Gould holds lead over Wakimoto
KINGMAN — Former State Sen. Ron Gould, bypassed by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors for an appointment that went to Lois Wakimoto, appears to have beaten Wakimoto for the District 5 seat.
Numbers from the Mohave County Elections Department had Gould with a 960-vote cushion out of 5,540 votes cast. Those numbers were unofficial; it wasn’t clear if all five precincts in District 5 had reported complete results. As of midnight, Gould had 3,245 votes (58 percent) to 2,285 (41 percent), for Wakimoto.
District 5 consists of Mohave Valley, Fort Mohave, Golden Shores, Yucca, Topock and the northern section of Lake Havasu City.
Gould polled well in his home turf — he bested Wakimoto by a 1,302-vote margin — 76.3 percent to 23.4 percent — in Lake Havasu North. Gould lived in Lake Havasu City when he served in the Arizona State Senate from 2005 to 2013. He was prevented from seeking re-election because of term limits.
Gould, who now lives in the Yucca area, also did well there, pulling in 81.4 percent of the votes in the sparsely populated precinct, and landing 76.7 percent of the vote in Desert Hills Precinct 207. Those two precincts added another 337 votes to his margin.
Wakimoto’s strength was in her home turf as well. The Mohave Valley resident was beating Gould by a 63-35 margin in Mohave Valley Precinct 212, which had more than 5,000 voters eligible for the Republican primary contest. As of midnight, the county elections department showed that only 2,230 had voted.
Wakimoto was appointed to the board in 2017 to replace Steve Moss, who resigned from the District 5 seat to accept Gov. Doug Ducey’s appointment as a Superior Court judge. Wakimoto was selected from a field of 13 candidates who submitted resumes for the position. Gould was one of those 13 and was among the eight finalists to interview for the post.
With no Democratic candidate declared for the District 5 race, the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary will be unopposed on the November general election ballot.
The county’s election website updated numbers only a few times throughout the course of the evening before what was termed a final update around midnight.
Voter turnout in the county was at a little more than 29 percent — but under 25 percent in Wakimoto’s home precinct of Mohave Valley.