Nick Haney calls it coming “full circle.”
The longtime Surprise resident and one-time youth leader in the city is about to take a bigger seat here.
In unofficial results, Surprise voters have elected the 27-year-old Glendale firefighter paramedic to serve on the Surprise City Council in the northern District 1.
“It still hasn’t really hit me yet,” Haney said. “I’m always prepared for the disappointment. It’s a very humbling experience. So many people supported our vision and put their trust in me.”
In the first week of election results released through Aug. 7, Haney received 3,223 votes or 53% of the three-way vote.
All he needed in the final totals is to earn more than 50% of the vote to eliminate the need for a runoff in the general election in November.
Businessman Raymond Grim pulled in second with 1,768 votes, or 29% of the vote.
Longtime Surprise resident Lew Guyn, meanwhile, finished last of the three with 1,085 votes, or 18% of the vote.
In early results, Haney was leading all precincts in Surprise but one.
“Just to see those initial numbers is a great feeling,” Haney said. “You can do the best you can. There is no playbook to politics. I think we had a lot of people who put in a lot of work to hit as many doors as possible.”
In Districts 5 and 6, incumbents Jack Hastings and Chris Judd earned reelection in uncontested races.
Hastings earned 2,990 votes, while Judd collected 3,669.
Surprise City Clerk Sherry Aguilar said by law the city has 20 days to canvass the election results
At least one of the candidates didn’t predict Haney’s margin of victory.
“I was surprised at that. I was thinking it would probably go to November,” Grim said.
Grim is an insurance agent who has owned a business in Surprise for a couple of decades. The longtime resident of Surprise was making his second attempt at winning a seat on the council, first trying in 2018.
Grim said he’s unsure if he will try for a third attempt to get on the council in four years.
“It’s too early to decide really,” Grim said.
Guyn was a first-time candidate, who has lived in Surprise for almost 20 years. He is a systems optimization consultant for Swift Transportation.
Haney collected a major fundraising advantage in the race, roping in nearly $46,000 total during the election cycle.
He finished with a balance of just under $30,000.
Big contributors included various firefighter unions, including $6.550 from the International Association of Firefighters in Washington, D.C., and $5,000 contributions from the United Buckeye Firefighters PAC, the Peoria chapter of the United Phoenix Firefighters union and the Daisy Mountain Firefighters PAC.
Individual contributors included Scott Phillips and Rico West of Carefree Partners Investments, the group developing the Surprise City Center in District 5.
“I think District 1 is the fastest-growing district in Surprise,” Haney said. “We have a lot of complex challenge that we are facing. They see how important it is that we have strong leadership moving forward.”
Haney said he plans to meet with other council members and city staff during the five months he has to wait until he is sworn in.
He will be replacing the outgoing Roland Winters, who has served on the council for almost a decade but was kicked off the ballot for a lack of valid petition signatures.
“I’m going to reach out to Councilmember Winters and begin the phase of transitioning,” Haney said.
Grim said he felt his message was going over well with constituents during campaigning.
“When I was going door to door, I had a lot of positive feedback from everybody I talked to,” Grim said. “I can’t put specifically on what I could have done more of. Maybe it will take me a few days to think about it.”