Scott Phillips leads comfortably, Yvonne Barney has slight advantage in Heber City Council race
While two candidates are leading in the race for two open Heber City Council seats, City Hall says the third-place finisher isn’t out of the running yet.
Tuesday’s count put financial advisor Scott Phillips well ahead of three other council candidates. He got nearly 40% of first-choice votes in a turnout of over 3,000 voters.
“I’m excited, happy, and I feel like the voice of the Heber City citizens is being heard, so I’m proud to be part of that,” Phillips said after preliminary votes came in shortly before midnight Tuesday.
Friends of Heber Valley nonprofit member Yvonne Barney edged out incumbent Councilman Wayne Hardman for the other seat by 50 votes.
“I’m feeling pretty confident, but anything can change,” Barney said. “I’m looking forward to doing this and to serving the community. That’s my only goal, is to serve our wonderful citizens of the Heber Valley.”
For the first time this election, Heber City used the ranked choice voting method. It’s a system designed to let people support multiple candidates in order of preference. According to City Recorder Trina Cooke, this helped Barney, who may have otherwise finished well behind Hardman.
Because Bryce Hoover came in last place overall, other candidates got second-place votes from ballots that ranked Hoover first.
Of those who selected Hoover as their top choice, the majority listed Barney as their second preference. That was crucial to her overtaking Hardman.
Cooke says with the more complex system in the council race, it’s possible that outstanding ballots could change the outcome. That depends on how many the county clerk’s office receives in the mail that were postmarked by Monday. Wasatch County Clerk Joey Granger, only three ballots arrived today from throughout the county.
There are also 44 provisional ballots not yet counted.
The county will not announce any additional counts until after vote certification on November 15.
For more on elections in Heber City and throughout Wasatch County, visit kpcw.org.