Oct 26, 2022 - Politics

Your guide to Phoenix City Council elections

Illustration of Phoenix City Hall with abstract ballot shapes.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Half of Phoenix's city council seats are on the ballot Nov. 8, guaranteeing at least one and as many as three new faces on the dais.

Why it matters: The new blood could help Mayor Kate Gallego, a moderate Democrat, form a more centrist coalition after getting hamstrung by the council's progressive wing for the past three years.

State of play: All eyes are on the open District 6 seat and the District 8 race, where incumbent Carlos Garcia faces multiple challengers.

  • Councilmember Laura Pastor is running unopposed in District 4.
  • If no candidate gets 50% plus one vote, there will be a runoff in March 2023.
District 2

Location: Northeast Phoenix

State of play: Incumbent Jim Waring has two challengers but a bucketload of campaign cash and name ID to fend them off.

Who's running:

Matt Evans: He works for a tech company as a development and IT operations engineer and drives for Uber. He says he represents the "regular everyday hard-working Phoenician."

Heli Nielson: She has worked as a marketing and communications professional. She says the district needs a change in leadership to make sure it gets its fair share of resources.

Waring: He is a former state lawmaker who has served on the council since 2011. He's been a conservative voice on the left-leaning council, fighting to cut government spending and support police.

District 6

Location: Ahwatukee, Arcadia, Biltmore and parts of north central Phoenix.

State of play: It's the end of an era as Sal DiCiccio, an outspoken and combative conservative who's on his second stint with the council, leaves due to term limits.

Who's running:

Harry Curtin: He is the chief executive officer of BlockDrive, a "software as a service" company. He describes himself as someone who would be a "peacemaker" between the council's factions.

Joan Greene: She is the founder and owner of the marketing firm Greene & Associates, and a former Democratic candidate for Congress in 2018 and 2020.

Mark Moeremans: He is a senior vice president of entrepreneurship and venture development at the Arizona Commerce Authority. Democratic state Reps. Sarah Liguori and Amish Shah have endorsed him.

Kevin Robinson: He rose to the rank of assistant chief during his four-decade career with Phoenix police. He's got the backing of Gallego, U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton and other prominent political figures.

Moses Sanchez: A Navy veteran and co-founder of the firm Nonnahs Marketing, he has long been active in Republican politics and ran for Phoenix mayor in 2018.

Juan Schoville: The 24-year-old part-time security guard says he's running to give representation to people with working-class backgrounds. He touts Green Party and Libertarian endorsements.

Sam Stone: He is DiCiccio's former chief of staff and is running to continue his legacy on the council. He's also the policy director for GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's campaign.

Kellen Wilson: She works for the Unite Here Local 11 union, which represents hotel, restaurant, airport, sports arena and convention center employees and is backed by councilmember Betty Guardado

District 8

Location: Parts of downtown and most of south Phoenix.

State of play: Activist and political organizer Garcia shocked some of the City Hall establishment with his 2019 victory. Now he has three challengers looking to end his reign.

Who's running:

Denise Ceballos Viner: She is the wife of a Phoenix police commander and says she has worked with the department to support at-risk youth and domestic violence victims. She runs a Hispanic parent education outreach group.

Carlos Garcia: He rose to political power by way of activism with Puente Human Right Movement, which he resigned from last year. His distrust of law enforcement has made him a controversial figure, but he did successfully circumvent Gallego to establish a police accountability office with more civilian oversight.

Nick Griemsmann: He directs a nonprofit and works with organizations such as Central Arizona Shelter Services and Community Bridges. He says he wants to create unity in the district.

Kesha Hodge Washington: She is a former assistant Arizona attorney general who practiced law here for 20 years. She says she's a consensus builder who will bring a fresh perspective.

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