Originally Published: June 6, 2018 5:59 a.m.
With Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog’s decision not to run for re-election, the election in August is likely to determine who will fill that seat.
Two candidates, Kell Palguta and Councilmember Michael Whiting, filed their nomination petitions with the town by the 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday, May 30.
In addition to the mayoral election, two council seats are vacant since Councilmember Jodi Rooney is seeking a seat in the state legislature, and Whiting is running for mayor.
As of May 30, only two candidates filed petitions for the open council seats, Don Packard and Kendall Schumacher.
That doesn’t mean it’s a shoo-in for either of the candidates, however, said Prescott Valley Town Clerk Diane Russell.
Prescott Valley, like more than 80 other cities and towns in Arizona, bases its election on the new state law put in place before the 2016 elections, Russell said. But Prescott, a charter city, does not follow the same law.
“There’s a little bit of a formula to it,” Russell said. “You take the number of actual votes that are cast by the voters, divide it by the number of seats, in this case two, and then round it up to a whole number.”
For example, if 1,000 voters participated in the election, then divide 1,000 by two seats (500). Candidates need to receive at least 50 percent (250) of 500 votes to be seated.
It may be a rarity, Russell said, not to reach the minimum required number of votes, even when only two candidates are running for two seats, but it’s possible voters will vote for one candidate and not the other.
“If that person doesn’t get that minimum high threshold, they wouldn’t be elected,” she said.
If more candidates receive the 50 percent figure than there are seats, voters would decide the winner at the general election in November.
Petitions needed at least five percent of the highest vote in a Prescott Valley office in the preceding election for the open positions, March 2013 and August 2016 elections.
Candidates were required to file 210 signatures and could collect more than 210, but no more than 421, Russell said.
The primary election is set for Tuesday, Aug. 28. The last day to register to vote in that election is Monday, July 30.