Originally Published: May 19, 2009 10:28 p.m.
With 73 mail-in ballots remaining to be counted today, Dean Echols is leading in the race to fill the remaining two spots on the Chino Valley Town Council with 872 votes. Carl Tenney was elected outright in the March 10 primary to the third open council seat.
Unofficial results show that Linda Hatch is currently the second-highest vote-getter in the general election with 838 votes. Nipping at her heels is Dorothy Schmidt with 835 votes.
Robert Justice, as in the March 10 primary, was the low vote-getter with 673 votes.
County Recorder Ana Wayman-Trujillo said 1,826 registered voters in Chino Valley, or 33.1 percent of the town's 5,512 registered voters, cast votes Tuesday. That compares to the 44.6 percent who cast votes in the primary.
She said 31 percent, or 1,753 voters, cast their ballots by 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Trujillo and Chino Valley Town Clerk Jami Lewis said, "This was a quiet election."
Schmidt said she wasn't surprised the turnout was low. "It always happens. The general election never has as many votes cast as in the primary," she said.
She wasn't surprised that Echols was the leading vote-getter of the four candidates.
"The mayor and chamber of commerce have been pushing for him," she said.
Echols said, "I'm ready. I thank all who voted for me."
If he ends up as the winner of one of the two open council seats, Echols said the first thing he's got to do is get to know his fellow council members.
Hatch said she had no comment at this time.
Justice said, "I congratulate those who won or will win."
He was expecting a bigger turnout. "Evidently, they had other things to do," Justice said.
Justice said he plans to remain active in the town - just behind the scenes.
The winners of the primary and general election will be sworn in at the June 11 council meeting.