After months of campaigning, the unofficial results in the battle to be Phoenix's next mayor are in and Wes Gullett and former City Councilman Greg Stanton may be headed for a runoff.
Tuesday night at 11:48 p.m. early ballots counted showed Stanton with 37.85 percent of the votes. The closest behind was Wes Gullett with 20.54 percent. Stanton needs 50 percent plus one to win so the campaign will be headed to a runoff election Nov. 8.
Anna Brennan had 4,910 votes, or 4.92 percent. Claude Mattox had 12,090 votes, or 12.12 percent. Peggy Neely had 12,622 votes, or 12.65 percent. Jennifer Wright had 11,442 votes, or 11.47 percent. The write-in candidate had 442 votes, or .46 percent.
At a celebration in downtown Phoenix Tuesday night Stanton told supporters this was only the beginning.
"We're getting started at seven in the morning tomorrow. We have more work to do," Stanton said to a crowd of cheering supporters for himself and City Councilman Michael Nowakowski. "Tonight what began as a small campaign at my family's kitchen table has become the biggest grassroots campaign to change City Hall.
"We believe that our next mayor must be a visionary, must have a strong vision for our city based on innovative ideas and creativity. In order to fully understand that making our city government more transparent makes our city government strong. We believe, the people in this room, that turning over the keys to City Hall to an insider-corporate lobbyist is a really bad idea."
Wes Gullett held his own celebration in Phoenix at Alexis Grill. In a statement Wednesday morning Gullett promised a laser focus on the economy, a safe city, strong neighborhoods and a government we can afford.
"Come November 8th, the voters of Phoenix will have a very clear choice to make, between two extraordinarily different candidates with different backgrounds and approaches to government," said Gullet in the statement. "I welcome the opportunity to compare our vision for Phoenix and the critical issues at stake, and challenge Mr. Stanton to as many debates as we can schedule during this 70 day sprint to the finish. I’ll start off by suggesting we meet one on one in each of the 15 villages of Phoenix during the next month, to give voters across the city the chance to compare our vision, records of achievement, and positions on the issues."
Neely, who was endorsed by City Councilman for District 6 Sal DiCiccio, did not hold a celebration but did release a statement.
"It is clear that there is growing frustration with government which can be seen from the national level all the way to the local level," Neely said the statement. "I share this frustration and attempted to make that clear in ‘The Phoenix We Want' and dedicating my efforts to jobs, balancing the budget, and increasing transparency. I stand by these plans and steadfastly believe reform is needed.
"Unfortunately, the frustration has grown to an anti-incumbent fervor that benefitted those who appealed as ‘outsiders.' I am, of course, disappointed in the outcome, but I remain committed to changing the way Phoenix does business even if it isn't achieved serving as Phoenix's Mayor."
In Council District 1 Thelda Williams was in the lead with 51.07 percent of the votes. In Council District 2 Jim Waring was in the lead with 51.83 percent of the votes. In Council District 3 Bill Gates was in the lead with 73.29 percent of the votes. Michael Nowakowski was in the lead for District 7 with 63.84 percent of the votes.
Council District 5 will head to a runoff. Daniel Valenzuela was in the lead with 42.19 percent of the votes while Brenda Sperduti followed with 24.84 percent.
Proposition 1 had 71.44 percent of the votes approving the measure while Proposition 2 had 61.49 percent voting no.