Marana Town Councilman Herb Kai on Tuesday, March 10, appeared to easily win re-election.
Incumbent Councilwoman Patti Comerford on remained 21 votes shy of an early victory.
Candidates appearing on a majority of primary ballots automatically win election. Town voters could choose among seven candidates — four incumbents, three challengers — to fill four council seats.
Of Marana’s 17,807 registered voters, 3,175 (17.8 percent) cast ballots in the primary, according to town officials.
As of 10:30 p.m. March 10, Kai had received votes on 1,925 ballots; Comerford had 1,568 votes.
Town officials say 177 of the ballots had not been tallied as of Wednesday, March 11. A firmer count could come by week's end.
Of the five remaining candidates, Kelle Maslyn (1,467 votes) and incumbents Carol McGorray (1,466) and Jon Post (1,276) led Larry Steckler (1,114) and Bret Summers (1,107).
If Comerford comes up short of the 50-percent threshold, she would join the remaining candidates in the May 19 general election.
But, if Comerford wins enough votes, she holds her council seat, and the top four remaining candidates would head to the general election.
Marana Water Improvement District recall
An effort to recall two members of the Marana Water Improvement District Board of Directors appears to have succeeded, acccording to unofficial vote tallies.
Petitioners in the tiny Avra Valley-area water district sought to unseat board members Luis Castaneda and Louis Preston.
Anthony Sostarich ran against Castaneda in the recall election held March 10.
Michael Young squared off against Preston.
Unofficial results as of 10:30 p.m. showed Sostarich leading Castaneda 150-45 (76.92 percent-23.08 percent). Young led Preston 148-43 (77.49 percent-22.51 percent).
The recall effort against Castaneda and Preston began last year.
On Jan. 12 the district board voted 3-1 to remove System Administrator Sigfrid Danielson from a position he’s held for nearly a decade. Castaneda and Preston spearheaded the move, lobbing a slew of charges against Danielson in the process.
Board Member Teresa Ball-Cummings, who did not attend the Jan. 12 meeting, said the move to fire Danielson might have violated open meetings laws because the issue did not appear on the agenda.
Castaneda and Preston disagreed. They said the matter appeared on the consent portion of the agenda, the portion of meeting business conducted usually without debate.
Still, the two members said the water district’s attorney advised them to hold a special meeting to finalize Danielson’s firing.
On Jan. 19, the board re-voted 3-2 to fire Danielson.
Members Donald Peetoom, who faces a May 19 recall, and Ball-Cummings opposed his firing.