COCHISE COUNTY — As election results began trickling in late Tuesday evening, there were a few surprises, some close contests and some veteran politicians who kept their seats in Cochise County.
Additionally, several Cochise County candidates ran uncontested, while others who had been in office for years won handily over their opponents.
Most races were run quietly, without pomp, circumstance or drama.
But at least one contest was the exception, making the local headlines more than once because of the vitriolic attacks between its three contenders.
That race, to determine the next judge in Cochise County’s Superior Court Division 5, turned ugly as all three candidates attacked each other on social media and even in court.
And while the ballots were still being tallied, candidate Anne Carl — who started as the write-in candidate in August, but garnered well over 2,000 votes to get on the November ballot — was the leader as of 10:15 p.m. Tuesday with 14,724 votes.
Her closest opponent Jason Lindstrom, an assistant prosecutor with the County Attorney’s Office, ran closely behind her with 14,659 votes. Sandy Russel trailed with 10,882 votes.
Should Carl be declared the winner, she will replace Cochise County Superior Judge James Conlogue, who is retiring at the end of the year.
In the contest for Cochise County Board of Supervisors, longtime supervisor Ann English beat her opponent Lori Kilpatrick by over 1,400 votes. Write-in candidate Anne Eickenbrock meanwhile, only showed 16 votes after early ballots were counted.
English’s colleague on the board, Peggy Judd, ran unopposed after she beat her opponent Heather Floyd in the primary election in August. The third member of the panel, Tom Borer, was pushed out by candidate Tom Crosby during the primary.
In the race for Sierra Vista Justice of the Peace, Kenneth Curfman — he is the current Tombstone magistrate — edged out attorney Adele Drumlevitch. The latter handles several cases at the Sierra Vista Justice Court.
Incumbent Cochise County Superintendent of Schools Jacqui Clay squared off against educator Sharon Thomas and was able to sail into another term, beating Thomas by more than 10,000 votes as of figures released Tuesday just after 10 p.m.
Sierra Vista meanwhile, had three at-large seats on its city council, but only two official candidates. There were four write-in contenders, but none raked in the required number of votes — 696 — as of late Tuesday evening.
Write-in candidates Kathy Boston and Gregory L. Johnson both received over 600 votes. Their numbers could increase later this week when the results are tallied.
Cochise County elections officials announced on their website that the write-in candidate tallies would not be released until later this week.
Veteran councilwoman Rachel Gray and political newcomer Angelica Landry were the two official candidates and both were voted in.
If neither Boston nor Johnson gather the required number of votes, the city will have to appoint a third council member.
The four write-in candidates can apply to be considered as an appointee to the City Council, city officials said. The city will advertise the open seat, asking for applications from citizens interested in being appointed to the City Council. The appointee will be chosen after the City Council interviews applicants individually.
The race for Sierra Vista City Council heated up in July when a third official candidate was knocked off the ballot after he pleaded guilty to a felony drug offense.
Several Sierra Vista residents who voted Tuesday at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church on Taylor Drive, talked about the importance of voting in the United States.
“It’s one of the many freedoms we have in this country,” said 20-year-old Kendrick Michaelis. “Most of the people I hang around with, vote.”
“I know they say every vote counts,” said a 37-year-old woman who identified herself only as “Megan.” “I wasn’t able to vote in the last election and I was really sad about it. So it was really important to vote this time.”
Aubrey Jett said she was inspired to vote after she saw other people in her age group doing it.
“They’re (the youth) finally not afraid to say what’s on their mind,” said Jett, 25.
And voter Kim Odoms, who had her two youngest children in tow, said she had not voted in a while and thought this election was too important to pass up.
“I wanted to show my kids how important this is,” Odoms said. “We’ve talked a lot about it at home.”