LaRuby May is the Ward 8 D.C. Council member.

The D.C. Board of Elections informally declared LaRuby May, a Democrat running for the D.C. Council Ward 8 seat, as the winner in her contest. May defeated her closest challenger, Trayon White, by 79 votes, according to elections board spokeswoman Denise Toliver.

May takes the D.C. Council oath of office with Ward 4 victor Brandon Todd (D) on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the John A. Wilson Building, according to a staffer who works for D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D). May thanked her supporters on a May 10 Facebook post.

“The campaign trail was a great ride,” May, who is an ally of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, said. “I love you all and am so glad we are the team who will move Ward 8 forward.”

May said that she is pleased her campaign stayed positive.

“One of the things that I am most proud of is that we executed our mission without ever going negative on any narrative,” she said. “There were many times when we were being attacked and getting sucked into the foolish analysis and negative debate would have been easy. But you didn’t do that, you took the high road and remained the bigger persons.”

May won the election with 1,955 votes while White had 1,876 votes with the other candidates trailing far behind. She had a 1.09 percent advantage over White and as a result, there will be no taxpayer-funded recount in Ward 8.

Nevertheless, White’s campaign manager, Sirraya Gant, said that a recount will be pursued.

“If we had just 20 more votes, we would have had an automatic recount,” Gant said. “As a result, we will pay for the recount, which comes out to $50 per precinct.”

Based on Gant’s assertions, the cost for a recount would come out to $850. Toliver said that the process of conducting the recount had not been determined at AFRO deadline.

White is a former Ward 8 D.C. State Board of Education member who stepped down from that position in March 2014 to take a fulltime position with the District government. A special election was held in July of that year for his successor and the victor was Tierra Jolly.

White decided to run for the D.C. Council position immediately after former D.C. Council member and four-term mayor, Marion S. Barry Jr., died in November 2014. Barry’s son, Marion C. Barry, opted to seek his father’s seat in January of this year, along with dozens of other people.

However, many political activists in Ward 8 considered White the protégé of Marion S. Barry’s and the likely successor on the council. The former mayor supported White’s successful runs for the Board of Education in 2011 and 2012.

White was supported by the Washington Teachers’ Union, the Jews United for Justice, former D.C. Democratic State Committee Chair Wanda Lockridge and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine.

May coordinated the mayor’s successful general election effort in Ward 8 and has close personal ties to Phinis Jones, a ward businessman who supported the political career of Bowser’s mentor, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. May’s campaign benefitted from Bowser’s contracts in the political and business world and had by far the most money of any her competitors.

White and Marion C. Barry have indicated that they will challenge May in the June 14, 2016 Democratic Party primary.