UPDATED ON JULY 3: June 26 election has strong turnout, tight election for Bluff Mayor
A full week after the June 26 election, the race for Mayor in Bluff is still not completely cleared up.
Marcia Hadenfeldt and Ann Leppanen are within a handful of votes in a very tight race. Leppanen, a write-in candidate, pulled ahead in the latest results released by San Jun County Clerk John David Nielson. She currently has 74 votes counted, with 71 for Hadenfeldt.
In the machine count, “Write-In” received the most votes, which counted 72 votes for “Write-In” and 71 for Hadenfeldt.
On Friday, June 29, the clerk’s office completed a careful hand-count of the ballots and discovered that a name other than Leppanen’s was written on three of the write-in ballots. That appeared to swing the race in favor of Hadenfeldt.
However, a careful check of all of the ballots showed six ballots with Leppanen’s name written-in. The name was written, but the box for “Write-In” had not been filled in by the voter.
Nielson decided that the six ballots showed a voter intent to cast a vote for Leppanen, giving her six votes and a 74-71 advantage.
Supporters of Hadenfeldt have suggested that the six ballots should not have been counted since the box was not filled in.
The final canvass of votes will take place on July 10. Nielson expects that no more than a handful of votes remain to be counted.
In San Juan County Commission District One, Bruce Adams has won the Republican nomination with 59 percent of the vote. There is no Democratic candidate for the seat.
Kenneth Maryboy won the race for the Democratic nomination for Second District Commission seat with 52 percent of the vote. There is no Republican candidate for the seat.
The race was tight between the two candidates. Benally has been the Commission from the area for the past four years, while Maryboy served in the same seat for the previous eight years.
In the Republican primary for San Juan County Sheriff, Jason Torgerson received 69 percent of the vote to defeat challenger Cal Dean Black. Torgerson will face John Young in the general election in November.
Two school district races were pared to two candidates for the November general election, with Steven Black and Suzette Morris advancing to the general election in District 3, while Lucille Cody and Melvin Capitan Jr advance to the general election in District 4.
For the Bluff City Council, Jim Sayers, Brant Murray, Linda Sosa and Luanne Hook will serve.
The 1.5 year seats (two) on the Bluff City Council were won by Jim Sayers and Brant Murray.
The 3.5-year seats (two) onto eBluff City Council were won by Linda Sosa and Luanne Hook.
In Utah races, Mitt Romney defeated Mike Kennedy for the Republican nominee for US Senate with 72 percent of the vote, while John Curtis defeated Chris Herrod by a similar margin in the race for the Third Congressional seat.
The general election is set to take place on November 6. At the current time, there are no contested races for the three open seats on the Commission. However, Democratic candidate Willie Grayeyes, who was removed from the ballot after concerns were raised about his residency, has filed an action in federal court challenging his removal from the ballot.