City Councilman Sal DiCiccio was ahead in the first election results released Tuesday night with 55 percent of the votes compared to Karlene Keogh Parks with 45 percent.
In a crowded room full of supporters at Donovan's he thanked all those who worked with him during the campaign.
"Phoenix won a big battle tonight," DiCiccio said. “Phoenix taxpayers said tonight we do not want to follow in the path of Detroit. We want accountability… Government unions spent over $1 million on this malicious race. We cannot have this type of stuff happening in the city of Phoenix. It's Washington-style politics... it's OK to have philosophical disagreements but it is not OK to have these kind of attacks.”
The race for the District 6 council seat has been heated. Union groups have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into attacks against DiCiccio, who is known for his tough reform plans.
"It'll be nice to go to the mailbox tomorrow and not worry what's in it," said DiCiccio's wife, Debbie. "Sal has been the king of the photoshop for the last few weeks, but he has never wavered in what he stands for. That's why he was reelected."
DiCiccio told supporters he has already made a call to union leaders to meet with them. In the next 60 days he promised to focus on domestic violence, homelessness, job creation and ending pension spiking.
Keogh Parks was greeted by applause Tuesday night from supporters meeting at Arcadia Tavern. Keogh Parks said while she did not win she hopes the close numbers send a message to DiCiccio.
“There is a big voice in Phoenix that said ‘You can’t discriminate. You can’t bully people, Sal,’” she said. “You have to pay attention to the people that matter; the fire department and the city employees and there’s a way to do it and you can do it with respect and dignity. You can do it with civility. That’s a huge message. Thousands of people voted for me and said they wanted a change.”
Among Keogh Parks’ supporters was Nicole Stanton, Mayor Greg Stanton’s wife. Mayor Stanton has endorsed Keogh Parks but he released a statement congratulating DiCiccio on the victory.
“I want to congratulate Jim Waring and Sal DiCiccio for their hard-fought victories to earn another term on the City Council,” he said. “We have incredible opportunities in Phoenix, and I look forward to working with each of them as we build a stronger city and a modern economy that works for everyone."
The first results released come from early ballots. DiCiccio had 16,490 votes while Keogh Parks had 13,694. There an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 ballots left to be counted. The numbers may change as more recent votes are calculated. Final results will have to be approved by the City Council.