Phoenix Municipal Elections
Blog recommendation: Check out Following Phoenix for updated news on these races
Incumbent Phil Gordon is term limited this year which means that there will be a new head of one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. At just shy of 1.5 million residents, it is the 6th largest city in America. The state has also been undergoing a great deal of political turmoil surrounding immigration laws (most recently SB 1070), gun culture and was hit hard by the bursting of the real estate bubble that grew a great deal in the rapidly transforming western states.
Six candidates have lined up so far to take the reins of the city for the next four years. Two current city council members are running, Peggy Neely from District 2 (well, she resigned recently to run for this office) and Claude Mattox from District 5 in the Maryvale area. Another former colleague is running, Greg Stanton, who represented District 6 for 9 years and also served as a Deputy State Attorney General. With ties to both Sen. John McCain and as a former chief of staff to Governor Fife Symington, Wes Gullett has statewide governmental experience and also served on the Phoenix Planning Commission. Running from outside the political establishment are Anna Brennan, a registered nurse who manages a small medical practice in the city and Jennifer Wright, an attorney and the self-proclaimed Tea Party activist in the race.
City Council – Hat tip to CPMaz at Random Musings for blogging about these races
There are 8 members of the Phoenix City Council and are elected without party labels on the ballot. Members from districts 1,2,3,5 and 7 are up for reelection this year.
Incumbent Thelda Williams is a familiar name to city residents. Having served briefly as interim mayor all the way back in 1994 after serving on the council from 1989 until that year, she left for 11 years and made a comeback in 2007. She will be seeking a second term this year.
William Barker is a self-proclaimed libertarian looking to bring more financial restraints and cuts to the city. Also opposing the incumbent is Eric Frederick, who owns an insurance agency in the city and is heavily involved in development committees in the north of the city.
Peggy Neely resigned to run for Mayor of Phoenix, leaving this seat open. The interim replacement is Bryan Jeffries, who is seeking election for the first time and served as a firefighter in Mesa before his appointment a few months ago.
Also vying for the seat is former State Senator Jim Waring. A fiscal conservative during his time in the Senate, he is seeking to return to political office after losing in a bid for Congress last year.
David Jones, the president of the Arizona Contractors Association was considered for the interim position and now is running for the seat. Interestingly, he once served on the Indianapolis, Indiana City Council in the 1980s.
Cue up the jokes, puns or expressions of disappointment, I am sure that incumbent Bill Gates has heard them all in relation to his computer mogul namesake. Having won the seat in 2009 after being appointed shortly prior to the general election, he will be seeking his second election in two years.
His opponent is Steven Gross, a local businessman who is running without collecting campaign contributions and staying under the $500 dollar limit for money raised in the race.
Since incumbent Claude Mattox is running for Mayor, it means that this seat is open and looking very competive amongst the four contenders.
These include Charlie Ellis, former Chairman of Dear Vally Village, Daniel Valenzuela, a firefighter and member of the Maryvale Village Planning Committee, Eric Sloan, who runs a public affairs firm and once served as Director of Government and Media Relations for the Department of Veteran Services, and businesswoman Brenda Sperduti.
Incumbent Michael Nowakowski is seeking his second term in the far-stretching 7th district. The Vice President of Radio Campesina has focused in his four years on public safety and youth issues and adhering to a slogan of “Keeping Neighborhoods First”.
Janet Contreras, a former congressional candidate and Arthur Olivas Jr. are vying to claim the Tea Party mantle in this race.