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]

It’s finally official.

The Maricopa City Council on Tuesday night certified results from the Aug. 2 primary that will keep incumbents Vincent Manfredi, Rich Vitiello and Henry Wade on council for four more years.

Councilmember Nancy Smith said the certification of the election is “a matter of counting the votes, so we have an official count.”

“It doesn’t mean we didn’t have problems,” she said. “It means that all the votes were
counted and certified, and that’s what we’re certifying tonight.”

Vitiello expressed his gratitude for his re-election.

“Thanks to residents of Maricopa for re-electing me and giving me four more years of finishing what I’ve started, and to help the city grow and be prosperous, and safe for the people of Maricopa,” he said. “I also want to say congratulations to my two colleagues, Vince and Henry, and I look forward to serving another four years with them.”

Wade sounded a tone of relief about the results.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” Wade said. “Now it’s time to move on to do the work.”

Manfredi acknowledged some of the challenges faced by candidates and voters alike due to the Pinal County Elections Department’s early ballot and Election Day problems.

“It was a wild ride, which I am happy is over,” he said. “It’s good that people recognized the hard work we have done and put their continued trust in me.”

Realtor Adam Leach challenged the incumbents for one of the three available seats but came up several hundred votes short.

All three incumbents received high enough percentages of primary votes to avoid the need for a general election.

That was a big deal to Vitiello.

“That was extremely important to me,” he said. “It’s not easy running a campaign, and to have to go an extra three months is stressful and a financial burden because it all comes out of my own pocket. I didn’t solicit donations for my campaign.”

Vitiello said he has faith in the elections moving forward. The changes made by the Pinal County Supervisors at the Elections Department were the right ones in his opinion.

“As far as the election itself, the process was obviously difficult, but Pinal County has chosen the proper person in Virginia Ross (who was named the new elections director after David Frisk was dismissed),” Vitiello said. “I’m extremely glad she’ll be taking over – she is highly qualified and the process for November should go smoothly.”

Wade and Vitiello differed slightly on whether the ballot issues could continue to cast a shadow over the election. When asked if he anticipated any sort of challenge from Leach, Wade said he wasn’t sure. Leach finished nearly 800 votes behind Wade.

“He had briefly mentioned not being happy with the results, so he may consider some sort of a challenge,” Wade said.

InMaricopa reached out to Leach to see if he was planning to ask for a recount or mount a legal challenge to the results, but had not received a response by press time.

For his part, Vitiello doesn’t expect a challenge.

“I don’t anticipate one,” Vitiello said. “We were all in the same boat – we all suffered from losing votes. There were people who threw their ballots out because they thought they’d already voted in the council election and workers keeping people from casting their supplemental ballots, so I think it affected us all pretty evenly.”

Editor’s Note: Vince Manfredi is co-owner of InMaricopa.