TEMPE, AZ — Shortly after the polls closed in Tuesday’s Tempe City Council primary election, Arlene Chin, Jennifer Adams and Berdetta Hodge looked to be coming out on top, according to unofficial results released by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Chin had garnered the most votes, leading Adams by 346, and Adams led Hodge by 1,546 votes. John Skelton trailed Hodge by 2,207 votes.

Seven candidates ran for the three open seats on the Tempe City Council Tuesday. The unofficial vote totals posted by the Maricopa County Recorder as of 8 p.m. were:

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Jennifer Adams: 10,469

Arlene Chin: 10,815

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Casey Clowes: 6,152

Berdetta Hodge: 8,923

Gina Kash: 3,850

Harper Lines: 3,017

John Skelton: 6,716

If necessary, a general election to ultimately determine who will fill the open seats will be held May 17. The voter turnout on Tuesday was 18.8 percent, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Tuesday’s election was conducted primarily through mail, but voters could also cast their ballots in person or drop off their ballots at a designated box by 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Adams is an incumbent, first elected to the City Council in 2018. She was an employee of the city for 29 years prior to that. Adams has focused on “fiscal responsibility, empowering neighborhoods in the decision-making process, promoting local business, promoting sustainability practices, increasing our housing affordability, and improving our city’s infrastructure,” she said on the city website. She was endorsed by Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, former Mayor Hugh Hallman and former Mayor Neil Giuliano.

Chin is a former City Council member, elected as an interim member of the council in 2019, and a 47-year resident of Tempe. She has a history of community involvement, according to her campaign website, and was endorsed by Harry Mitchell, former U.S. Congressman, former Arizona State Senator and former Tempe mayor.

Hodge has been a resident of Tempe for more than 40 years and has been a leader in local charities, according to her campaign website. She is currently a member of the Tempe Union High School Board and has a passion for community organizing. She was endorsed by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, among many others.

Skelton moved to Arizona in 2010 when he was drafted as a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. He joined the Tempe Community Action Agency Board of Directors in 2018 and is now its secretary. Skelton said on his campaign website, “he is committed to making sure Tempe is the best place in the Valley to live, work, and raise his son.” If elected he promised to work toward advocate for small business, improving quality of life and improving housing diversity.

Casey Clowes is a local attorney running with the aim of building healthy communities, according to her campaign website. Clowes ran on a platform of supporting families, addressing housing affordability and building a sustainable future. She was endorsed by current Council Member Lauren Kuby, along with several unions and Tempe Union high School President Brian Garcia.

Gina Kash worked for the Arizona House of Representatives for 21 years in various roles, the final one being senior policy advisor and director of operations. In her campaign, she touted her skills in policymaking and described herself as pro-business. She promised to help direct more state funds to Tempe, if elected. She listed her priorities as affordable housing, small businesses and public safety.

Harper Lines ran on a, “desire to pursue data-driven solutions to modern city challenges, improve access to education and extracurricular activities for families, and provide our neighbors with the resources we need to succeed,” he said on his campaign website. He described himself as a creative and professional Tempe advocate who has spent most of his career in marketing, project management and communications. He’s also a musicians, whose band Harper and the Moths won the Phoenix New Times’ Best Band of 2020 award.

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