YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It will be later this month before we know who won a hotly contested Youngstown City Council race. It was something Amber White went into knowing it wouldn’t be easy.

“I knew that I had my work cut out for me,” White said.

The mother of pre-schoolers ran as an independent candidate against two-term Democrat Basia Adamczak for the Seventh Ward Youngstown City Council seat and now leads by 18 votes, unofficially.

“We still have those provisional that have to be checked, and those numbers gotta come in,” White said.

Although Adamczak did not want to talk about the race until the count is final, White, who spent Wednesday morning picking up her campaign signs, says Democrat party leaders challenged her at every turn.

“I was, obviously, the biggest target. I was the biggest threat there. They came at me hard,” White said.

White ran as a write-in campaign for mayor two years ago but in losing that race, she says she learned some valuable lessons. One was to focus her message on those residents and voters who were actually interested in the outcome.

“Anybody can put a sign in their yard, but you’ve got to make that effort to get down there and make your vote count,” White said.

If the results stay in her favor, White says she already has her priorities.

“I already have a notebook of different types of safety issues,” she said.

The final count could be released later this month.