The first ranked choice election in Moab led to a tight race for the three Moab governance positions up this year.

After a ballot audit on the afternoon of Nov. 3, preliminary results showed Joette Langianese winning the mayoral race over Bill Winfield by a margin of over 100 votes.

Jason Taylor and Luke Wojciechowski look poised to take Moab City Council seats, though Wojciechowski took the lead over Josie Kovash by only one vote. 

Final results will become available no later than Nov. 16, election officials say—33 ballots still need to be cured, or verified, to be counted. The elected officials will join current council members Rani Derasary, Kalen Jones and Tawny Knuteson-Boyd.

The preliminary results on Nov. 3 showed Joette Langianese winning the race for mayor with 879 votes, with Bill Winfield close behind with 761 votes. Current Mayor Emily Niehaus did not run for re-election this year.

Langianese told the Moab Sun News that she ran for mayor because she felt she had the leadership needed to guide Moab. As mayor, she said, her job will be to guide the council in their decision-making process.

“What I really feel is important right now is that our citizens still feel like they are a part of the community,” Langianese said before the election. “I want to make sure that our community feels heard and citizens are able to tell us what their needs are.”

The mayoral race went through five rounds of ranked-choice eliminations, meaning no candidate had more than 50% of the vote until the fifth round, when Langianese was awarded 53.6% of the first-choice vote.

Bill Winfield expressed his thanks for his supporters on his campaign Facebook page, and told them to “stay tuned.” 

“It has been a privilege and my great honor to get to know all of you as I have walked the streets of this great city. Please stay tuned; we won’t know the final results until November 16. We believe in a better future for Moab,” he posted. 

Candidate Stephen J. Stocks finished with 267 votes, Kent Green with 115, Aaron Davies with 38 and Sherri Costanza with 15 votes.

City Council

The race for the two seats on Moab City Council is tight, with preliminary results showing Luke Wojciechowski winning one seat with 866 votes and Jason Taylor winning the second with 842 votes. 

Josie Kovash, who was endorsed by the Grand County Democratic Party along with Langianese and Wojciechowski, garnered 799 of the votes for the second seat. Current council members Mike Duncan and Karen Guzman-Newton did not run for reelection.

In round 3 of the ranked-choice voting eliminations, Wojciechowski and Kovash were separated by a difference of one vote in Wojciechowski’s favor, meaning that Kovash was eliminated moving into the fourth round. The majority of her votes then transferred to Wojciechowski, leaving the possibility that once more votes are counted, Kovash could win Wojciechowski’s seat.

Wojciechowski’s platform focused on representation and ensuring everyone’s voices are heard fairly in the community.

“We really rarely get to hear from the parts of the community that may have to work multiple jobs to support their families, or simply don’t have the time or resources to attend public hearings or submit public comments,” he commented to the Moab Sun News before the election.

Taylor said affordable housing is high on his agenda, along with creating a more diverse workforce while still supporting tourism.

“The decisions that we make within the next two or three years are going to affect Moab 20 years from now,” he said in an interview with the Moab Sun. “I think it’s really important that we get a grasp on a vision as to where we’re going as a town.”

A full list of preliminary results can be found on the city’s election page at