Published: Aug 29, 2010 8:15 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 29, 2010 5:09 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Incumbent Lee County judge Archie Hayward will remain in office following a recount in a closely contested race.

Lee County elections officials say Hayward slightly increased his vote total over challenger Eric Feichthaler, with the final vote difference of 192 votes, or 0.28%, compared to 0.26% after Tuesday's election.

In a statement, former Cape Coral mayor Feichthaler congratulated Hayward on the win, saying, "In a political season plagued with accusations, mudslinging, and negativity, it was a pleasure running an issues-oriented, clean campaign with no negative advertising. I thank Judge Hayward and his supporters for conducting themselves in a similar manner".

The slim margin following the original vote led to an automatic recount under Florida law.