DiCiccio endorses Gullett for mayor of Phoenix - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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DiCiccio endorses Gullett for mayor of Phoenix

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Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 11:00 am

After a slight disappointment at the Aug. 30 primary election, Councilman Sal DiCiccio has chosen to endorse Wes Gullett for mayor of Phoenix.

"Wes can bring the real reforms to the city of Phoenix," DiCiccio said on Wednesday. "He has a plan that will put us on the right fiscal track. He has a plan to create jobs in the city of Phoenix. He's got a plan that will make us more responsive to the taxpayer."

DiCiccio originally supported Peggy Neely in the race for mayor, but when Neely did not make it to the runoff election that will be held on Nov. 8, DiCiccio chose to endorse Gullett this week.

"I am thrilled to have Councilman DiCiccio's support in the election," Gullett said. "When I knock on doors, people, no matter where they are in Phoenix, understand what Sal DiCiccio has been talking about and they ask me about it. They understand that we can't have a tax on food and use that tax on food to give pay raises when everybody else in the economy is getting a pay cut. It doesn't make sense.

"They understand that the water rates have increased 100 percent and we can't do it anymore.

Just between those two issues we could leave $74 million in the private economy that could go to jobs and create opportunity for real people, instead of taking money out of the private economy and into the city of Phoenix where we don't know where it's going."

Gullett is running against Greg Stanton, who had the most votes in the initial election.

"I've known Greg for a long time," DiCiccio said. "Greg created the problems at City Hall and then he left... He voted for every pay increase at the city of Phoenix, every water rate increase, every tax increase at the city of Phoenix."

DiCiccio said Stanton left the city with a $270 million deficit, but Stanton did vote on the city's $270 million in budget cuts one day before leaving office in 2009 to take a job in the state Attorney General's Office.

When Stanton left his District 6 seat, the city received dozens of emails asking Mayor Phil Gordon and other council members to appoint DiCiccio as the interim replacement.

At that time, it was rumored that Deb Gullett, Wes Gullett's wife, was considering running for the position.

"She had been in the Legislature before and was thinking about running, but decided not to," DiCiccio said. "I had a lot of support from the citizens. I don't know if that's what made her decide not to, but it would have been hard. It would have made things uncomfortable.

"Sooner or later you end up running against someone you know. It's not something that's unusual, but it definitely makes things uncomfortable. I think for that two-week period, or whatever it was when she was in it, it was uncomfortable. But we were friends before and we're friends now."

DiCiccio said he never worked directly with Wes Gullett in the past but because Gullett was chief of staff for Gov. Fife Symington they did have a working relationship.

"He's pretty smart," DiCiccio said. "He's actually brilliant when it comes to policy and issues like that. He is very thorough. He's very thought-out in everything he does."

In a poll conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Mets & Associates for the Stanton campaign, of 402 likely voters, Stanton had a 20-point lead over Gullett.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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