Election day: Finally!
Tomorrow night: No more campaign ads! Praise the Lord.
But today, Rim Country voters who haven’t yet voted by mail have one more chance to cast a ballot in one of the most high-stakes local elections in years.
The Roundup will continue its election coverage tonight, with updates on local results on our Web site all evening. On Friday, we’ll bring complete results and analysis.
Candidates and voters will gather tonight at both the Democratic and Republican headquarters on the Beeline Highway to watch the results trickle in.
In addition, some candidates and county officials will gather in the county offices next to the Majestic Mountain Inn on Highway 260 to wait for local results.
Finally, several hopefuls including sheriff candidate Adam Shepherd will gather at the Oxbow Restaurant for a “win, lose or draw” party.
The -residential race has gotten all the national attention and the nasty dead heat Arizona Senate race between former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona and Rep. Jeff Flake has dominated coverage in the state.
But the race also features an almost unprecedented sweep of hotly contested local races, from the state House to the school board.
Every one of the county offices have spurred sharply contested races, including the District 1 board of supervisors seat and the offices of county recorder, county assessor and county sheriff. The race for sheriff and assessor both feature candidates from the North County contending with candidates from South County, which could break South County’s stranglehold on all the countywide seats.
The race also drew a stunning nine candidates for three seats on the Payson School Board, plus contested races in the Pine School District.
One of the most unexpected contests comes in the Northern Gila County Sanitary District, which hasn’t held a contested election in years. This time, three candidates have challenged appointed incumbents, mostly on a platform based on a criticism of the sewer district’s impact fees whenever homes of businesses hook into the system.
North County also has a rare choice when it comes to seats in the Legislature. The three Democrats seeking the one Senate and two House seats have called for restoration of cuts to education. The Republican candidates have stressed a ballot measure that would attempt to undo the terms of statehood in hopes the Legislature take control of federal lands.
To watch the results from the county races come in during the course of the evening, you can go to the Republican or Democratic headquarters or check for the posted results on the county elections site at: gilacountyaz.gov/ government/elections/ballot_tabulation_-_live_video.php.
To find your polling place, call the Gila County Elections Department at (928) 402-4319.