CEDAR CITY — The field of Cedar City Council candidates has been trimmed in half, with six of 12 names making the cut in the municipal primary election results announced Tuesday night.
Although the sixth and final spot is still too close to call, the top five vote-getters advancing to the Nov. 5 general election ballot are challenger Tyler Melling, followed by incumbents Terri Hartley and Craig Isom, then challengers Don Oswald and Adam Hahn.
Coming in at number six on the list was Brittanie Parry with 545 votes, just six votes ahead of seventh-place Barry Short, who had garnered 539 votes as of Tuesday night’s count.
According to the initial unofficial results posted and sent out to media outlets Tuesday evening by Iron County Clerk Jonathan Whittaker, 3,505 Cedar City voters cast ballots in the primary, a turnout of approximately 29 percent. Voters were able to vote for up to three candidates; the total number of votes cast was 8,813, or an average of about 2.5 votes per ballot.
Whittaker said there were still approximately 100 ballots still to be counted from the drop box, plus 30 or so provisional ballots and an undetermined number that have yet to be delivered in the mail, as the postmark deadline was Monday.
“We will likely tabulate again on Friday,” Whittaker said.
Melling was the top vote-getter with 1,647, or 18.7% of the total, with nearly half of the ballot casters filling in the oval next to his name.
“I’m very humbled that 47% of voters cast one of their votes for me, a newcomer,” Melling told Cedar City News Tuesday night. “I believe I owe that in part to my family, especially my grandfather’s lifelong example of selfless service to this community.”
“I also owe much to the active voters that follow the issues and know we need thoughtful leadership to find common ground through this period of growth and change,” Melling said. “As the world changes, we can adapt while holding on to our roots.”
Melling attributed his campaign success to his “active support base that helped knock doors, donate funds and conduct research on policy.”
“As we head into the general election season, I hope to continue to serve the community and to find common ground with those who did not cast a vote for me to ensure their voices are heard,” Melling said.
Hartley received the second-most votes with 1,557, or 17.7%, while fellow council member Isom came in third with 1,338 votes, or 15.2%.
Rounding out the top five were Don Oswald in fourth place with 909 votes, or 10.3%, and Adam Hahn in fifth place with 729 votes, or 8.27 percent.
The six candidates who survive the primary will be vying for three available at-large seats on the five-member council, with each term lasting four years.
Eliminated from contention were candidates Chris Dahlin (450 votes), Stephanie Flores (319), T.J. Penrod (307), Danny Strand (255) and Carrissa Smith (159). A 13th candidate, Stephen Gwin, who had officially withdrawn from the race, still received 59 votes.
It appears that Parry and Short and their supporters will have to wait a few more days to see which of the two will make it onto the November ballot.
“I guess I’ll be waiting to see what happens,” Short told Cedar City News.
Most of the candidates had appeared at a public meet-and-greet event on the Southern Utah University campus on July 29, along with a 90-minute forum held Aug. 5 at the Courtyard Marriott, taking turns answering questions on various topics.
In the only other Iron County municipality that had a primary, Kanarraville’s race is also too close to call yet. The town will have four out of its five town board candidates advancing to November’s general election. Incumbent Tyler Allred led the way in the primary with 62 votes, with fellow incumbent Stoney Shugart receiving 60. Challenger Michael Humes was third with 55 votes, but only one vote separates the fourth and fifth-place candidates, with Mandi Williams receiving 40 votes to Sandy Fullman’s 39.
A total of 134 of Kanarraville’s 241 registered voters cast ballots, a turnout of 55.6 percent, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results released by the Iron County Clerk’s office.
Two other candidates who’d previously filed to run for town council, Scott Winger, and Velrina Geraghty, both withdrew from the race.
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