After all the votes were counted inside the Bristlecone Convention Center Tuesday night, four candidates moved on to have their name on the general election ballot and two saw the end of their campaign for Ely City Council. Kurt Carson finished the night with the most votes with 427 out of the 678 cast in the primary election. He will run against the council’s seat 1 incumbent Marty Westland, who finished with the second most votes with 176. Dorothy Sundell was eliminated from contention for the position after she received only 68 votes.
The race for City Council seat 4 saw a much narrower margin between its top two candidates, with Jolene Gardner’s 286 votes edging out Michael O’Brien’s 252 for the early lead. Former City of Ely mayor George Chachas received the third most votes with 138, which means his name will not appear on the general election ballot on June 2.
After the unofficial vote counts were displayed inside the convention center, several in attendance wondered if Carson had received enough votes in the primary to win the position outright. In the primary for the county elections last year, any candidate that received 50 percent plus one additional vote automatically won their race. Though Carson received nearly 63 percent of the overall votes for seat 1, City Administrator Bob Switzer said that he will still have to beat Westland again in the general election.
“According to the state of Nevada, the City of Ely is considered a category 3 city, meaning having a population of less than 5,000 people. A candidate would’ve won by 90 percent in the primary but in a category 3 city, that candidate still has to run against the person with the second most votes in the general election,” Switzer explained.
The city’s general election will be held inside the Bristlecone Convention Center on June 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Two other city races, including the race for Mayor and City Council Seat 2, will also be on the ballot. Those races both have only two candidates running and didn’t need to be on the primary ballot. The Ely Times is currently planning on hosting an informational candidate forum before the general election to let the voters listen to each candidate and ask them questions. More information on the candidate forum will be revealed in the coming weeks as a date and location are secured.