Stanton's straight-ahead message won over voters: Great analysis of the Phoenix mayoral election by Monica Alonzo ("Blond Ambition," November 17). It's true that Wes Gullett hurt himself by misunderstanding the voters of Phoenix — not that he had much of a chance anyhow.
My opinion is that his nod to the Tea Party made it vastly impossible for him to overtake a guy like Greg Stanton in a city that traditionally votes moderate-to-liberal.
New Times feedback
I'm glad that Stanton's straight-ahead, unapologetic message got across. Looking to the future, I think we will enjoy a big improvement at City Hall. Get to work, Greg — there's a lot to do!
Tom Shuster, Phoenix
Thankfully, a new direction: Thank God that we are finally turning a little to the left in Arizona. With the election of Greg Stanton and the ousting of [state Senate President] Russell Pearce, I think we are in for a better future in this beautiful city and state.
Another politician I don't mind seeing in my rearview mirror is Mayor [until January 3] Phil Gordon, who started out on the correct foot but wound up an embarrassment who sold us out to a scheming woman ("Phil Unveiled," September 29).
Rich Rojas, Phoenix
Dems need to grow a pair: I agree with Stephen Lemons that the Arizona Democratic Party did squat to help defeat Russell Pearce in the Mesa recall election ("Headhunter," November 17). Lemons rightly gives credit to Randy Parraz and lawyers Chad Snow and Tom Ryan for engineering a truly historic political feat.
Lemons also deserves credit for keeping our now-ex-state Senate president's hateful activities in front of voters' eyes for years, prompting the recall.
But for [Democratic state Senator] Krysten Sinema to be even inadvertently claiming credit is a disservice to the people who made this happen. Official Democrats need to grow a pair and stop hiding from adversity in this state.
That is, step up when the going is tough — not after [others have] succeeded through a lot of hard work.
DePaul Ames, Phoenix
Misdirected blast: The problem with Stephen Lemons' blast of the state Democratic Party for hiding in the shadows in the Pearce recall is that if [it] hadn't, [it] would've done harm to the campaign.
The last thing anybody needed is a lefty like Krysten Sinema wailing to the Mormon electorate in [Legislative District] 18 about Pearce's injustices.
Steve Rodriguez, Phoenix
Sinema hardly was helpful: How many times did Russell Pearce use Krysten Sinema's "[Actually,] I love Russell" quote to defend himself against allegations that he was too extreme? She hurt the recall effort.
Adrian Cruz, Phoenix
Notes from one of the recallers: A few thoughts [about the successful Pearce recall]:
1) The margin of victory suggests that [political newcomer Jerry] Lewis won even the Republican vote. That means, in the past year, [ex-County Attorney] Andrew Thomas lost in a statewide Republican primary [for attorney general] and Russell Pearce lost the GOP vote in the most conservative district in the state. Those facts certainly belie Pearce's claim that his and Thomas' hard-line immigration approach enjoys broad support. These one-issue candidates couldn't even win over members of their own party.
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2) I can't say enough [about] how much Lewis deserves all of our respect and future support. He took an extremely courageous stand, turned the other cheek to a lot of mean-spirited attacks. He will be a force for moderation, civility, and pragmatism at the Legislature.
3) The recall effort showed that when people of different political backgrounds set aside their differences and work together to seek solutions to problems, even the "impossible" can be accomplished. I can't help thinking that if our Legislature could cooperate in the same manner, we could have a top-notch education system, or not have to sell off state buildings to balance our budget!
Thanks to everyone for volunteering, donating money, and [giving] encouragement. I think we truly do have a "Better Arizona" today than we did [not that many] days ago.
Chad Snow, Peoria
Column could be a piece of history: [Lemons' column] is a great eulogy to the end of an era of terror. Well written, complete, and slightly amusing. The recall of Russell Pearce is now history, and this article may well be a historical chapter in future textbooks.
Susan Rastella, city unavailable