Three Baltimore City Council candidates maintained their narrow Election Day leads after the first round of late-arriving mail ballots were counted Thursday.

The outcomes of these races — which include two incumbents fighting to hang on — will help determine the makeup of the next council. It’s possible that Mayor Brandon Scott, who declared victory in his reelection run Tuesday night, will end the week with even more council allies in addition to a friend in the likely new City Council president, Zeke Cohen.

At the end of canvassing Thursday, the council races were still too close to call after 14,853 additional mail-in ballots were counted. Elections workers will take Friday off and resume counting on Monday. About 9,000 votes remain to be counted, though more mail ballots could arrive.

Scott endorsed 8th District council hopeful Paris Gray, who competed in a crowded contest along with former state Del. Bilal Ali to succeed City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett. Gray, Burnett’s community outreach coordinator, widened his slight lead over Ali at the end of Thursday night, posting a thin 142-vote margin.

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Paris Gray (left) and Bilal Ali are both in a close race for City Council seat for the 8th District. (HANDOUT)

“Whether we should take the city forward, or go back into what it used to be: Hopefully moving forward wins,” Gray said Thursday at the city’s Board of Elections warehouse. “But no matter what, I’ll be everyone’s councilperson, make sure everyone’s taken care of.”

Ali, in a Thursday afternoon interview, said he felt confident the remaining ballots would skew toward him. He likened the race to a David and Goliath-style competition, with Gray holding advantages with endorsements and with City Hall insiders that Ali said he couldn’t match.

“Nobody thought that David … would be so competitive,” he said. “A lot of these people know me. I was their delegate. I have a track record; He doesn’t have any legislative experience.”

Scott did not endorse in the 11th or 12th District races, two other tight matchups that have yet to be called. In the latest round of Thursday canvassing, City Councilman Eric Costello maintained a slight edge over Marine veteran Zac Blanchard, who used the city’s newly instituted Fair Election Fund in the bid to topple the council powerhouse in South Baltimore’s 11th District.

Costello’s vote margin was not immediately clear. Baltimore City Board of Elections Director Armstead Jones said Thursday evening there were conflicting totals between what was reported by the city election board and the state election board Thursday. On Friday, the lead was reported at 87 votes.

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Blanchard said the close finish reflected his team’s internal data, which mapped a fiercely divided South Baltimore. “The only two people in Baltimore who thought this race would be close were me and my opponent,” he said Thursday morning at the elections warehouse.

Costello, who used more than $120,000 on his race in the final weeks before Election Day, spent Thursday at City Hall, where the council held hearings all afternoon. In a social media statement Wednesday, Costello said he felt “confident and grateful.” He endorsed former Mayor Sheila Dixon against Scott and spent heavily supporting candidates in other council races in addition to his own.

Zac Blanchard (left) and Eric Costello vie for City Council District 11. (HANDOUT)

In the newly redrawn 12th District, which includes East Baltimore, parts of Remington, Greenmount West and Harbor East, labor organizer Jermaine Jones challenged incumbent Robert Stokes Sr. for the seat and closed Thursday night with 211 more votes.

Jones also parked himself at the warehouse Thursday.

“We feel confident that the lead we have will widen,” he said.

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Stokes did not immediately respond to inquiries Thursday afternoon and did not attend afternoon hearings at City Hall.

Robert Stokes Sr. (left) and Jermaine Jones are both running for Baltimore’s 12th District City Council seat. (HANDOUT)

Meanwhile, in the city’s competitive 1st District race, Mark Parker declared victory Tuesday night in the fight to replace Cohen. He captured more than 50% of the support against competitors Liam Davis, the legislative affairs manager at Baltimore’s Department of Transportation, and Joseph Koehler, an accountant and neighborhood volunteer.

The other City Council incumbents looked poised to clinch renomination, including Scott supporters Sharon Green Middleton, Danielle McCray, John Bullock, James Torrence, Phylicia Porter and Ryan Dorsey. Councilmembers Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer and Antonio Glover also looked favored to win their races, while Odette Ramos and Mark Conway advanced in unopposed contests.

Baltimore Banner reporter Adam Willis contributed to this article.

This article has been updated to reflect updated results from state Board of Elections data.

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