The last days of the election for Phoenix's next mayor are winding down and it's anybody's game. According to an August poll in the Ahwatukee Foothills News, Neely was ahead but Wright took a definitive lead in a poll on sonoranalliance.com. Each of the candidates have spent countless hours putting up signs, talking to residents and speaking at forums, and it will all come to an end in two short nights.
Phoenix residents have two more days to visit voting centers in the city and cast their ballot. Ahwatukee Foothills has its own voting center at Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St., but Phoenix residents can vote at any voting center around the city. Voting centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29 and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Following is a summary of the candidates for mayor in alphabetical order:
Focus: Transparency, budget, education and illegal immigration.
Background: Brennan is a local business owner and "legal immigrant." She has no political experience and has often been criticized as being "too new." Brennan believes her new-ness makes her unique and trustworthy and to prove it she has given her cell phone number to every person she has met while campaigning.
Endorsements: Edward J. Shoen, chairman of U-Haul International.
Focus: Jobs, government reform, public safety, strong neighborhoods and affordable government.
Background: Gullett is the founding partner of FirstStrategic, a strategic planning firm. He has been a consultant for the past 14 years. He has worked for Gov. Fife Symington and also served as John McCain's campaign manager. Gullett has been a lobbyist in the past and says that about 10 percent of what he does at FirstStrategic is lobbying. Gullett has gotten a lot of heavy criticism over what he would do with his company if he were elected mayor. He has said he would divest his entire interest from his company.
Endorsements: Sen. John McCain; Rep. Trent Franks; former Gov. Fife Symington; Rep. John Shadegg; Sen. Steve Pierce; Rep. Kate Brophy McGee; Rep. Michele Reagan; Rep. Amanda Reeve; Rep. Jim Weiers; Rep. Bob Stump; Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman; community leader Eddie Basha; The Arizona Republic; and The Phoenix Association of REALTORS.
Focus: Strong neighborhoods, quality schools and career jobs.
Background: Mattox has been on City Council in District 5 for nine years, where he chairs the Public Safety and Veterans subcommittees. Mattox is vice president for Mark Melton and Associates. Mattox has also been criticized by Wes Gullett for not resigning his seat as Public Safety Subcommittee chairman during the campaign. Gullett said Mattox has "accepted the endorsement and significant campaign contributions from the very union he oversees."
Endorsements: Paul Johnson, former mayor of Phoenix; Matt Salmon, former U.S. congressman; State Sen. John Nelson; State Rep. Andy Tobin; Jerry Colangelo; Herman Orcutt, West Valley business leader; Gregory W. O'Brien, Valley community leader; David Rousseau, SRP president; Felipe A. Zubia, member of the Arizona Transportation Board; George Renner, former mayor of Glendale; Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona; and former Councilwoman Peggy Bilsten.
Focus: Jobs, balancing the budget, public safety, increasing accessibility and transparency, education and strong neighborhoods.
Background: Neely had been on council for nine years in District 2 before resigning to run for mayor. She has been a chair of Maricopa Association of Governments, a member of the Paradise Valley Village Planning Committee, Greater Phoenix Convention Center & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, the Phoenix Water and Sewer Rate Advisory Committee and the Phoenix Women's Sports Association Board. Neely used to own her own real estate firm, Arizona Home Team. Gullett has criticized Neely for employing notorious Fiesta Bowl lobbyist Chuck Coughlin as her primary campaign consultant while calling for lobbyist reform.
Endorsements: Gov. Jan Brewer; City Councilman Sal Diciccio; former Mayor Skip Rimza; former Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen; Councilman Michael Johnson; former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters; Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox; Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck; Carefree Mayor David Schwan; Cave Creek Mayor Vince Francia; North Richland Hills, Texas Mayor Oscar Trevino; Surprise Mayor Lyn Truitt.
Focus: Stable economy, supporting education, and more transparency and accountability.
Background: Greg Stanton was a city councilman for District 6 for nine years. Afterward, he went on to work for the state's Deputy Attorney General. He has been criticized for his support from lobbyists. Stanton has signed a pledge that no one in his office will have ties to lobbyists, but Gullett recently pointed out that the co-chair of Stanton's campaign is a powerful city hall lobbyist.
Endorsements: Arizona Contractors Association; Councilman Michael Nowakowski; Rep. Ed Pastor; the Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriffs; and the Arizona Police Association.
Focus: Create jobs and more opportunities, safety and security, and fiscal responsibility.
Background: Wright has no experience in politics but she has experience working as an attorney for the Arizona State GOP and the ASU Civil Justice Clinic. She has also been a law clerk for the Goldwater Institute, Rose Law Group and the Institute for Justice in Washington D.C. and Phoenix. Wright also spent some time working as a campaign coordinator for J.D. Hayworth.
Endorsements: Sen. Russell Pearce; former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth; Sen. Andy Biggs; Sen. Linda Gray; Sen. Jack Harper; Arizona State Rep. Judy Burgess; Rep. Carl Seel; Rep. David Burnell Smith; the Sonoran News; John Corey Wentling, chairman of the Arizona Citizens Defense League; Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher; the Arizona Taxpayers Action Party; and the Arizona Freedom Alliance, a group of approximately 30 Arizona Tea Party organizations.
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