Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio came up short in his bid to unseat Fountain Hills Mayor Ginny Dickey, but the race was worth watching to the end as he closed the gap to 213 votes.
The final results on the Aug. 2 election released by Maricopa County on Wednesday settled that race, although Arpaio told The Arizona Republic that he's "not going to concede (and) that's a fact," citing the close margin and debunked claims of voter fraud in the 2020 General Election.
Regardless, Wednesday's vote tallies show who won outright and who is headed to runoff elections in cities and towns across metro Phoenix.
Nonpartisan mayoral and council candidates had to reach specific voting thresholds in the primary election to avoid runoffs between the top vote-getters in November. The exact formulas vary by city.
For races continuing to Nov. 8, the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 11. Maricopa County voters can check their status and register online at BeBallotReady.Vote.
Here's how the election played out in cities with competitive mayoral and council races.
Scottsdale City Council
Scottsdale will see just one runoff race after incumbents Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead won two of three open City Council seats outright.
Earning enough votes to avoid a runoff is a rare feat for candidates in Scottsdale, City Clerk Ben Lane said. But Littlefield and Whitehead held consistent leads throughout vote tallying despite a busy ballot with five other challengers.
Whitehead said she plans to focus on infrastructure funding, water conservation and development policies designed to “preserve” Scottsdale in her next term. Littlefield said she expects short-term rental regulation will be a focus for the council, as well.
Barry Graham, who has served on the city’s Planning Commission since 2020, will face off against businesswoman Pamela Carter for the final council spot. Graham led Carter by thousands of votes but didn't meet the threshold to win outright.
He chalked up the large margin to voters wanting “somebody who's experienced that they can trust to protect the city's character.”
“That was the way I interpreted those results,” Graham said. “I've got more experience within the city than any other non-incumbent candidate, having served on boards and commissions for the past decade.”
Graham plans to keep pushing his platform, which centers around “protecting Scottsdale's character” and “promoting tourism,” ahead of the November election.
“We are making no assumptions. We're taking nothing for granted,” he told The Republic. “We're going to keep working to earn votes and get support.”
Carter, who has also taken a stance against new development in the city, plans to ramp up her campaign efforts. She said Littlefield’s endorsement of Graham was “a factor” in the vote gap, adding that she is still “very happy with my results."
“We are contacting all of our volunteers and coordinating as many activities (as possible),” she said. “I want to be out in the community meeting the voters from now until November. We don't stop. We just keep the train moving.”
Mesa City Council
Mesa's District 4 race will continue into November as incumbent Jenn Duff and newcomer Trista Guzman-Glover go head-to-head.
Duff led the vote count in District 4 but was just shy of the majority vote needed to win outright. She said she would focus her disappointment on running a successful runoff campaign in the general election.
Tight races aren't new for Duff. She won her first term on council in a tight runoff race in 2018.
Guzman-Glover said she's excited to continue in a runoff and sees an opportunity to reach out to a larger voter base in the general election.
District 4 covers central and downtown Mesa.
In southeast Mesa's District 6, the city's only other competitive race, Scott Somers topped his opponent to win outright. He will be seated in January, replacing outgoing Councilmember Kevin Thompson.
Gilbert City Council
Yung Koprowski, Jim Torgeson and Chuck Bongiovanni garnered enough votes to win City Council seats, while Bill Spence and Bobbie Buchli are headed to a runoff.
The town saw 10 candidates compete for four open Town Council seats.
“It would have been much more enjoyable to have finished out in the primary,” said Spence, who came in just ahead of Buchli, but short of the threshold for an outright win.
Spence said he’ll continue to campaign and get his messaging out that he is a candidate that will make data-driven decisions. The retired Naval lieutenant commander and nuclear engineering officer said he looks forward to a larger pool of voters in the general election.
Spence briefly served as an appointed council member in 2020.
Buchli, a real estate broker, said she would have rather have “sealed the deal” in the primary election, but she’s excited to continue into the fall race.
“I feel strong and good,” she said.
One of her top priorities for the town is conducting studies for the remaining land as Gilbert approaches buildout by 2030, she previously told the Republic.
Races settled without runoffs from Fountain Hills to Chandler;
Despite close races, candidates in many communities avoided any runoffs.
The Fountain Hills mayoral race was a nail-biter, but Dickey was able to stay ahead of Arpaio. The three council seats in Fountain Hills went to Brenda Kalivianakis, Hannah Toth and Allen Skillicorn, who all avoided runoffs.
In Chandler, Mayor Kevin Hartke won a second term over challenger Ruth Jones by a wide margin.
The race for three spots on the City Council was closer, but Jane Poston and incumbent Matt Orlando handily secured two seats and Angel Encinas edged out Darla Gonzalez for the third.
Nick Haney won in Surprise, leading a three-way race to represent the city's sprawling District 1, which covers the city's northernmost reaches.
Election guide: 2022 primaries
A tight contest for three seats on Goodyear’s City Council will not be headed to a runoff election after incumbents Wally Campbell and Brannon Hampton and newcomer Vicki Gillis secured enough votes to win outright. Gillis edged out fellow newcomer Benita Beckles for the third seat.
Appointed Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo, who faced a write-in candidate in the race for mayor, easily won election to the position.
In Tolleson, three incumbents: Jimmy Davis, Clorinda Erives and Linda Laborin retained their seats and avoided the need for a runoff election.
In Cave Creek and Carefree, which send their entire councils to the ballot every two years, the town clerks said no runoffs are slated.
Carefree's six council seats went to Sheila Amoroso, Cheryl Kroyer, Tony Geiger, Michael Johnson, Vince D'Aliesio and Stephen Hatcher. Sitting Councilmember John Crane won the race for mayor.
In Cave Creek, Bob Morris won the mayor's seat by a sizable margin, while council positions were won by Kathryn Royer, Thomas McGuire, Tom Augherton, Bryan "Dusty" Rhoades, Ernie Bunch and Paul Eelkema.
Paradise Valley's town clerk confirmed there will be no runoffs in that town, either, although those races weren't nearly as close as others in the northeast Valley.
Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner won reelection and the the three open council seats went to Anna Thomasson, Ellen Andeen and Christine Labelle.
Republic reporters Corina Vanek and Endia Fontanez contributed to this article.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arpaio loses mayoral; other wins and runoffs in Phoenix area cities