Phoenix City Council election: Tight races and potential for runoffs – The Arizona Republic

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Phoenix’s two mostcompetitive City Council contests are heading toward runoffs this March, after the last big batch of votes were counted Monday. 
Runoffs occur when no single candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. 
Countywide, between around 3,000 and about 8,000 miscellaneous batches of votes still remain to be counted as of Thursday. It’s unknown how many of those are in Phoenix.
Half of the city’s eight council seats are on the ballot, but the race to represent District 6 in Arcadia, the Biltmore area and parts of north-central Phoenix and District 8 in south Phoenix are the most competitive.
In District 6, the top two vote getters are headed to a runoff, though it’s unclear who those two will be. Kevin Robinson pulled ahead in the open field of eight candidates vying to replace termed-out Sal DiCiccio.
At last count, Robinson had just over 12,000 votes. Trailing him were three candidates all within about 500 votes of each other.
Sam Stone had about 10,500 votes, Moses Sanchez a little more than 10,070, and Joan Greene about 10,000.
About 89,000 ballots were cast in that race.
In District 8, incumbent Carlos Garcia will face challenger Kesha Hodge Washington in March. He held a slim lead over her, with 39% and 38% of the vote, respectively. They outpaced the rest of the field by around 9,000 votes in a race in which 45,000 were cast.
Election Day coverage: Arizona election results
District 2 incumbent Jim Waring defeated his two challengers to represent part of north Phoenix. Laura Pastor, who ran unopposed, will represent part of west Phoenix in District 4. 
Garcia was at the local painters’ union building at 24th and Van Buren streets on election night. Volunteers remained in good spirits as little kids and dogs in Carlos for Phoenix City Council T-shirts ran around. 
“I’m excited. I’m probably going to be in the runoff … but I’m honored to represent District 8, and I’m ready to get back to work,” Garcia said. 
On Thursday, Hodge Washington launched her runoff campaign with three endorsements from Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Congressman Greg Stanton and former mayor and former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.
About 15 minutes north at an election watch party for Robinson, Mayor Kate Gallego celebrated his lead and encouraged attendees to donate to his pending runoff campaign. 
“First place is a good place to be on election night,” she told the crowd of some 70 people. “Kevin has brought people here tonight from across the political spectrum … and that brings me excitement,” she said. 
Robinson, for his part, said he felt good and hoped the returns held. He warned his crowd of supporters he might be pretty busy in the months ahead. 
Stone offered no comment other than to say he thought the races might trigger a recount. 
After initial returns released on Election Day,Greene, who was then in second place, was at her Ahwatukee Foothills home. She was feeling “great! I’m great!” she told The Arizona Republic over the phone. She visited polls, then went home and showered before watching results roll in and chatting with friends, she said. 
Greene, whose last campaign finance report shows she raised about $25,000 compared with Robinson’s $500,000, said her question is why wasn’t Robinson doing even better given all the money he had?
Phoenix Q&A:City Council candidates talk housing, homelessness, police and water
The results will determine how the city manages police accountability and the outcome of an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Police Department and the influence that labor unions carry. 
All of this comes while the city must also grapple with broad issues such as water management, climate change and affordable housing.
The candidates in each competitive race were:
Gallego endorsed Robinson in District 6 as she looks to build a more centrist majority on the council. More progressive council members Garcia and Betty Guardado endorsed Wilson; more conservative DiCiccio endorsed Stone. 
The Arizona Republic will update this article as unofficial vote tallies are available. Check back for the latest Phoenix City Council election results. 
What’s at stake:Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego aims to chart a more centrist course this November
Reach reporter Taylor Seely at or 480-476-6116. Follow her on Twitter @taylorseely95 or Instagram @taylor.azc.
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