Phoenix lobbyist Wes Gullett, in the running to be Phoenix's next mayor, says that he isn't trying to "push" one of his opponent out of the mayor's race.
He sent an e-mail sent yesterday to a few of his supporters asking for them to "talk to [Attorney Jennifer Wright] about her realistic chances of winning" and to consider the votes that she would be costing him.
It was just a strategic move, he says.
Gullett says that former Councilwoman Peggy Neely's supporters have been continually asking him to step out of the race, questioning whether he can raise enough money to win -- they are presumably concerned about the votes Gullett would cost Neely.
"I tell them, 'I'm running, and I'm running hard. And I'm going to get all the money I can," he tells New Times.
Neely recently resigned her post on the council to run for mayor. She faces Gullet, Wright, former Councilman Greg Stanton, Councilman Claude Mattox, and Libertarian Thane Eichenauer in the August 30 election.
The top two candidates in August will advance to the a run-off election in November.
"I just want to keep my support," Gullett says. "I wasn't trying to push anyone out of the race. I just wanted them to ask the question."
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Gullett says he doesn't want people to get caught up in the excitement of Wright, a Tea Party member, entering the race and not consider how that might compromise the overall goal of electing someone who will make "fundamental changes in the way our city government is conducted."
"If I don't make the run-off election (in November), then Greg [Stanton] is going to win. There is no doubt in my mind about that," he says. "Greg can beat Claude. Greg can beat Peggy."
Gullett says he is a more formidable opponent, and can take on Stanton in the November election.