Blond Ambition

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She looks a bit confused as I point at the sign, then says, "No. That was here when we moved in."

If the good people of Mesa see fit to elect Kat, she's determined to work for them, to do their bidding. She will achieve this through the magic of television.

"I'm going to produce a TV show," explains Gallant. "I'll bring in consultants, pro and con, on issues in Mesa, and allow people to call in and tell me what they want. I feel that politicians too often have their own opinions when they go into office, and you hope they'll keep those opinions, then nine times out of ten they don't, and they go off on their own tangent.

"My thought is, why not get voted in, and then do what the people want you to do? I'm going to enforce what the majority of people in this town want me to do. What we're always dealing with are not what the majority of the people want; we're always dealing with the people that scream the loudest."

Though she's up against some formidable opponents--Wayne Brown, current vice mayor Jerry Boyd, Ken Basham and perennial candidate Kirby Allan--Kat thinks she has "a real good chance" of winning. You might laugh at this, but don't forget about LaCicciolina, the ex-porn star who was elected to the House of Deputies from Viareggio, Italy, a few years back. Perhaps the quiet burg of Mesa is in need of a little spice, a dash of robust attitude, blind faith and high heels.

"I'm hoping to put Mesa on the map," she emphasizes. "If you look at it, Tempe is a nice place to live, Chandler is a nice place, Ahwatukee, even Gilbert has its country flair. Mesa's got nothing; it's totally beige. No one wants to brag, 'I live in Mesa.'"

But Kat has no fantasies about the difficulties inherent to the office of mayor.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work," she says with determination. "The programs that I want to incorporate, the television show and getting a shelter for the homeless, it's going to be a lot of waking hours. That's what I see the hardest part being--certainly not the intellectual part; that part I could handle hands down with my eyes closed."

Think about it: With Mayor Kat in charge, fighting City Hall could actually be a lot of fun. And she'd sure look good riding in parades. Hers is, after all, an all-American tale, from humble hairdresser to political power broker, Capra meets John Waters. But could the job be too much? Might Kat find the stress level overpowering, as Mr. Smith did after he went to Washington?

"I imagine it will go up, but I'll just delegate. You take this problem, and you take that problem," Gallant offers, smooth and easy.

"I'm going to go look in the mirror."

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Peter Gilstrap
Contact: Peter Gilstrap