Lauren Kuby, Robin Arredondo-Savage and Jennifer Adams lead in the race for three seats on the Tempe City Council, according to early unofficial returns Tuesday. 

Three ballot measures also appear to be on their way to passage by overwhelming margins. 

RELATED: Do all-mail elections disenfranchise homeless and disabled voters?

The results released Tuesday include mailed-in ballots postmarked by March 7. Any ballots dropped off or cast at two ballot centers on Tuesday will be tallied Wednesday, according to city officials. 

A steady stream of voters stopped by Tempe Public Library, one of the two ballot centers, to hand-deliver ballots Tuesday, city officials said. 

About 25 percent of registered voters cast votes, which is on par with the mayoral race in March 2016, according to city officials. 

RELATED: Tempe Council candidate drops out, bumping general election to March 13

Who has the lead? 

The top three vote-getters will secure seats on the council.

Early returns show the two incumbents, Kuby and Arredondo-Savage, with the most votes, followed by Adams.

This would be the third term for Arredondo-Savage, a U.S. Army veteran, and the second term for Kuby, a community-engagement specialist at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability. Adams is a nearly 28-year employee of the city who retired in 2017. 

Genevieve Vega received the fourth-most votes, followed by Sarah Kader and Justin Stewart. 

The council will accept the election results March 22 and the new members will be sworn in in July. 

MORE ABOUT IT: Arizona lawmakers may prevent Tempe voters from shining a light on ‘dark money’

Voters give strong ‘yes’ to 3 ballot measures

Early unofficial results show Tempe voters overwhelmingly approved three ballot measures, with a proposal to add transparency to campaign contributions getting the most support.

A measure to make Papago Park a preserve was the next most popular measure, followed by a budget-related request. Here’s a look at each:

Campaign-finance reform: The proposed charter amendment would require the disclosure of the origins of so-called “dark money” used in Tempe. Any person or entity making an independent expenditure of more than $1,000 would have to disclose original and intermediary sources of the funding. Some praise the idea for increasing transparency while others raised concerns the state could push back because the local measure would go further than state law. 


Arizona voters could decide if they want to curb “dark money” in state and local elections when they head to the polls next fall. But what is “dark money” and why does it matter?

Papago Park preserve: The city has explored turning the 300-acre Papago Park into a preserve, but residents pushed the issue with a petition. After many public meetings, the city drafted a proposed City Charter change that would designate the area as a preserve. It would regulate park hours, what activities can happen there and keep development out. If approved, the change could not be undone without another charter change and any adjustments would require a council majority of six votes. 

Permanent expenditure base adjustment: The measure is all about the city budget. In 1980, the state Legislature capped how much a city can spend. As a result, city leaders have twice asked voters to increase the city spending limit, similar to school-district budget overrides. Tempe planned to request the increase in 2008 but delayed it during the recession. A “yes” vote wouldn’t affect taxes, the city says, and spending would go through a public process and require City Council approval.  

Reach the reporter at [email protected] and follow on Twitter @JerodMacEvoy


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