Posted: Jul 31, 2011, 2:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Willo, Midtown, Phoenix, Az
Phoenix Chamber debate to only feature four of six mayoral candidates
One of the biggest debates of the mayoral race will feature only four of the six candidates who qualified for the Aug. 30 ballot.
Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely and Greg Stanton were the only candidates who were eligible for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce's Aug. 15 debate. Anna Brennan and Jennifer Wright failed to meet some of the business organization's eligibility criteria, which included a requirement that candidates raise at least $50,000 in campaign contributions outside of their personal money.
The debate at Phoenix Symphony Hall is expected to be high profile. It will air live on television and radio, available for the entire Valley, not just Phoenix voters.
Wright said she hopes the chamber will reconsider and include her and Brennan in the dialogue.
“While I respect the private organization's choice to decide who can and can't be involved in the debate, I think it's unfortunate that the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce chose to exclude a leading contender in the mayor's race for the important debate on August 15 simply because I hadn't raised $50,000 by June 1,” Wright said. “I believe the city of Phoenix and its residents deserve to hear from all candidates who qualified for the ballot.”
Wright, the "tea party" backed candidate, has stirred interested from hard-core conservatives with some pundits suggesting she could even be a "dark horse" candidate.
Michelle Bolton, vice president of public affairs and economic development for the chamber, said the group reviewed how televised debates were handled across the country and spoke with campaign consultants to determine eligibility requirements. Bolton said that as soon as candidates announced they were running for mayor, the chamber reached out to inform them of its plans for a debate and the qualifications for participation.
“It's rare for a televised debate to not have some level of criteria for participation,” Bolton said. “I think we succeeded in having objective criteria.”
Brennan said, "It's their loss because it's not going to be complete."
"We didn't put all this time to be shunned by the people who represent small business," Brennan said. "Shame on them. If they want to truly change business-as-usual politics, they're going about it the wrong way."
Doors open at 5:45 p.m., and the debate will go live for an hour beginning at 7 p.m., airing on both CBS 5 and KJZZ 91.5 FM on Aug. 15. The event is free and open to the public, though seats are limited. Visit
for more information or to register.
I'm glad its going to be live on TV/Radio, but I wish it was online too. Maybe Ill be able to listen on KJZZ's website.
Phoenix mayor hopeful Greg Stanton says his priority is schools
31 comments by Lynh Bui - Jul. 29, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Although the city isn't in charge of running school districts or monitoring student test scores, Greg Stanton says the next mayor of Phoenix should take a lead in improving education if the region is to be successful in the future.
More than any other candidate for mayor, Stanton has been vocal about making education a top priority to build a sustainable, diverse economy for Phoenix and the state.
"As our public schools go, so goes the future of the city," said Stanton, who grew up attending public schools in Phoenix and is the father of two young children. "We need to have a renewed commitment to downtown and higher-education partnerships."
Stanton, who is running for mayor against Anna Brennan, Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely and Jennifer Wright, served on the Phoenix City Council for nine years representing the Biltmore, Arcadia, and Ahwatukee Foothills neighborhoods.
Stanton, an attorney who is running for mayor full time, said he would "use the bully pulpit" of the mayor's office to advocate for Head Start and early-childhood education grants from the federal government, find ways to invest in after-school programs and create a "mayor's education roundtable" with mayors from across Arizona.
Stanton was an advocate for landing the Translational Genomics Institute in downtown Phoenix and said he also would continue to boost the city's biosciences industry as part of his economic plan.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor is endorsing Stanton because he says Stanton has a "clear vision for bringing high-wage jobs to the city" through improving education in Phoenix.
"The next mayor is going to have to have a long-term vision for Phoenix for the next 10 years," said Pastor, whose district covers most of central Phoenix. "Greg is committed to doing that by building a diverse economy with high-wage jobs, growing biotech, while at the same time ensuring small business can expand."
Polls show Stanton ahead in the race, and it is widely believed he will be a candidate who will make it to a runoff in November. Although the city race is officially nonpartisan, some political pundits believe Stanton has a leg up in the race because he is the only Democrat running, while the rest of the field will be splitting the conservative vote.
Stanton, however, says he has broad support from his former City Council district, which is heavily Republican, and that he's leading because he has a strong grass-roots campaign.
More than 2,000 donors have contributed to his campaign, and from January to May, he outraised all of his competitors.
"We have a relentless grass-roots campaign," said Stanton, who has been endorsed by state law-enforcement unions.
On the campaign trail, though, Stanton's rivals question his loyalty to the city, saying he bailed from the City Council when Phoenix had difficult budget decisions to make, to go work for the Arizona Attorney General's Office in February 2009.
"Greg's experience is limited because he left the City Council and is now standing on the outside telling us how it should be done," Mattox said. "If it was so important to you, why did you leave?"
Stanton, however, said during his work as a deputy state attorney general, he worked on statewide issues such as driving out predatory payday-loan stores, border issues and protecting Luke Air Force Base from further residential encroachment.
"It's going to make me a better leader and a better mayor as a result," Stanton said of his experiences with the Attorney General's Office.
"The mayor's job is different than a council member's job. It's the job I want, and I have no intention of going anywhere because I love this city."
Job: Attorney running for mayor full time. Most recently served as deputy attorney general to Terry Goddard.
Experience: Former Phoenix councilman for District 6.
Family: Married with a son and a daughter.
What is your vision for Phoenix? What big ideas would you like to see come to fruition in the next decade or two?
I'm a local kid; I grew up here in Phoenix. My vision for Phoenix is a city where kids can grow up in strong, safe neighborhoods, be able to access well-resourced public libraries, go to great parks surrounded by diverse cultural opportunities, attend excellent public schools, go to a great university here locally, and build a world-class career without ever having to leave for another city or state.
From day one in public leadership, I've made the case that Phoenix must develop a sustainable, diverse economy. To achieve this we need to:
- Make education one of our top priorities. This is the only way we'll be able to compete in the competitive international economy.
- Fully build out the biosciences campus. I was involved from day one of this initiative, and I would like to see it through to its completion. A commitment to this campus sends out a critically important message about our priorities for the future as a city.
- Work closely with the Scottsdale and Tempe leadership to make the area around Papago Park the hub that it should be. The Discovery Triangle has been a start to this approach, and I would love to see it through to fruition.
- Make Phoenix one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the country through a commitment to multimodal transport and initiatives to make the city more walkable and bikeable.
- Aggressively tackle chronic, family and youth homelessness in Phoenix. I have long been committed to this issue, and having served as the chair of the Continuum of Care Regional Committee on Homelessness for the Maricopa Association of Governments, it is one of the top ongoing issues facing this city that must be addressed.
- Lead the way to increase recycling efforts in Phoenix and look for ways to expand the city's recycling services outside of single-family residential homes. To become a national leader in green industries, we must foster a culture of green initiatives and green thinking in our city.
- Work to alter how our state is perceived. As the state's largest city, we must lead the way. To attract the outside investment and tourism that creates new jobs for our community, we must improve our reputation as a city and a state, and embrace the diversity that is one of the biggest strengths of our community.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/p...#ixzz1Th1pU9PU