Fudge, a five-time mayor, was in front with 28 percent of the votes, followed by Okrepkie, an insurance broker, with 24 percent with three out of 11 precincts reporting.
"I feel confident," Fudge said. "I did not take this election for granted at all."
Growth was a focal point of the campaign in the county's fourth-largest city, where two downtown apartment projects that would add nearly 800 units are in the pipeline, along with a housing development on the town's periphery planned by an Indian tribe.
Fudge said the results were an endorsement of the current council's record. "I think we'll be able to work together going forward," she said.
Four years ago, Fudge noted, she and Okrepkie won without an election because they were the only two candidates.
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