(The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)

VALE – Voters returned one incumbent and elected two new people to Vale City Council, based on preliminary results from late Tuesday night.

As of 11:21 p.m., candidate Christine Phillips led all candidates with 299 votes. Incumbent Monty Bixby was second with 259 votes while

Candidate Janeille Bennett secured 255 votes.

Michael Childs collected 229 votes.

If those results hold as election officials count final ballots early into the morning, Phillips, Bixby and Bennett will take positions on the council beginning after the first of the year.

“I am excited because I will have the opportunity to serve the city I have come to know and love over the past decade,” said Phillips.

Bixby said he was not surprised by the results.

“I am looking forward to finishing up the water project,” said Bixby.

Bennett and Phillips both said before the election one of their primary motivations for running was to give back to the community. Bixby said he wanted to continue to work with new city manager Katy Lamb and help beautify the town.

Current council members Melissa Jacobs and Heidi Zanotelli chose not to seek re-election.

Bixby, a retired combat veteran, was a write-in candidate during the last election.

Phillips works at Atkinson Dental in Vale and moved to town with her husband and children in 2008.

Childs is a retiree, and Bennett is a foster parent and a seminary teacher for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.