By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia
With unofficial election results posted by county officials Tuesday evening, Roland F. Winters Jr. appears a likely winner in the runoff election for Surprise City Council District 1.
Counting 4,512 votes cast, initial results showed 1,835 votes for the incumbent compared to 1,531 votes for challenger Jim Cunningham — giving Mr. Winters a 55 percent to 45 percent edge over his opponent.
Mr. Winters sounded an optimistic note on election night, saying he hopes the lead stands and he looks forward to serving his constituents.
“I thank the voters of Surprise who have voted for me,” said Mr. Winters. “For those who did not vote for me, I will work even harder to win their vote next time.”
If the lead does stand, Mr. Winters will begin his second term on the Surprise City Council.
The District 1 seat saw three contenders in the Aug. 28 primary, leading to a split vote totaling 38 percent for Mr. Cunningham, 36 percent for Mr. Winters and 26 percent garnered by Raymond Grim.
With no candidate receiving the required 50-percent-plus-one-vote threshold, the top two vote-getters advanced to today’s runoff in the general election.
By state law, city officials now have 20 days to approve the final vote canvass, for a deadline of Monday, Nov. 26.
The next Surprise City Council regular meeting will be hosted Tuesday, Nov. 20 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.
Editor’s note: Mr. Cunningham did not return a request for comment as of press time.