Updated results show Michael Laws is just 21 votes from winning a seat on the Otago Regional Council.
The controversial former MP and broadcaster, who now lives in Cromwell, ran for the regional council in the Dunstan Constituency.
Mr Laws, who was mayor of Whanganui for six years, said he wanted to re-energise the council.
The council's returning officer, Pam Jordan, said at least 100 special votes were still to be counted.
She said the final result would not be made public until at least Thursday.
Meanwhile, special votes have changed the election of an Invercargill city councillor.
On Saturday, preliminary results had sitting councillor Graham Sycamore returned by a margin of three votes over another sitting councillor, Lindsay Abbott.
But after special votes were counted, the situation has reversed, with Mr Abbott elected in Mr Sycamore's place for the 12th councillor seat.
The final margin was six votes.