Wes Gullett conceded to Greg Stanton in the Phoenix mayoral election and Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce trails Republican Jerry Lewis in a recall election for Legislative District 18.
Gullet, a Republican, and Stanton, a Democrat, were both vying for Phil Gordon’s spot as mayor of Phoenix in a runoff election after no winner was chosen by popular vote in the August elections.
There were a record number of votes cast in this election, with 20,100 ballots cast at voting centers on Sunday, Monday and part of Tuesday and 143,500 early ballots mailed in, said city spokeswoman Stephanie Ribodal Romero.
Unofficial results from Tuesday night had Stanton winning with 56 percent of the vote to Gullet’s 44 percent.
The Phoenix mayoral candidates made use of every last minute on election day, with both Stanton and Gullet making personal visits to several of the Phoenix voting locations to talk with voters.
Before the election, both Stanton and Gullett were optimistic.
“We’re feeling great about this election,” Stanton said prior to the results. “My team worked incredibly hard and we have put in thousands of man hours running a true grassroots campaign and talking directly to voters. I think the voters of Phoenix will reward our efforts.”
Gullett remained positive during a press conference after conceding the election Tuesday night.
“The unfortunate thing is that I’m not going to be the next mayor of Phoenix,” Gullett said. “The fortunate thing is that I can go back to a great job and a great family and have more time to garden.”
Phoenix residents Llian and Arthur Hood mailed in their votes for Stanton earlier this week.
“You know what, I don’t know anything about (Stanton),” Llian Hood said. “I just know he’s a Democrat.”
Also on Tuesday’s electoral ballot was the Russell Pearce recall race against Jerry Lewis. The Pearce and Lewis campaigns could not be reached for comment before the election.
Lewis announced his run against Pearce, the state senator from Legislative District 18, in July.
In a speech after the results were released, Pearce expressed gratitude for the time he served as a state legislator.
“I’m grateful for the battles we’ve won,” he said.
Pearce’s victories included Senate Bill 1070, which he said 34 other states have begun modeling their own legislation after, and protecting unborn fetuses.
Lewis acknowledged in a press conference Tuesday night that the race was difficult at times.
“Just 12 months ago, my opponent won a landslide election,” Lewis said. “He is one of the most powerful politicians in Arizona and deep-pocketed.”
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