While the Cave Creek mayor and five Town Council candidates have garnered enough votes to avoid a runoff, Thomas McGuire remains on the cusp of clinching the sixth and final seat.
Candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected outright to the council. McGuire, an incumbent, has not yet cleared that bar, according to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. But 79 ballots remain to be verified and counted, and those could put McGuire over the top, said Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek on Wednesday.
“There’s no guarantee,” Dyrek said.
So far, 633 ballots have been tallied for Cave Creek.
Incumbent Mayor Vincent Francia triumphed by a large margin in Tuesday’s election, and incumbent council members Kim Brennan, Ernie Bunch, Richard K. Esser, Gilbert Lopez, and Grace Meeth have received enough votes to avoid a runoff in the May 15 general election, Dyrek said.
Official results from the election are expected at 5 p.m. Friday.
In neighboring Carefree, Town Clerk Betsy Wise said 744 ballots have been tallied so far. As it stands right now, incumbents Bob Coady, Wayne Fulcher, Greg Gardner, Lloyd Meyer, and David Schwan have received more than 50 percent of the vote, and therefore would avoid a runoff. Newcomers Bob Gemmill and Glenn R. Miller would be elected outright as well.
But Wise said an estimated 200 ballots remain to be counted, and that could have an impact on the results. Coady received the fewest votes of the top seven, and if it came to a runoff, he might have to face the next-highest vote-getter, Gary Hayward.
Coady filed a protection order against Hayward late last year, claiming Hayward threatened him verbally and physically at a heated Town Council meeting and then again at a town Christmas party. Hayward maintains Coady exaggerated their disagreements. A judge later lifted the protection order and outgoing Mayor Ed Morgan testified on Hayward’s behalf, saying he was happy to see Hayward’s name cleared and credibility restored to the council.
Cave Creek mayor
• Vincent Francia (i) 503 Kimberly Versage 122
Cave Creek Town Council
(six open seats)
• Kim Brennan (i) 401
• Ernie Bunch (i) 390
• Richard K. Esser (i) 415
• Gilbert Lopez (i) 441 Thomas McGuire (i) 338
• Grace Meeth (i) 418 Robert C. Miller 255 Bob Moore 252
Carefree Town Council
(seven open seats – council members determine mayor)* Bob Coady (i) 383 Wayne Fulcher (i) 427 Greg Gardner (i) 430 Bob Gemmill 441 Gary Hayward (i) 363 Lloyd Meyer (i) 410 Glenn R. Miller 423 Jim Peirce 260 David Schwan (i) 391 David Burnell Smith 316 John Traynor 314 (i) Denotes incumbent Unofficial election results as of Tuesday night. Candidates without a check mark may be headed to a May 15 runoff. Final results will be released by Friday.