Mayoral candidate Greg Stanton returned to the district he served for nine years on Tuesday night to answer questions and get to know the people of Ahwatukee Foothills.

A crowd of more than 50 people gathered at Yoasis Yogurt to listen to Stanton and shake his hand. The candidate spoke briefly about his plan for Phoenix including supporting education, making city government more transparent, creating sustainable jobs and creating a more stable economy.

Stanton compared his win during the August election to leading a football game at halftime. He said they still have a lot of work to do to win the Nov. 8 run-off election.

Stanton also announced new endorsements for his campaign. The Phoenix Fire Fighters Association supported Claude Mattox during the August election but is now endorsing Stanton. He also has the support of former Mayor Skip Rimza, who had been endorsing Peggy Neely. Stanton is also supported by law enforcement, the Arizona Contractors Association and former Mayor Terry Goddard.

Residents in attendance asked Stanton about his "Boots on the Ground" campaign. Stanton said he wants to focus more on community policing by putting school resource officers back in schools or have officers spend more time on cold cases.

When asked about the Loop 202 freeway, Stanton answered that he has always fought for an alternate route to the Pecos alignment and he feels very optimistic about the tribal vote that is expected to happen early in 2012.

He was also asked about his vision for downtown Phoenix. Stanton said he wants to encourage more creativity and partnerships to build a more vibrant downtown.

"I've known Greg, not personally, since I moved here in 1995. I just love what he has to say," Marie Colangelo said. "He's always on the side of what's best for Phoenix and for the people."

Kristen Gaffney said this was her first time seeing Stanton in person but she liked what he had to say.

"He just seems extremely genuine and real and that is important," Gaffney said. "Anything he was asked he answered straight up and it was unrehearsed."

Attendees received yogurt paid for by Stanton's campaign, including a flavor named just for the night "Greg Stanton Strawberry."

Stanton plans to visit local coffee shops across the city during the next few months to meet and greet people and take questions.

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

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