Phoenix election results: Republicans prepare to retake Phoenix

Yesterday, the City of Phoenix wrapped up its first round of elections by finalizing who will fill at least three council seats.

(See Results)

Former State Senator, Jim Waring and current councilmen, Bill Gates and Michael Nowakowski easily won their primaries with Waring overcoming interim councilman Bryan Jeffries and Gates fending off a challenge by Steven Gross. Both districts traditionally elect Republicans but in District 7, Democrat Michael Nowakowski won handily against conservative populist challenger, Janet Contreras.

In District 1, it appears that incumbent Thelda Williams may hold on to the 50% plus one votes to win re-election from newcomer conservative challenger, Eric Frederick. Frederick’s supporters are holding out hope that uncounted ballots will deprive Williams the 50% plus one margin for Frederick to continue into a runoff election against her. Ballots will continue to be counted with an unofficial final result announced Friday.

Union-supported Democrat Daniel Valuenzuela may have anchored 42% of the vote in Council District Five but he most certainly will face a runoff against either Republicans Brenda Sperduti or Eric Sloan. At last count, only 27 votes separated both Republicans with Sperduti holding the lead. Tea Party activists had high hopes for Charlie Ellis who finished in 4th place.

But the real excitement occurred in the Phoenix Mayor’s race where Democrat Greg Stanton won almost 38% of the vote. Grouped behind him were five Republicans who combined, secured the remaining 62% of the vote. Republican Wes Gullett captured the highest number of votes at 20.54% guaranteeing him a spot in the runoff election. Following Gullett, were former councilmen Peggy Neely and Claude Mattox. Tea Party candidate, Jennifer Wright, who entered the race at the last minute finished with 11.47% of the vote with unknown Anna Brennan finishing last with almost 5% of the vote.

Republicans now have clear choices in the runoff election to be held in November with Wes Gullett at the head of the ticket. (Incidentally, I believe we broke the story of Wes Gullett entering the mayor’s race right here on Sonoran Alliance.)

Greg Stanton is known as a progressive San Francisco-style liberal Democrat which allows Wes Gullett to run the remainder of the campaign demonstrating a far more mainstream approach of governing the 6th most populated city in America. If Republicans consolidate votes from each of the other campaigns behind Wes Gullett, it is very likely Gullett will be the next Mayor of Phoenix.

Now my editorial.

It’s time to solidify support behind Wes Gullett. Phoenicians cannot afford a liberal progressive mayor like Greg Stanton. Stanton would bring a San Francisco, Gavin Newsom governing-style to Phoenix which would ultimately bankrupt the city. The good news is that Councilman Sal DiCiccio and Bill Gates have another conservative voice and ally on the council in Jim Waring. Should Thelda Williams win re-election (which appears likely) having Jim Waring join the team of conservatives will hopefully put pressure on Thelda to behave herself on votes regarding taxes on water, food and corporate subsidies.

Heading into the runoff set for November will be an exciting exercise in rallying behind a mayoral candidate who is dramatically ideologically different from his liberal Democratic opponent. Depending on who earns second place in district five will may also spark some excitement. Republican Eric Sloan could turn that race into a union vs the taxpayers campaign but a Sperduti win would deflate conservative hopes for reform against the union candidate, Valenzuela.

For those who find their campaigns at the end of the line, don’t rule them out of future political endeavors. This may very well be the beginning for several of them. Politics is oftentimes seen as a war of ideas and their campaigns may only be one battle in the effort to win the overall war.

Congratulations to Wes Gullett, Jim Waring, Bill Gates and the Democratic opponents! Thanks to those who gave it their best effort: Peggy Neely, Claude Mattox, and Jennifer Wright. Now it’s on to the runoff election in November in the battle for Phoenix.


  1. Tom McCracken says

    One should always remember that City Council elections are and should be bi partisan. It’s not about which political party a candidate is associated with but rather what they will do for the citizens who voted them into office and who can vote them out. When you speak of taxes….increasing the fees for water service is although unpleasant it was necessary. More people live in Phoenix therefore demand and usage is up and so is the cost of service. If the taxpayers don’t foot the bill who will? A simple solution is to conserve some water. When you speak of Union members running for and holding office, why not? They are citizens, tax payers and often times live and work in the cities they hold office in. Who better to understand the basic needs and issues of the community? Wake up people, educate yourselves on the issues. it’s time we force our elected officials to work together for OUR benefit. Not theirs!

    • Goldwater Conservative says

      @Tom – apparently you haven’t actually looked over the water statistics. Demand is DOWN not up. And in fact after the rains a few years back that refilled our reservoirs, we have a water surplus. Every day, water diverted from the Colorado River is used to “recharge” the underground aquifer because we can’t use all the water we have coming to us.

      Finally, there should be a necessary tension between unions and management. Unions seek to increase wages for their members, and management needs to make sure we don’t negotiate contracts that overburden the taxpayer. It would be like having kids in charge of their own allowances – the kids would having no regard of the hard work their parents put in to earn the money – and would likely take more than their parents could afford. Even FDR was opposed to public sector unions. Here’s a great article with a quote from FDR and the dangers of public sector unions in general.

      • “And in fact after the rains a few years back that refilled our reservoirs, we have a water surplus.”

        And of course, rainwater supply remains constant. I mean, just ask the people of Texas and Oklahoma. They had good rains a few years ago! They’re doing peachy now!

        Water is needed only for crop irrigation, animal husbandry, hygeine, cooking, and drinking. Grass, golf courses, non-native plants, swimming pools – all luxuries. If people stopped pretending they lived in something other than the largest North American desert, maybe they’d save money. We pay a lot less than the actual cost of water.

        Or we could privatize water. I mean, that’ll only lead to constant supplies and cheaper costs. Just ask the residents of Anthem and Black Canyon City.

    • Increasing the water rates was absolutely NOT necessary. Two consecutive years of 7% increases in a market where the inputs are FALLING in price?

      Check your facts. The 2009-2010 increase was to fund the move of 200 police department staffers from the police department to the water department. The 2010-2011 increase was to fund a second undetermined (or undisclosed, because of the flak the city felt from releasing the 200 number the prev year) number of police dept staffers from the police department to the water department.

      Sal Diciccio promised an audit of where that money went and where the police dept staffers went and what they are doing today. The council blocked the disclosure of that audit. And Sal didn’t push hard enough to release it.

      Do you know what these 300+ police staffers are doing today? NOTHING but getting paid property taxpayer money!

      Talk about the “law and order” wing of the GOP, this is UNACCEPTABLE. Layoffs are required IMMEDIATELY from the city payrolls, specifically the water department, the airport and the police department which is still grossly overstaffed.

  2. I will *not* get behind Democrat Wes Gullet. He is NO LESS beholden to the corporation commission, GPEC and the public employee unions than Stanton.

    Wes Gullet is a LIBERAL. Get that through your thick skull. He is not marginally better than Stanton. He is the SAME OR WORSE than Stanton because he is a RINO.

    If you attempt to interpret the above statement as support for Stanton, I’m going to have to call you dishonest up front, because that’s not what it says nor what it is. It states exactly what it states and nothing more. To interpret it as more is to LIE.

    Gullett and Stanton are pals and are run by the EXACT SAME people.

    “Getting behind” Gullett is “getting behind” raping taxpayers and throwing old ladies on fixed incomes out of their homes in order to enrich public employee unions, Goldmen bond salesmen and hand-picked contractors who build completely worthless tax subsidized infrastructure projects to create jobs that never seem to materialize (because those job promises were just rhetoric and not real).

    I’m not going to do it. Sorry. Your support for a fink RINO like Gullet just makes you a compromiser contributing to the further downfall of this city and Republican politics in general.

  3. Conservative American says

    I already voted for the candidate I wanted for mayor; Jennifer Wright. Wes Gullet is no Jennifer Wright.

    I agree with Observe that we now have a “choice” between two candidates both of whom are unacceptable. That means that I stay home on election day.

    We will no longer accept voting for the least worst. Republicans had better put some real meat on the table if they want registered Republicans to even show up at the polls.

  4. I beg to differ.

    Republicans DID put real meat on the table, but Jennifer didn’t win.

    Why? Because she had no record to run on.

    Democrats have a “system” or farm team by which they groom candidates by having them win elections in successively more responsible positions, so that they have a real, verifiable “record” on which to run.

    Until conservatives, Tea Party or otherwise, learn how to play this game better, they will not consistently win elections.

    While Jennifer’s philosophy of governing may have been sufficiently persuasive for the Tea Party faithful, it certainly was not competitive with the actual record of performance of the other candidates in the eyes of INDEPENDENTS or even many Republicans (hence, Wes Gullet’s success).

    Promoting Success means going after ALL levels of elective office, not just the Top positions, like Mayor, or even City Council, if you have never done anything else within the community to EARN recognition!

    Unless you have LOTS of money, or well financed backers, you are likely going to have to resign yourself to starting at the bottom of the ladder and working your way up.

    Let’s start getting involved in our communities in areas besides politics, so that we can EARN a reputation for accomplishment that will propel us to success in these contests. Let the cream then rise to the top.

    Until we succeed at this, we must then choose between what is before us. Choosing to stay at home only supports the worse of the two options. (If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.) To say that there is NO difference between Wes Gullet and Greg Stanton is patently false on the face of it. While Wes may not satisfy everyone’s preferences for being as conservative as they like, he is absolutely NOT equivalent to Greg Stanton. (This is essentially the same argument that many make in in advocating the “Moral Equivalence” of Palestinian vs. Israeli acts over the decades, or the few acts of murder by anti-abortionists vs. Islamic terrorists. There is no moral equivalence.) Likewise, there is no political equivalence between Greg Stanton and Wes Gullet.

    Let’s accept our defeats with grace and seize the opportunity to save Phoenix from another 4 years of liberal lunacy by supporting Wes Gullet for Mayor!

    • Wes Gullett = Liberal Lunacy, Public Employee Union BONANZA, Higher Property Taxes

      But thanks for your opinion!

    • Conservative American says

      I too beg to differ, Dutch Walz. The core problem is your stated position that we MUST choose between what is before us. As long as we hold to that idea and continue to do that we will not be offered more Conservative candidates to vote for. What would be the motive for fielding more Conservative candidates if people come out to vote for non-Conservative candidates?

      Choosing to stay at home sends a message to the Republican establishment that if they hope to win they had better knock off the garbage and offer up genuine Conservative candidates.

      Might I remind you, Dutch, that nationally “Tea Party” and other non-establisment candidates won 30% if the races they were in. That’s BIG for just getting started and facing opposition from both Democrats and establishment “Republicans”.

      What sort of American are you, Dutch, that you want to accept defeat with grace? Americans never accept defeat. That is what made America great. We may lose a battle but we continue the war.

      During the American Revolution, we took on one of the strongest nations in the world at that time and whipped them. John Paul Jones, when offered surrender, supposedly said, “I have not yet begun to fight!” After suffering a sneak attack at Pearl Harbor, we went on to defeat both the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany. If we had accepted defeat with grace, saying, “Oh, surrender isn’t so bad”, we would be speaking Japanese and German instead of English.

      No, we will not compromise and we will not accept defeat, with grace or otherwise. It is that sort of resolve which makes the impossible possible and it is the American trait which, perhaps more than any other, made this country great!

      • amattclarkson says

        Will someone please shut the window? There’s a draft of hot air.

        • Conservative American says

          And you, of course, only offer pearls of wisdom.

          • Phillip the Great says

            No one from the crowd purports he can take the mound and pitch better than the MLB guy out there. No one from the crowd would be able to convince ANY fan that he’d be a better QB than the guy on the NFL field.

            So why, in politics, do people suddenly assume that someone like Wright can make a legitimate run for office? It could happen, sure, but when it doesn’t how can you be surprised or disappointed?

            Tell me for one second that if you had the sole responsibility for selecting the mayor of your city (think traffic, trash pickup, crime, making deals with council members) that you would pick the kid right out of college? What kind of a conservative rolls the dice like that?

          • Conservative American says

            Phillip, this isn’t a professional, for profit sports franchise so your analogy has no meaning. Instead of analogies, let’s talk about the actual situation.

            Behind your statements is the assumption that some sort of special experience or training is required to make a “legitimate” run for office. The implication is that those who lack such experience or training are somehow making an “illegitimate” run for office. I could not disagree more and I see this mindset as one of the major problems facing us in politics today.

            Any resident who meets the stated rquirements to run for the office they are seeking is making a legitimate run for office. There is no requirement that one be some sort of political elite. In fact, look at where governance by the political elite has gotten us.

            I don’t indulge in surprise or disappointment. I simply make continuous effort until victory is achieved.

            Most “kids” right out of college are 20 or 21 years old and many could be drafted in time of war and be required to lay down their life for their country. Yes, I would select a “kid” right out of college if he or she appeared to be the best candidate. Are you suggesting that we should write off young people as having no business holding political office, as being devoid of common sense and ability? That’s a big chunk of America that you would rule out solely on the basis of age.

            What kind of Conservative rolls the dice like that? That’s a loaded question, Phillip. It assumes that such a choice constitutes rolling the dice and that other choices do not constitute rolling the dice. Running for political office is inherently a roll of the dice no matter who is running. Is there such a thing as a guaranteed outcome to an election? Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. Why don’t you study the history of Dewey versus Truman.

  5. Conservative American,

    That was the best Rant I’ve heard since John Belushi in “Animal House.”
    “…did American quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!…”

    Yes, we should accept/acknowledge defeat of individual “battles/elections” while we continue to fight the war.

    Stamping your foot and saying NO is nice and cute, if you’re Shirley Temple, and it sends about the same message.
    It says to the Republican Establishment: Do NOT take me seriously, at all.

    There are two names on the ballot for Phoenix Mayor.

    If you abstain from voting and Stanton wins, then we all lose.

    Let’s go find as many solid, young conservatives as we can and begin to groom them to succeed Wes Gullet.
    We don’t disagree on the goal, just strategery.

    Since the current strategy of launching unknowns with no record of accomplishment into races isn’t working, why not try a formula that has proven to work, albeit, for our opponents?

    • Sorry, Gullet is a dem. I don’t vote for dems.

    • Conservative American says

      Well, Dutch, now we know that you spend your time watching movies like “Animal House”. That explains a lot.

      No, Dutch, we should never accept defeat. That is the mindset of a loser and Americans aren’t losers.

      Have you been watching Shirley Temple movies too! Might I suggest that you switch to John Wayne movies. Might increase your testosterone level.

      I don’t care if the establishment takes me seriously or not. If they don’t, that’s their mistake and it will cost them. What they will take seriously is when their lackluster candidates lose because registered Republicans like me stay home on election day. I’m not going to waste my vote by casting it for a political hack.

      Dutch wrote: “If you abstain from voting and Stanton wins, then we all lose.” Incorrect analysis, Dutch. If Stanton wins, Gullet loses. We simply continue fighting as we have been.

      Based on the performance of Phil Gordon, this should have been an easy race for Republicans to win on the first vote. Why didn’t that happen?

      Five Republicans in the race? That was no accident. It was a strategy to lead to a runoff with the establishment backed Republican candidate ending up on the ballot. Since the race is not officially run along party lines with primaries, that was the only way for establishment Republicans to get their man on the ticket. Run enough candidates to see to it that no one of them gets 50% or more but see to it that the rank and file establishment Republicans vote for Gullet. Like magic, now it’s Gullet versus Stanton.

      Dutch wrote: “Let’s go find as many solid, young conservatives as we can and begin to groom them to succeed Wes Gullet.” No, Dutch, let’s promote conservative candidates, of any age, and run them instead of the Wes Gullets.

      Dutch wrote: “Since the current strategy of launching unknowns with no record of accomplishment into races isn’t working, why not try a formula that has proven to work, albeit, for our opponents?” Incorrect analysis again, Dutch. Was Bill Clinton nationally known when he first ran for office? Was he elected to a second term because of his accomplishments?

      Might I suggest, Dutch, that your approach is too passive to guarantee success. You seem to think we are subject to forces rather than being a force. That causes you to think defensively. You always seem to be thinking about how to avoid being squashed rather than thinking about how to take it to the enemy and squash him. You can’t win playing defense. You have to actively take it to the enemy and whip him with overwhelming force.

      If your candidate is unknown, then make him or her known.

      If the accomplishments of your candidate aren’t know, then make their accomplishments known. Accomplishments include much more than just political accomplishments.

      The Republican Party has a lot of resources to do this sort of thing but they are putting those resources behind “moderate” Republicans and blowing off Conservatives. A “moderate” Republican is a left wing Republican. It is Conservative Republicans who are in tune with the American people.

      Establishment Republicans have become adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That’s because establishment Republicans have the same “One World” goal as do Democrats. They really don’t care whether a Republican or a Democrat is in office as long as their “One World” agenda advances. That, however, is not how voters see it.

      We want a choice and establishment Republicans are determined to deny us that choice. When McCain ran against Obama we had a choice between a candidate who favored “comprehensive immigration reform” and a candidate who favored “comprehensive immigration reform”. Had Republicans backed a genuine Conservative candidate for president, there would have been a stark contrast with Obama’s Marxist history and ideas and Obama would have ended up back working for ACORN.

      Never operate from fear. Don’t fear what will happen if Stanton gets elected. He’ll do a poor job and even more voters will be turned off by Democrat failures. Give Democrats enough rope and they hang themselves like Obama is doing. All that is required to prevail is to run a REAL, Conservative candidate against them. People like the supposedly Conservative Karl Rove, however, are even now cautioning against running candidates “too far to the right”. They imply that Conservative candidates can’t get elected. If Republicans follow the advice of pundits like Rove, their candidates won’t get elected.

  6. If you loved Phil Gordon policies, you will love Wes Gullett (Phil Gordon II).
    Mrs Gullett was the chief of staff to Phil Gordon for several years. Thats why Gordon endorsed McCain! There were lots of deals cooked when Wes was appointed to the very powerful planning commission by Mayor Gordon! He sat on that commission wth Billy Shields, the ex Firefighters honcho that ran city hall from the union office, and Wes and Billy built a strong friendship.
    If you want the unions to rund city hall, vote Wes Gullett.

  7. Phillip the Great says

    Well, how many of us think our boss and our boss’s boss is an idiot and if we were in charge we’d run the company way better? Yeah, all of us. How many of us want to be judged by what our bosses do in public and in private? Yeah, none of us. Go watch one of those old John Wayne movies or Braveheart or maybe even Bourne…maybe read about St. Paul…soldiers learn certain skills by being part of the problem. And some day you’d convert, maybe, and shed your old skin and put yourself in the ring.

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