By Conrad Dudderar
There is no need for a runoff after an incumbent Yukon City Council member won a second term outright in Tuesday’s at-large election.
Yukon native Jeff Wootton withstood challenges from Rick Cacini and Tim Peters to claim victory, earning 52.9% of the 2,679 votes cast.
The final breakdown across nine polling places was 1,418 votes for Wootton, 659 votes for Cacini and 602 votes for Peters.
Wootton received a majority (more than 50%) of the vote, which means he’s the winner and will start a new four-year term in May on the five-member city council.
Reflecting on his victory late Tuesday, Wootton looks forward to continuing his service.
“I appreciate that the people of Yukon came out in such strong support that we could wrap this up without a runoff,” he said. “This just shows that the people of Yukon want a council that asks questions and will not be a rubber stamp. There are those who worked hard to find and support someone to run against me. Those people no longer have a pulse on the people of Yukon.
“The people of Yukon are clearly ready to move on from the status quo and good ole’ boy system. They are ready to leave the old way of doing business behind for good. Tonight’s vote clearly demonstrates that.”
Wootton is a Yukon Public Schools’ geography teacher. First elected as the council’s at-large representative in 2019, he has been vice mayor since May 2022.
“I’ll continue to be committed to asking questions and holding city leadership and the council accountable,” Wootton said.
Voter turnout was 18.3% for the City of Yukon’s Feb. 14th at-large council election.
Some 14,636 registered voters were eligible to cast ballots across the City of Yukon.
In winning the race, Wootton first thanked the “good Lord for the opportunity to serve this community.”
“I’d also like to thank my family, friends, the council members that stood by me and, without a doubt, the great people of Yukon for all their support,” he added.
“In the next four years, I look forward to not just the development of the Frisco Road area, but a master plan from city leadership that will maximize visitors to Yukon and help bring as much tax revenue to our town as possible. I also want to help build a town that we can all be proud of for many years to come.”
The Yukon City Council has five members, each elected to serve four-year terms. Four members represent wards, with the fifth at-large.
Other Yukon City Council members are Rodney Zimmerman, Ward 1; Shelli Selby, Ward 2; Donna Yanda, Ward 3; and Aric Gilliland, Ward 4. Selby is now Yukon’s mayor.
WISHING THE BEST
Cacini, founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum, earned 24.6% of the vote as runner-up in Tuesday’s at-large city council election.
“Tim and Jeff ran a great race,” he said. “I wish Jeff and the rest of the council the very best. I appreciate Tim for applying, coming out to support his community.”
A retired U.S. Army and Air Force lieutenant colonel, Cacini was Yukon’s Ward 1 city council member from 2018-22. He was defeated by Zimmerman in his re-election bid.
An active Yukon volunteer, Cacini has been appointed to various committees and boards across Yukon and Canadian County.
“I want to thank all my supporters and sponsors,” he said. “I will continue serving in my positions in the city. I love this community. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it.”
Rounding out the field in the Feb. 14th election was Peters, a 34-year law enforcement officer, Yukon traffic commissioner and youth football coach. He earned 22.5% of the vote.
“I want to congratulate Jeff and Rick for a great race,” Peters said. “Although I didn’t win, I still feel like a winner because I learned so much and heard people’s voices about their concerns.
“I have a deep love for our community and was very excited during this journey as I met a lot of great people in Yukon.”
This was Peters’ first campaign for elected office – and he gained valuable experience he plans to use in a future political race.
“I learned lessons in campaigning. And you can never stop learning. I can’t wait until the next election for my city council ward.”