Milhaven, Smith, Littlefield win Scottsdale council seats

A tightly contested Scottsdale City Council race was decided late Wednesday, with incumbent Linda Milhaven and newcomers David Smith and Kathy Littlefield winning seats on the council in final election results.

Littlefield beat incumbent Dennis Robbins by 54 votes out of nearly 28,000 cast for the third council seat.

The results fluctuated over days, with Littlefield and Robbins both retaining leads for the third seat as more ballots were tabulated after the election.

“It’s very disappointing, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time serving in Scottsdale and have no regrets,” Robbins said Wednesday night.

Despite the narrow results, Robbins said he did not plan to ask for a recount.

Littlefield is the wife of Councilman Bob Littlefield, whose term expires in January.

Kathy Littlefield called it a “unique election.” In final results, only seven votes separated her and Smith, and 61 votes separated Smith and Robbins.

“It was just an amazing election because of it,” Kathy Littlefield said. “It shows the vision of the city. It shows that people are upset and that they want their voices to be heard.”

Littlefield acknowledged that “there is going to be conflict” with the new council makeup.

She said that a main difference lies in how the council views the General Plan, with “developers who want to override the citizens’ vote on the General Plan, and change the land use to something the citizens did not approve.”

Milhaven and Smith also won seats on the Scottsdale City Council. The winners will take office in January.

Smith said the results, which were generally divided between two camps of candidates, do not show divisiveness in the city. Rather, he said “each candidate brought to the table a different set of priorities.”

“I think we had a slate of highly qualified candidates and that’s what I would attribute this close election to,” Smith said. “Each of us were highly qualified and appealed to perhaps a different constituency.”

The contentious race was peppered by so-called “dark money” and negative campaigning that attacked all three winning candidates.

“We did happen to be the candidates that bore the brunt of negative advertising,” said Smith, who added that attack ads often “can have quite the opposite effect” than they intend.

“We’ll never know,” he added.

Littlefield was not immediately available for comment Wednesday night. She is the wife of current Councilman Bob Littlefield, whose term is expiring.

Final election results

Scottsdale City Council

Linda Milhaven — 27,866 (17.78)*

David Smith — 26,359 (16.82)*

Kathy Littlefield —26,352 (16.82)*

Dennis Robbins — 26,298 (16.78)

Jennifer Petersen — 25,964 (16.57)

Cindy Hill — 23,564 (15.04)

*Winners

Source: Maricopa County Recorder

Article source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/11/12/milhaven-smith-littlefield-win-seats-scottsdale-city-council/18950793/