It’s (un)official: Incumbents retain city council seats

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Incumbent City Councilmembers, from left, Vincent Manfredi, Henry Wade and Rich Vitiello, will retain their seats upon the County's certification of results Friday. [Bryan Mordt]

Incumbent city councilmembers Vincent Manfredi, Rich Vitiello and Henry Wade retained their seats as the final votes were counted in the race for three open city council seats Wednesday.

Vitiello led the balloting with 5,028 votes, good for 28% of the tallies. Manfredi finished second with 4,774 votes (27%), and Wade locked down the final spot receiving 4,375 votes (25%). Local Realtor Adam Leach finished fourth with 3,579 votes (20%), nearly 800 votes shy of winning a seat on the council.

All three incumbents received enough votes to avoid another election in November.

Voters could choose up to three of the four candidates on their ballots, and a total of 17,860 ballots were cast in the election.

The winners will rejoin their colleagues – Amber Liermann, Bob Marsh and Nancy Smith – whose terms are not up until 2024.

The city currently is without a permanent mayor, with Manfredi serving as interim mayor since Christian Price’s June 30 resignation. The city council is expected to choose its next mayor at its meeting Tuesday.

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday to certify the results.

Update: Aug. 8, 2022 (7:04 p.m.)

With each release of counted ballots by Pinal County, the Maricopa City Council picture gets clearer as the incumbents continue to stretch their lead over the challenger in an effort to retain their seats. Adam Leach is now 758 votes behind Councilmember Henry Wade for the third and final seat.

City council election results as of Monday evening.

Update: Aug. 8, 2022 (1 p.m.)

The race for three open spots on the Maricopa City Council is getting closer to a decision, with the three incumbents holding a healthy lead over a lone challenger.

Councilmember Rich Vitiello continues to lead the balloting with 4,292 votes and 28.06% of the vote. Interim Mayor Vincent Manfredi is a close second with 4,113 votes (26.89%). The third incumbent, Henry Wade, is running third with 3,742 votes (24.47%), comfortably ahead of city Realtor Adam Leach, who sits at 3,059 votes (20%).

Candidates must win 50% plus one of the total votes cast in order to assume a council seat directly from the primary. Currently, Vitiello, Manfredi and Wade exceed that margin, so they would retain their seats without having to go to the general election.

Voters could choose three of the four candidates on their ballots, as there were three open seats.

There have been 15,294 ballots counted in the council election as of 11 a.m. Monday.

Although the election was held six days ago, problems with the ballots from the Pinal County Elections Department have caused delays, confusion and consternation among both voters and candidates. The county’s director of elections, hired in March, was removed from the post days after the election.

According to James Daniels, Pinal County’s director of communications and marketing, there is no way to determine exactly how many ballots remain uncounted in the council race.

“It’s not possible to put a number specifically on Maricopa since all the municipal-only ballots are grouped together,” Daniels said. “But I can tell you that there are approximately 3,500 total municipal-only ballots left to count across all seven cities and towns (that were affected by the ballot issues) but like I say, we won’t know how many of these are for Maricopa.”

The county is releasing voting updates twice daily; the next update is expected Monday evening. InMaricopa will provide updates as further information becomes available.

Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is co-owner of InMaricopa.

Update: Aug. 7, 2022 (7:07 p.m.)

Another 2,153 votes were tabulated early Sunday evening in the race for Maricopa City Council. But the additional ballots have done little to change the complexion of the contest with the number of uncounted ballots dwindling.

Challenger Adam Leach still trails incumbent Councilmember Henry Wade for the third open seat by 690 votes, a margin that’s slightly widened.

Through Sunday evening, Pinal County Elections has counted 15,180 votes cast in the City Council race. (Each voter can vote for up to three candidates.) Incumbent Councilmember Rich Vitiello and Interim Mayor Vincent Manfredi lead comfortably with 4,255 and 4,080 votes, respectively. Wade has 3,724 votes and Leach has 3,034 votes. Write-in candidates have received a combined 87 votes.

The top three vote-getters are on pace to remain on City Council without having to hold a general election.

Relatively few votes are left to count with a little under 87 percent of the precincts reported.

Update: Aug. 7, 2022 (3:38 p.m.)

Another 1,266 votes have been counted since Saturday in the race for Maricopa City Council. But the additional ballots have done little to alter the arc of the contest with the number of uncounted ballots dwindling.

Challenger Adam Leach still trails incumbent Councilmember Henry Wade for the third open seat by 540 votes, a margin that widened since Saturday.

Through Sunday afternoon, Pinal County Elections has counted 13,027 votes cast in the City Council race. (Each voter can vote for up to three candidates.) Incumbent Councilmember Rich Vitiello and Interim Mayor Vincent Manfredi lead comfortably with 3,652 and 3,531 votes, respectively. Wade has 3,153 votes and Leach has 2,613 votes. Write-in candidates have received a combined 78 votes.

The top three vote-getters are on pace to remain on City Council without having to hold a general election.

The Elections Department said another update could come as early as Sunday evening.

Update: Aug. 6, 2022 (7:56 p.m.)

So far, Pinal County Elections has counted 11,761 votes cast for the Maricopa City Council race. (Each voter can vote for up to three candidates.) Challenger Adam Leach (2,358 votes) has fallen further behind in his quest to unseat an incumbent and now trails Councilmember Henry Wade (2,832 votes) by 474 votes.

Councilmember Rich Vitiello and Interim Mayor Vincent Manfredi comfortably lead the pack with 3,297 and 3,206 votes, respectively. Write-in candidates have received a combined 68 votes.

The top three vote-getters are on pace to earn remain on City Council without having to hold a general election.

The Elections department estimates 9,000 ballots remain uncounted county-wide. Another update is expected tomorrow.

Update: Aug. 4, 2022 (8:05 p.m.)

Pinal County Elections released more Maricopa City Council results this evening, more than doubling the number of votes counted through Wednesday morning.

All four candidates continue to have received enough of the total ballots cast to avoid a general election, meaning the top three vote-getters – currently incumbents Rich Vitiello, Vincent Manfredi and Henry Wade – would be declared the winners.

Challenger Adam Leach is 381 votes behind Wade.

All tallies are unofficial.

Pinal County spokesman James Daniels said the counts of additional ballots will be released every evening until the tabulation is complete. He expects the counting to last until Tuesday.

It is unknown how many ballots are left to count.

Update: Aug. 3, 2022 (1:05 p.m.)

Three City Council incumbents appear to be on their way to reelection in Tuesday’s primary.

With 13 precincts reporting, incumbent Councilmembers Vincent Manfredi, Rich Vitiello and Henry Wade are leading challenger Adam Leach for three open seats.

The tallies are unofficial and it is unclear how many more votes remain to be counted. Historically, early ballots make up the majority of ballots in Maricopa and are counted after in-person ballots, often days later.

Manfredi leads with 1,363 votes followed by Vitiello (1,342), Wade (1,052) and Leach (965). Twenty-two write-in votes were cast.

Update: Aug. 3, 2022 (9:35 a.m.)

Preliminary results for the Maricopa City Council race have (finally) been released by Pinal County.

With 60% of the city’s precincts reporting, incumbent council members Vincent Manfredi, Rich Vitiello and Henry Wade are well positioned to retain their seats, but challenger Adam Leach remains within striking distance.

Manfredi leads with 931 votes followed by Vitiello (873), Wade (756) and Leach (657). Twelve votes were cast for write-ins.

Aug. 3, 2022 (2:12 a.m.)

The Pinal County Elections Department had not released results of the Maricopa City Council election as of 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, continuing the string of election difficulties that began last month with misprinted ballots that did not include the city council candidates.

InMaricopa reached out to election officials but did not receive a response.

To watch a live feed of the vote tabulation, visit https://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/elections/Pages/LiveVideoFeed.aspx.

InMaricopa will provide updates as election results become available.

Editor’s note: Vincent Manfredi is co-owner of InMaricopa.

2 COMMENTS

    • Thirty-three states including Arizona will only accept votes for write-in candidates who have officially registered with the state. For the vote to be counted, the candidate must have submitted all the necessary registration documents by a specific deadline, either by filing paperwork, paying a fee, collecting signatures, or some combination of the aforementioned. Conversely, if a voter writes in the name of a candidate who has not properly filled out and submitted the paperwork, the vote will not be valid and or counted.