Stanton and his optimistic campaign message simply resonated with voters. He told them Phoenix was a well-run city that, yes, faced challenges and needed some reforms. Gullett, by comparison, was parroting Republican and Tea Party talking points, hitting hard on pension reform, tax cuts, and painting the city as being controlled by shady, overpaid, union-loving employees with too much power.

That approach may have worked in a county- or statewide election, but it wasn't right for Phoenix, a city where registered Democrats and Independents outnumber Republicans about 2 to 1 and residents prefer to keep party politics out of City Hall.

To be sure, party support played a role in this mayoral race, as did the anonymous political contributions funneling money into the Phoenix mayor's race through independent expenditures.

Greg Stanton beat Wes Gullett on November 8 to become Phoenix's mayor-elect.
Social Eye Media
Greg Stanton beat Wes Gullett on November 8 to become Phoenix's mayor-elect.
Phoenix Mayor-elect Greg Stanton (center) gets a hug from a supporter on Election Night.
Monica Alonzo
Phoenix Mayor-elect Greg Stanton (center) gets a hug from a supporter on Election Night.

Active Democratic Party volunteers lined up behind Stanton, forming an army of campaign workers, while the Republican Party poured money into ads in support of Gullett.

Also, two political organizations, Phoenix Citizens United and Arizona Citizens United, spent more than $93,000 and $107,000 on political ads to support Stanton and Gullett, respectively.

Neither organization would reveal its financial donors.

While Stanton called for disclosure, Gullett said it was their right to operate in that manner.

Because election laws prohibit coordination between independent expenditures and candidates' political campaigns, political watchers found it curious that a gush of money arrived to boost Gullett in the weeks before the August 30 election, just as his campaign was struggling to raise funds.

During an interview on Channel 12's "Sunday Square Off," Resnik asked Gullett whether any clients of his lobbying firm, FirstStrategic Communication and Public Affairs, had contributed to Arizona Citizens United.

Gullett stammered but said he didn't know.

Resnik pressed: "So you have no idea who's behind that?"

"I have . . . I have . . . I have worked on . . . I don't know, yeah, I don't know exactly," Gullett said.

The money effectively pushed Gullett into one of the top two spots, but it couldn't overcome the city's overall history of voting blue and leaning left. The Republican push gave him a slight edge in District 1 and District 2, the more Republican-leaning sections of Phoenix.

Early results of the runoff election show that in District 1, Gullett won eight of the 15 voting precincts, and in District 2, he won 11 of the 15 precincts. But he didn't win District 6, also a Republican stronghold. There, Stanton got more votes at 20 of the area's 21 voting precincts.

Now, with victory secured, Stanton says he is thinking about getting on with the business of governing. But even as he prepares to take the keys to the Mayor's Office, there are moments of simple joy.

After delivering his victory speech, back in the warehouse, his adoring fans reached out to him and waved yard signs. He leaned over, shaking hands off the side of the stage before stepping into the crowd. He was enveloped in a crowd of hundreds, showered with handshakes, hugs and kisses.

That had to feel good. And now, the hard work ahead.

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12 comments
Kelly Levine
Kelly Levine

I would not be surprised if we end up with 2% food tax for ever and higher water bills to pay for the fat pay checks the city employee's get lot of perks. They even get free bus, and light rail passes to come and go to work. Who in the private sector gets that what about the city retirement how they spike there total income using the unlimited sick time they store up over years all that plus others perks get lumped into the total income then their retirement check every month is based on a % of that. Right now city employees hardly have to contribute anything to there retirement it's all on the backs of city tax payers. Do some research I was shocked when I did why are city employees still living the high life of 2006.

Ross
Ross

Click on the link to Bioscience High School (which at last report was part of Phoenix Union High School District, not City of Phoenix) and you will get a message

"Nothing was found that satisfied your request"

Which kind of summarizes the mayoral election, also.

Guest
Guest

Greg actually went to Michigan for law school fyi

Bnbk
Bnbk

Great work once again Monica !

Guest
Guest

Christ what a shit piece. Did Stanton write it? Ugh. Lacey, demote her to listings.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Kelly, City Employee contribute a LOT to that retirement - they work for it. They agreed to do the work for that compensation and we, the Citizens of Phoenix - through our elected representatives - agreed to pay them that amount. You know why they get paid well? Because they have to put up with the kind of crap you're posting here. You're obviously a cheat and a liar and we should not listen to your deceitful crap designed to divide the citizens of Phoenix.

Ross
Ross

Marquette for undergraduate degree, Michigan for law school. Michigan's law school is ranked 7th in the country; Marquette is ranked 95th. But what would a New Times writer know about the difference?

Matt Helm
Matt Helm

Wow, Deb, do you kiss your kids with that mouth?

Dogbiter
Dogbiter

Wes, thanks for chiming in. Now go back to your Hobbit hut.

 
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