, which entitled runner up Jordan to call for a runoff.
The runoff will cost the Town of Cary $125,000 to staff early voting and election day sites and print ballots for voters to return to the polls a second time.
Jordan is defending her decision to call for the runoff, believing she has a chance. She is touting her progressive ideals and endorsements from local Democrats and has been campaigning alongside Michelle Craig, who was elected to Council in District B.
"So many people I talk to want more transit, more environmental sustainability and yet our council does not reflect that," Jordan said.
She views those issues as a point of difference between herself and Bansal.
"She is unaffiliated, she is not interested in a Cary that works for everyone." Jordan said.
Bansal feels those criticisms are unfair.
"I think she's entitled to her views you can't put people in a box," Bansal said.
Bansal believes her being unaffiliated means she'll be better able to listen to viewpoints representing a diverse district at a time when Cary continues its rapid growth.
"I'm a business person, so I'm conservative in the sense of fiscal responsibility but socially I'm on the left side, so it is a fair balance that I have and I will always think about what is best for the people of the town, not what is best for me or my party," Bansal said.
Both are now making their final push for voters.
"We have a chance to have a majority progressive council in Cary which has never been true," Jordan said.
As for Bansal, she said many of her voters are first time voters, and many in the South Asian community have been inspired by her run.
"Now we know that we can do it, we want to run office, and if you can do it as an immigrant in this country, then definitely we can," Bansal said.
If both women get their core supporters out a second time, Bansal has a much easier path than Jordan. But one question is how supporters of incumbent Ryan Eades will vote.
Eades was appointed to the seat after Ya Liu was elected to the North Carolina House of Reprsentatives, but came in third in October to Bansal and Jordan.
Eades said he has congratulated both of them on making the runoff, but he will not be making any endorsement in the race.
Early voting begins October 19th at the Board of Elections with expanded locations added October 28th. Election Day will be November 7th.