San Juan County Clerk’s office has confirmed Ann Leppanen as the winner of Bluff’s mayoral election. Two weeks of waiting for a final canvass revealed a slim margin of 74 votes for Leppanen and 71 for Marcia Hadenfeldt, according to results posted on the county's website.
Leppanen will serve as the first mayor of Bluff (and its roughly 260 residents) after a vote to incorporate in late 2017 won by a large margin. During the town council campaign, candidates told KSJD that it was their duty to support whoever gets elected and not fall behind during Bluff’s historic transition.
However, the period of waiting for results led to misleading figures and conversations. Information provided to KSJD over the phone did not match up with information posted on the county's website. Additionally, it is still not immediately clear if the final canvass was conducted.
"It just felt confusing," Leppanen said. She added that receiving conflicting information was stressful.
Hadenfeldt did not immediately return a request for comment.
Leppanen joins Jim Sayers, Brant Murray, Luanne Hook and Linda Sosa on the Bluff town council, which will convene near the beginning of the new year.
Update & Correction (July 11): Leppanen told KSJD that she received conflicting information from San Juan County. She was told the results were not yet canvassed while KSJD was told it was done yesterday. The time between the respective contacts with the clerk's office was about one hour.
San Juan Record editor and publisher Bill Boyle understands that the results are 74 to 71, Leppanen's favor, per results posted on the county's website. This conflicts with KSJD's tally reported by a clerk representative. The story has been corrected with the new numbers.