CEDAR CITY — Incumbent Cedar City Council member Ron Adams will keep his seat another four years, according to updated vote counts issued Thursday afternoon by the Iron County Clerk’s office.
When the initial results were first posted Tuesday evening after the polls closed on Election Day, Adams had received the second-most votes (2,211) in the City Council race, but challenger Bruce Hughes had received 2,174, making the race too close to call.
However, Thursday’s updated vote totals, which include an additional 214 ballots cast in the Cedar City races, show that Adams extended his lead over Hughes from 37 votes to 49 votes. Thursday’s totals show Adams with 2,313 votes (27.4 percent) to Hughes’ 2,264 (26.8 percent).
R. Scott Phillips, the winner of the other Cedar City Council seat, came in first place out of the four candidates with 3,374 votes (40 percent), while Rich Gillette finished in fourth and last place with 494 votes (5.8 percent).
In the Cedar City mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Maile Wilson defeated challenger Ryan Durfee by a 3-to-1 margin, with Wilson receiving 3,472 votes (75.6 percent) to Durfee’s 1,119 votes (24.4 percent).
“I am very excited to take the city through the next four years. I worked very hard on this campaign and the voters responded,” Adams told Cedar City News Thursday evening. “It was a very close race and this shows why every vote counts. I am looking forward to using my eight years of experience on the council to help when making critical decisions with the growth that we will see in the next few years. I am very thankful to serve Cedar City for another term.”
Hughes conceded defeat in a congratulatory message sent to Cedar City News Thursday, which said: “My congratulations to Mayor Wilson, Scott Phillips and Ron Adams on their opportunity to serve our great city for the next four years. I think Scott is an exciting addition to the group. I wish to thank all of my supporters for their encouragement in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The county clerk’s office said Thursday’s updated totals reflect additional provisional, absentee and/or mail-in ballots that came in after Nov. 7, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 6. The latest totals remain unofficial until each city or town officially conducts its own canvass and ratifies the final counts, Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker said.
The updated vote totals changed the outcome of just one municipal race in Iron County: the second Parowan City Council four-year seat now has Patti Vesely as the winner with 437 votes to Sharon Downey’s 434. In Tuesday’s initial vote count, Downey had 428 votes and Vesely had 424. An additional 32 ballots were added to Parowan’s races (voters could choose up to two council candidates). Thus, since Tuesday, Vesely picked up 13 more votes while Downey added just six.
In another close Iron County race, incumbent Paragonah Mayor Connie Robinson initially trailed challenger R. Todd Robinson by just three votes on Tuesday, with Todd Robinson holding a 98-95 lead. Thursday’s update added six more ballots to that race, with Todd Robinson receiving four additional votes and Connie Robinson receiving two, making Todd Robinson the unofficial winner by a 102-97 margin.
In addition, the mountain community of Cedar Highlands held its first-ever election, paving the way for the town’s planned incorporation on Jan. 1. Steven C. Swann was elected as Cedar Highlands mayor, with Linda Stetzenbach and Paul Starks each winning two-year council terms and Beth Joanne Gaines and Susan Allman each winning four-year council terms.
A total of 61 of Cedar Highlands’ 80 registered voters (76.3 percent) cast ballots in the election. Iron County Commissioners are scheduled to convene in a special meeting in order to officially ratify the Cedar Highlands results Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Festival Hall in Cedar City.
Thursday’s updated vote totals also included an interesting numerological quirk: 999 people cast votes in the Parowan mayor’s race, with challenger Preston Griffiths receiving 555 votes to win the election over incumbent Donald Landes, who received 444 votes.
Iron County’s latest totals show a countywide turnout of 46.59 percent in the 2017 municipal elections, with 6,184 of 13,274 registered voters casting ballots. The highest turnout for any city in Iron County was in Kanarraville, where 86.9 percent of registered voters cast ballots (199 out of 229 voters). The lowest turnout was in Cedar City, where 4,660 of 11,134 eligible voters cast ballots, or 41.9 percent.
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