Challenger Eddie Cook and incumbent Linda Abbott led after unofficial results in the Gilbert Town Council primary election were compiled on Tuesday night.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting in the race for four open seats, Cook received 6,989 votes (14.1 percent) and Abbott 6,461 (13.1 percent), heading a field of 11 candidates.
Town clerk Cathy Templeton said that a ballot count will likely not be available until the end of business on Friday, so it is uncertain if any candidate reached the threshold of 50 percent plus one of ballots cast to be elected outright and avoid a runoff.
Challenger Jordan Ray was third with 5,936 votes (12 percent) and incumbent Ben Cooper (5,869; 11.9) fourth. Another challenger, Victor Petersen (5,693; 11.5) was fifth.
Templeton said that some early ballots remain uncounted, and voters without proper identification on Tuesday can bring their ID to the Town Hall through Friday to have their ballot counted.
As many as eight candidates could advance to the May 17 runoff. If the unofficial results hold, the bottom three of Elizabeth Cress-Sweet (2,922 votes; 5.9 percent); Talonya Adams (2,654; 5.4) and Doug Jones (2,227; 4.5) would be eliminated.
Two incumbents --- vice mayor Les Presmyk (3,684; 7.5) and Dave Crozier (3,596; 7.3) --- were sixth and seventh, respectively. They are the Council's senior members, with Crozier seeking a fifth term, Presmyk his fourth.
Challenger Marci Norton (3,361; 6.8) was eighth. As a result, Norton, then Crozier, is next in line to be eliminated if someone is elected outright.
There were 78 votes for write-in candidates.
Two candidates advance to the May election for every seat that remains unfilled.