Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, leaving office in just a few months, has stayed out of the endorsement business in the upcoming mayor's race between former Councilman Greg Stanton and lobbyist Wes Gullett.
But Paul Johnson, one of Gordon's BFF's who served as mayor from 1990 to 1994, is throwing his support behind Gullett.
In a statement, Johnson cites Gullett's "new perspective to city government" and his calls him an "independent leader."
Interesting word choice given that Stanton has plastered the word -- independent -- all over his political signs.
Gullett needs to portray himself to voters as independent, that is free of the influence of the heavyweight clients that his lobbying firm, FirstStrategic, has ongoing business with.
A recent poll commissioned by Stanton shows that most voters don't think highly of lobbyists.
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Although he waffled for a while, Gullett finally agreed to leave his job -- and paycheck -- at the firm in an effort to silence his critics who said he would be unduly influenced if he kept both his job as a lobbyist and served as mayor.
Johnson believes that Gullett is the candidate who will be able to "create jobs and bring Phoenicians together." He says that he knows what it takes to serve as mayor, and knows that Gullett can get the job done.
And in Gullett's quote, saying that he is honored to be endorsed by Johnson, the I-word pops up again:
"Paul is a successful businessman, known for his independence and his innovation," Gullett says in his news release.