COTTONWOOD -- Results from the Yavapai County Elections Office as of 8:55 p.m. Tuesday show former city councilman Tim Elinski with a 200-vote lead in the Cottonwood mayoral election.
Vote totals as of 8:55 p.m. show Elinski with 1,417 votes (53.67) and political newcomer Holly Grigaitis with 1,203 votes (45.57%).
For Elinski, his intentions to succeed Diane Joens as Cottonwood’s mayor became official in October 2015 when he filed his initial paperwork establishing his campaign.
“I’ve been campaigning for more than a year,” said Elinski. “We connected with a lot of people in the Verde Valley and Cottonwood, we made good connections and showed people we care about the direction Cottonwood is headed.”
Elinski was quick to clarify that he is not certain of victory until he has official confirmation on the vote tallies, “but I feel good about it now. We had a positive message, and I feel it was a message that resonated with the voters.”
Elinski credited Grigaitis with bringing a strong message of the need for change in Cottonwood government, “but I brought that same message and we had a more positive message.”
If elected, Elinski said he will immediately begin laying the groundwork for his transition into the mayor’s chair.
“I want to meet with the city administrators and I’ve already met with all the council members so we can make a plan for the next few months … if I am to take office … I want to make sure the transition is smooth.”
“At this point,” said Grigaitis, “I would say congratulations Tim, fantastic job. I hope my supporters and I have brought forth a message that will carry forward.”
Grigaitis added that both she and her supporters will continue to monitor the actions of the mayor and council and work with the council for the betterment of Cottonwood.
Considering this was her first-ever foray into the political arena and only losing by 213 votes, Grigaitis said, “I think it’s a very clear indication on where the people of Cottonwood stand. They are tired of not being represented by their elected officials … I hope and pray Mr. Elinski and the council take that to heart.”