At least two city council candidates were elected outright Tuesday, and a third may also take the last available seat as the ballot count continues.
Rich Vitiello, in his second try at a council seat, took a commanding lead in the primary as the early ballots were reported and currently has 22 percent of the vote.
“I’m absolutely humbled, shocked, surprised, still trying to process it,” said Vitiello, who often stood roadside and waved to potential voters during the months leading up to election day.
Voters told him they liked that he was consistent on economic development and was always approachable and listened to what they wanted from the city council. He said his goal was to reach the general election and was taken aback to be elected in the primary.
“I’m just shocked and thankful and look forward to serving the community,” he said.
He congratulated incumbents Henry Wade and Vincent Manfredi, who finished second and third in the field of eight candidates. Wade also received enough votes to be elected outright and does not have to go on to a general election.
“We’re ecstatic and very humbled,” Wade said.
Wade has been on the council since 2014. He said he knew it was always a possibility he could get elected outright in the primary and is thankful to voters for making that a reality. In greeting voters at a handful of polling places Tuesday, he said people were very positive and encouraging about his candidacy.
“Now we can get back to work,” Wade said.
Though there are still around 1,000 ballots still to be counted by Pinal County, Vitiello said he was confident Manfredi’s showing would remain consistent and he, too, would be elected in the primary. If so, that would cancel the need for a general election for the city council.
If not, Manfredi would go head-to-head with Bob Marsh, who finished fourth.
“While not all the ballots have been counted, I’m very happy with the votes so far,” said Manfredi, who is currently just over the threshold for outright re-election.
Current totals have Vitiello with 2,367 votes, Wade with 2,026, Manfredi 1,897, Marsh 1,520, Cynthia Morgan 1,183, Linette Caroselli 1,111 and Paige Richie 787.
So far, 99 votes were counted for a write-in. The registered write-in candidate is Leon Potter.
Vincent Manfredi is minority owner of InMaricopa.