ST. GEORGE – Often introducing himself as a “concerned citizen” during St. George City meeting for many years, citizen Ed Baca may now be Councilman Ed Baca, according to Tuesday night’s unofficial election returns.
Baca, who has been a fixture at council meetings for over a decade, came in third behind incumbents Jimmie Hughes and Bette Arial. Hughes took the lead with 3,783 votes (21.15 percent), Arial has 3,633 votes (20.31 percent), while Baca came in with 2,952 votes (16.5 percent). Baca was trailed closely by Gregg McArthur, who garnered 2,791 votes (15.6 percent).
“It’s nothing I’ve done,” Baca said. “It’s the people.”
On election night, Baca said he hadn’t been paying much attention to the polls, having spent part of the evening talking to a Boy Scout troop about citizenship. As for his potential win, he said, he will likely hold off on considering it a victory until the totals are made official.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Baca said. “We’ll see what the good Lord provides.”
Baca has long called for transparency and accountability in government and has described himself as a watchdog in relation to city actions and policy. Now that he could be on the other side of the podium at council meetings, Baca said that won’t change.
Councilwoman Arial will retain her council seat, actually being elected for the first time. Arial was appointed to the seat in January 2014 to fill the vacancy left by then newly elected Mayor Jon Pike.
“I’m humbled, delighted and very excited,” Arial said.
Arial said she has no agenda and will continue working to maintain the quality of life people have come to enjoy in St. George.
Now on the eve of a second term, Councilman Jimmie Hughes came out on top of the race, according to the unofficial tally, with 21.15 percent of the vote.
Hughes was unavailable for comment at the time of publication due to being en route to Ibigawa, Japan, as a part of the city’s delegation. For nearly 30 years, the two cities have engaged in a cultural exchange surrounding their respective marathons.
This will be Hughes’ first visit to Ibigawa on behalf of the city.
According to the unofficial results, voter turnout in St. George was 18 percent, with a total of 17,890 votes cast.
The official election results will be presented to the City Council in an upcoming meeting.
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