Iron County election results become clearer in Cedar City mayoral race nail-biter, Parowan write-in upset

Incumbent Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards and challenger Garth O. Green at the start of Cedar City mayoral debate, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 26, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — According to the Iron County Clerk’s updated election counts issued Friday afternoon, challenger Garth O. Green has successfully unseated incumbent Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards by a margin of 50.8% to 49.2%.

Campaign signs for Maile Wilson-Edwards and Garth O. Green are posted on the hill outside SUU’s Hunter Conference Center, site of Cedar City mayoral debate, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 26, 2021 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Although Wilson-Edwards had initially held a slim 16-vote lead when Tuesday night’s preliminary results were released, Green overtook her the following day and was 119 votes ahead as of Wednesday night.

Friday’s results indicate that both candidates picked up almost exactly the same number of votes between Wednesday and Friday, with Wilson-Edwards adding 172 to her total and Green adding 171.

County-wide, there were approximately 500 mail-in ballots that were received and tabulated since Wednesday. Each had to have been postmarked on or before Nov. 1 in order to be valid.

“We don’t anticipate many more ballots to arrive that can be counted,” Iron County Clerk Jonathan Whittaker said in an email accompanying Friday’s updated results.

Final vote totals for each of the municipalities will be officially certified starting next week, with Brian Head’s canvass taking place on Tuesday, Cedar City and Paragonah on Wednesday, Parowan on Thursday, and Enoch and Iron County School District on Nov. 16.

The additional 513 votes that came in since Wednesday bumps the Iron County’s overall voter turnout percentage to 44.7%, or 12,716 of the county’s 28,452 registered voters.

The closest race in Iron County was for the second of Parowan City Council’s two open seats. 

Rochell Topham handily won the first seat with 589 total votes, but just two votes separated the second- and third-place finishers. As of Wednesday night, incumbent David Harris had moved into a two-vote lead over Sharon Downey, 511-509, but Downey then picked up another 10 votes to Harris’ six to take a 519-517 lead as of Friday.

Parowan’s mayoral election was also a remarkable race, with write-in candidate Mollie Halterman receiving 51.3% of the total vote to unseat incumbent Preston Griffiths and become the first female mayor in the town’s history.

Elsewhere in Iron County, three incumbent mayors won re-election in their respective cities or towns, with Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut holding off a strong challenge from write-in candidate Cam Findlay, Paragonah Mayor Todd Robinson earning a second term and Brian Head Mayor Clayton Calloway winning unopposed.

Incumbent Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards and challenger Garth O. Green at the start of Cedar City mayoral debate, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 26, 2021 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In Cedar City, Green, a political newcomer who thwarted Wilson-Edwards’ bid for a third term as mayor, said he was “very grateful and humbled by the process.”

Green expressed his appreciation for those who helped with his campaign. 

“I am grateful to my team who have worked tirelessly for nearly a year to help me win,” he told Cedar City News. “For my family who have been willing to go way beyond their comfort zone, and to my wife of 50 years who was my most avid supporter and worker.  Everyone has been amazing.”

Green also shared a message to the voters: “Many of you don’t know me personally. I look forward to meeting, becoming friends and working together to build our great community. The turnout for a midterm local election is gratifying. I believe that the people of Cedar are ready to move forward in making this an even better place to live.”

“There are many challenges ahead, and I look forward to getting after it,” he added. “I’m totally committed. Thank you Cedar; we have been given the ‘Green Light.’”

Incumbent Cedar City Councilman Scott Phillips, who won a second four-year term on the council by garnering more than a third of the overall votes in the four-way race, said he appreciates the “thousands of supporters and friends who share my vision for Cedar City and are willing to work with me on a path forward.”

Cedar City Council member Scott Phillips speaks during a candidates debate forum, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 19, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Phillips also expressed gratitude toward the three candidates who ran against him.

“I compliment my opponents for their caring and respectable way they campaigned,” Phillips said. “Cedar City is fortunate to have such capable people willing to run for council office.”

Phillips also said he was “humbled and thrilled” by the voter support he received.

“I will continue to foster a community of diverse ideas helping to create vibrant economic prosperity,” he told Cedar City News. “Cedar City is an extraordinary place and I view my role as a public servant to genuinely listen to the citizens and make the best-informed decisions for the sake of the entire city.”

Phillips said notwithstanding the many challenges the community faces, “I remain optimistic that if we all work together, we will find common ground and solutions to these challenges.”

“I am prepared to continue to move this city forward and fight for the best interest of all citizens,” he added. “Often it is the loudest voices that come before council, but generally, it is the quietest among us that need the most care.”

Cedar City Council candidate Ron Riddle speaks during a debate forum, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 19, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Ronald Riddle, a political newcomer, received the second-most votes in the Cedar City Council race and will be taking over the Cedar City Council seat being vacated by Ron Adams, who did not seek re-election. 

“Running for city council has been a great learning experience,” Riddle said. “I want to thank the people who supported me through my campaign, both financially and with words of encouragement and counsel.”

Riddle also expressed his appreciation to the voters for their support.

“My intention as a City Councilman is to listen, stand firm on my convictions, follow constitutional principles, follow the laws and ordinances set forth by the city, and work for the best of Cedar City,” Riddle said.

Lastly, Riddle also thanked his three opponents for running a “clean campaign.”

“Politics have a tendency to get ugly, and the kind of campaign we’ve experienced may be the exception to the rule,” Riddle said. “That is a testimony to the character of the people involved.”

Below are Iron County’s latest vote totals, updated as of Friday afternoon. Note that the percentage totals shown are calculated on a per-race basis, rather than as a percentage of all ballots cast. They still may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.

Iron County School District Bond Proposal

For the issuance of bonds 5,976 53.9%
Against the issuance of bonds 5,112 46.1%

Cedar City


Maile Wilson-Edwards 3,698 49.2%
Garth O. Green 3,816 50.8%

City Council (two seats)

R. Scott Phillips 4,700 35.3%
Carter Wilkey 2,468 18.5%
Ronald Riddle 3,494 26.2%
Derek Morton 2,670 20.0%

Brian Head

Mayor (unopposed)

Clayton Calloway 45 100%

Town Council (two seats)

Shaun Kelly 22 26.8%
Dennis D. Van Nostran 30 36.6%
Marty Tidwell 30 36.6%



Geoffrey L. Chesnut 828 54.4%
Cam Findlay (write-in) 670 44.0%
Write-in (other) 23 1.5%

City Council (two seats)

Robert E. Bromley 403 14.9%
Katherine A. Ross 946 35.0%
Richard A. Jensen 750 27.8%
Leonard M. Correa 602 22.3%



Daniel K. Abbott 102 45.1%
R. Todd Robinson 124 54.9%

Town Council (two seats)

Jessica (Jessie) Stewart 35 8.4%
Roger Jacobson  82 19.8%
Tom Milk 174 41.9%
Travis Isaacson 124 29.9%



Vickie L. Hicks 264 23.1%
Preston B. Griffiths 291 25.4%
Mollie Halterman (write-in) 586 51.2%
Write-in (other) 3 0.3%

City Council (two seats)

Sharon Downey 519 24.9%
David M. Harris 517 24.8%
James M. Harris 459 22.0%
Rochell Topham 589 28.3%

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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