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Ortega Leads In Scottsdale Mayoral Race

Final count sends Ortega, Borowsky to mayoral runoff in Scottsdale; 6 candidates to compete for 3 council seats

Lorraine Longhi, Arizona Republic
Former Scottsdale City Council members David Ortega and Lisa Borowsky are on their way to a runoff for the mayoral seat in November.

While there was a back and forth for the third place finish, the top two vote-getters held their positions for much of last week's ballot count. Ortega got 15,076 votes and Borowsky got 14,850 votes, in the final unofficial results released Tuesday. 

Council member Virginia Korte came in third place over Bob Littlefield by 16 votes. Council member Suzanne Klapp, who was endorsed by term-limited Mayor Jim Lane, trailed further back in fifth place.

No candidate in the crowded mayoral race got more than 50% of the votes needed to win outright in last week's primary election, sending the top two vote-getters to a Nov. 3 runoff.

Ortega and Borowsky's finish over the two council incumbents would indicate Scottsdale voters were ready for change.

He credited his long history in Scottsdale for his wide base of support.

"My whole life story is here in Scottsdale," Ortega said. "That really shaped me, and I think people recognized that and they could relate to me."

"Voters feel City Hall and city government has been out of touch with how they see the city of Scottsdale evolving," Borowsky told The Republic.

Council runoff

In the race for three Scottsdale City Council seats, no candidate received a majority of the votes cast to win outright in the primary. Vote leader Betty Janik fell 28 votes short of that.

Guy Phillips, the only incumbent in the race, trailed substantially behind the top four vote-getters, but still qualified for the runoff. Phillips was criticized earlier this year by the governor and many others for using the phrase "I can't breathe" — the same words George Floyd said before dying at the hands of Minneapolis police — as Phillips rallied a crowd protesting government mask mandates in late June.

Ortega said that he had reached out to all of the council and mayoral candidates to discuss their ideas about how to improve the city.

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