Provisional ballots didn’t change the results of the Durham County Commission race, although final election counts show a narrower gap between the fifth- and sixth-place finishers.

On May 13, the Durham Board of Elections issued the official primary results, which included 1,896 approved provisional ballots.

Ten candidates ran for five seats. Michael Page, Becky Heron, Ellen Reckhow, Joe Bowser and Brenda Howerton were the top finishers, in that order.

Howerton received 25,199 votes, outpacing Fred Foster Jr., who placed sixth, by 554 votes. Without the provisional ballots, she won by 803 votes.

Fourth-place winner Joe Bowser picked up 475 votes in the provisionals. He trailed Reckhow, a 20-year veteran of the commission by 5,292 votes, according to the official tally. Without the provisional ballots, she won by a 5,767-vote margin.

Bowser’s comeback win surprised many political observers, who thought his political career was dead after his last term on commission, which was marked by allegations of favoritism.

The final results are as follows:

Michael Page39,216

Becky Heron33,776

Ellen Reckhow32,871

Joe Bowser27,489

Brenda Howerton25,199

Fred Foster Jr.24,645

Victoria Peterson20,664

Don Moffitt20,253

Josh Parker17,649

Doug Wright10,093