Cedar City Mayor Wilson re-elected. Phillips wins 1 council seat; other victor still too close to call

Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson and City Council candidate R. Scott Phillips check their phones for results on Election Night, Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 7, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Billy Clouse, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson won re-election in Tuesday’s general municipal election, holding off a challenge from Ryan Durfee.

According to unofficial results posted Tuesday evening by the Iron County Clerk’s office, Wilson garnered 3,313 votes out of 4,380 cast, or 75.6 percent. Durfee received 1,067 votes, or 24.4 percent.

Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson gives her acceptance speech to supporters, Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 7, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Billy Clouse, St. George News

“I am beyond humbled and honored by the trust the community has placed in me to serve them for another four-year term,” Wilson said in her acceptance speech in front of a crowd of more than 100 supporters gathered at LaQuinta Inn for a post-election party in Cedar City Tuesday night.

“You never know what to expect with elections,” she said. “Until the votes are cast, you truly can’t take anything for granted, and you just have to work hard and hope that people will get out and support you.”

Durfee, a political newcomer who teaches at Cedar Middle School, sent out a message to his supporters conceding the election.

“Although I am disappointed not to have the chance to serve as mayor, I will, like I know we all will, look for ways to help make Cedar the town we can love and be proud,” Durfee said.

In the race for Cedar City Council, which had four candidates vying for two four-year terms, newcomer R. Scott Phillips received the most votes, with 3,207 votes out of 8,071 cast, or nearly 40 percent (voters could select up to two candidates on their ballot).

Phillips, who directed the Utah Shakespeare Festival for more than three decades, told supporters Tuesday evening he was “a bit overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support.

“I’m overwhelmed by the love that I got from everybody and the kind of response I got from people. I have been to every section of this town, and it reaffirmed for me what extraordinary people live here,” Phillips said.

During Phillips’ acceptance speech, he was quick to thank everyone who supported his campaign.

“Oh my gosh, we did it,” he said, adding, “I have to say ‘we’ because it was an army of people. And I’m hoping that’s what I can carry into decisions with the council. It shouldn’t just be five council people making decisions. It should be the citizens.”

While Phillips was the clear winner of one of the two available Cedar City Council seats, the other seat, which will go to the candidate receiving the second-most votes, is still too close to call. Incumbent council member Ron Adams currently is in second place with 2,211 votes, or 27.4 percent of the vote, while challenger Bruce Hughes is closely behind in third place with 2,174 votes, or 26.9 percent.

Rich Gillette finished a distant fourth in the Cedar City Council race, earning 479 votes, or 5.9 percent.

Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker said another vote count would be performed Thursday, with any outstanding ballots being added, including mail-in ballots that were postmarked by the Nov. 6 deadline. Each municipality will schedule its own final canvass over the next 10 days, he added.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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