7 join the race to succeed Sal DiCiccio in District 6

(Special to AFN)

The race to succeed city Councilman Sal DiCiccio is on.

With the deadline for filing ballot petitions now history, eight candidates have filed for the Nov. 8 General Election in City Council District 6, which includes Ahwatukee.

Although the period for challenging those petitions doesn’t expire until after July 25, here is a look at the likely contenders.

If no candidate gets over 50% of the vote in November, the top two vote getters will face off in an election on March 23 – where the ballot also will include Phoenix’s $500 million capital bond request, its first since 2007.

Unlike almost every other municipality in Arizona, the Phoenix City Clerk’s statements of interest for candidates does not require hopefuls to list their address and phone number, so it is next to impossible to determine what neighborhood every candidate lives in. At least two candidates –Joan Greene and Moses Sanchez – are confirmed Ahwatukee residents.

Joan Greene

Joan Greene owns a promotional company that includes nonprofits as well as corporations and also heads a business that raises money and awareness for nonprofits.

She lists her priorities as creating more affordable housing and addressing homelessness in a supportive manner, workforce development and small business support, ending “corruption and taxpayer waste,” public safety and the environment.

Kellen Wilson

She describes herself as having been active representing employees in the restaurant and hospitality industry.  She worked in retail, food service and volunteered for non-profits and charity organizations.

Among her priorities is first responder response times, supporting small business and helping people remain in their homes and avoid homelessness.

Mark Moeremans

Mark Moeremans leads an Arizona-based benefits administration shop for contractors and blue collar workers and is Senior Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Venture Development with the Arizona Commerce Authority and leader of the Arizona Innovation Challenge – a grant competition for startups, incubators and accelerators.

He lists his priorities as “maintaining economic momentum,” addressing housing availability and affordability, transit and transportation, climate and air quality, water conservation, “promoting safety and protecting liberty,” and “women’s empowerment and reproductive rights.”

Kevin Robinson

Kevin Robinson is a decorated former Phoenix police officer and assistant chief who claims credit for leading the process that led to the Ahwatukee police substation. He has served on the McDonald Charities of Central and Northern Arizona board for more than 10 years and has earned a master’s degree in public administration from Arizona State University.

He lists his priorities as public safety, affordable housing, water conservation and economic development.

Moses Sanchez

Moses Sanchez is a retired U.S. Navy officer who is co-founder of a digital marketing company. A former Tempe Union Governing Board member and Navy Reservist. He serves on the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Board and Foundation for Blind Children of Phoenix.

His top three priorities are homelessness, public safety and improving the city’s infrastructure, from streets and parks to transit.

Sam Stone

Sam Stone describes himself as “a small business owner, sports nut, and a policy geek” who also was DiCiccio’s chief of staff and former director of the Civics Education Initiative at the Joe Foss Institute. He also has run a number of local and federal candidate campaigns and currently is campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. He also hosts the Breaking Battlegrounds radio show and podcast.

He breaks down his priorities for specific neighborhoods in District 6 and for Ahwatukee: he lists more police presence and traffic enforcement, adding a fire/police substation in western Ahwatukee, adding more amenities such as pickleball courts and extending the multi-use path along the South Mountain Freeway.

Juan Schoville

Juan Schoville is a part-time security guard who at 22 ran in the 2020 Phoenix mayoral election. He also describes himself as an ordained minister, indie music producer and “cryptocurrency investor and advocate.”

He says he is running to represent “working-class citizens” and lists his priorities as “prevent useless spending,” “repairing the broken relationship between citizens and Phoenix PD,” addressing homelessness and implementing cryptocurrency “into our city.”

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