Sierra Vista mayoral race tightens; count continues on

The race for Sierra Vista mayor between Craig Mount, left, and incumbent Rick Mueller was finally called on Tuesday evening, with Mueller retaining the seat by a narrow margin.

SIERRA VISTA — After a tight race that was too close to call for two rounds of vote tallies, incumbent Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller retained his seat for a third term.

The results of an additional almost 1,700 provisional votes released Tuesday around 5 p.m. put Mueller ahead of challenger, City Councilman Craig Mount, by 201 votes.

Muller ended up with 7,053 votes, or 50.48 percent, and Mount ended with 6,852, or 49.04 percent.

“I want to thank Mr. Mount for running a good campaign,” Mueller said. “I want to thank those who supported me and I want to remind folks that as mayor I work for the entire community.”

Mueller added that he was impressed by the voter turnout this year.

Mueller was first elected to the position in 2010, and again in 2014. He will serve another four-year term starting Jan. 1.

Mount congratulated Mueller on the win and said he ran a great race.

“I respect the final number and the way people voted,” he said. “I’m happy we moved (the city races) to the general election because it gave us a better idea of the mayor’s race and a split that there is in the city.”

Mount reiterated his commitment to transparency throughout his campaign.

“I take full responsibility for my campaign; it’s about being transparent and open. I laid out all my ideas,” he said. “I’m not upset by the race or the results; I hope to see every race run that way, that close, and maybe this was a first step.”

Mount was supportive of the three latest council members to be elected, Sarah Pacheco, Carolyn Umphrey and William Benning, saying he thought “good people were voted in.”

Mount was elected to the city council in 2014 and his term will end Dec. 31.

The race remained tight between the two candidates from beginning to end. After the initial results last Tuesday, Mueller was ahead by just 315 votes with the race only tightening on Friday with 199 votes separating them.

Cochise County is still waiting for an additional 20 ballots to be verified and they will update results on Thursday.

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