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Winners decided in races for Justice of the Peace, Constables

Dowling, Oen, Savona emerge victorious in Aug. 29 election

Prescott Justice of the Peace Glen Savona reacts after finding out he won as election results from the Arizona primary election come in Tuesday, August 28, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Prescott Justice of the Peace Glen Savona reacts after finding out he won as election results from the Arizona primary election come in Tuesday, August 28, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

From exhaustion to elation, the winners and also-rans have come to grips with the results of the Aug. 28 primary election.

In the smaller precinct races for Justice of the Peace and Constables, candidates nonetheless took their campaigning seriously.

Shelly Bacon, running against Dennis Dowling for the Bagdad/Yarnell Justice of the Peace position, received 39.7 percent of the votes to Dowling’s 59.9 percent, as of 3 a.m. Aug. 29.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed in the results. I wish Dennis the best and hope that he will continue to serve the community in the best possible way,” Bacon said from her home Aug. 29.

She said she didn’t realize the emotional toll it took to run for an office; she is a first-time candidate. “It’s not that I lost. I just didn’t realize until the results came out, that I really felt exhausted,” she said.

The Bagdad/Yarnell Republican Party precinct has about 4,000 voters and 1,227 turned out for this election, Bacon said, adding that she wished more had gotten out to vote. “I learned a lot and am grateful for the experience I gained in running,” she said.

Voters elected Dowling in his first race for the Justice of the Peace seat; he currently serves as Constable. Reached Wednesday, Aug. 29, Dowling said, “I am thankful to the voters in the Bagdad/Yarnell precinct for the opportunity to continue serving them for another four years.”

Glenn Savona kept his seat as Prescott’s Justice of the Peace with challenger Mitch Padilla earning 45 percent of the votes to Savona’s 54 percent.

“It was a close campaign for both sides,” Savona said. He’s looking forward to serving on committees that will give Prescott a voice on things that happen throughout the state.

“And we’re still working on a backlog of the warrants,” he said, referring to a new computer system.

Padilla in a statement congratulated Savona on the win, and also said he process was a wonderful experience.

“Of course, I felt disappointment whent he results first came out, but after some thought I realized I was so very fortunate to experience the highs and lows of an election campaign,” he said in the statement.

“I learned quite a bit and I will take all of those lessons learned and apply them to myself as I continue to evolve as a person.”

Hank Hellman, who has served for 28 years as an unpaid and paid Mayer Constable, lost his seat to challenger Donny Oen. Oen received 56.9 percent of the votes, compared with with 42.8 percent for Hellman.

“I guess it’s time to retire,” Hellman said, who will devote more time to pursuing a few business ideas and to his sculpting activities. “I think I did everything I could, so for that reason, I accept the results. I don’t know what else I would have done.”

Oen said he thought the election went well and that both he and Hellman ran clean campaigns.

“I’m really happy with the results. It’s been nerve-wracking at times. It was like a fulltime job getting out there and everywhere I could,” he said.

He plans to go into the communities to speak with residents about what constables do. “They need to be educated in that, in case a constable shows up for an eviction or to serve a court order. At least they’ll know this guy is legit,” Oen said.

Seligman Justice of the Peace attracted four candidates to the race in which 457 voters participated. Incumbent Dominick Sarno earned 52.5 percent of the votes. Ben Emery received 26 percent, Janice Kulp with 10 percent, and Ethan Burch with 9.8 percent.

Camp Verde’s close race for mayor puts Charles German on top with 49.2 percent of the votes to Jackie Baker’s 44.9 percent. Three council members receiving the most votes are Joe Butner with 24.5 percent, Bill LeBeau with 20 percent, and Robin Whatley with 18.9 percent.

Clarkdale’s top two candidates for its two council seats were seven votes apart with Benjamin Kramer receiving 435 votes (29.3 percent) and Bill Regner receiving 442 votes (29.8 percent).

Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at stone@prescottaz.com or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.