As you likely heard, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton earlier this week resigned to run for the open Congressional District 9 seat currently held by Congresswoman Krysten Sinema, who is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. Stanton, who served for more than six years, said that serving as mayor and a member of the Phoenix City Council “has been a great honor.”
Stanton’s move sparked a long-anticipated domino effect of resignations and jockeying, as Phoenix City Councilmembers Danny Valenzuela and Kate Gallego launched bids to run for mayor. Additionally, media executive Moses Sanchez, lawyer Nicholas Sarwark and non-profit CEO Tim Seay have jumped into the mayoral fray.
A statement from the city outlines what happens next:
Vice Mayor Thelda Williams is now serving as the city’s Interim Mayor. She will also continue to serve as Councilwoman for the city’s District 1.
If any Phoenix resident is interested in running to replace the Mayor for the remainder of his term, he/she must declare their interest within 10 days of Stanton’s resignation, which would be by 5 p.m., Friday, June 8.
Next, the City Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 11, to appoint a Mayor Pro Tempore from the remaining Councilmembers. That person will serve as Mayor, in addition to their current Council seat, until the Special Election. Or, if necessary, until a runoff election.
Approval of a Special Election for Voters:
Phoenix City Charter says the City Council must call for a Special Election between 11 and 20 days of a vacancy, while at the same time giving residents 120 days notice that an election will happen. The next available date to hold a Special Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, which will put the vote on the state General Election.
If a current Phoenix City Councilmember chooses to run in the Special Election for Mayor, he/she will have to resign from their current position as a Councilmember. However, they do not have to resign until nomination petitions are filed. For the Nov. 6 election, petitions will be due at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 8.
Any Phoenix resident interested in replacing a City Councilmember will have 10 days after the office is vacated to declare their intent to run to fill the remainder of the term of office for that Council seat. Similar to the Mayor, between 12-15 days of a Councilmember’s resignation, the remaining Councilmembers will select an interim Councilmember to serve until a Special Election can be held for that office.
Meanwhile, the local business community anxiously awaits the outcome.