Peggy Neely and Greg Stanton Show Early Leads in Phoenix Mayor's Race, Poll Reveals

It's way early in the Phoenix mayor's race, but for political junkies wanting a glimpse of what might be, here are the results of a poll conducted by the Motola Group, a Phoenix based-public advocacy firm.

While some 40 percent of people report they are still undecided, of those who have decided, well, it's good news for Councilwoman Peggy Neely and former Councilman Greg Stanton, two of the four candidates vying for the mayor's post.

Of those surveyed, 23.8 percent said they planned to vote for Neely, and 17 percent backed Stanton. Councilman Claude Mattox nabbed 11.2 percent, and Phoenix lobbyist Wes Gullett came in last with 8.2 percent.

The survey, conducted between between January 24 and January 28, reached 500 registered voters in Phoenix who cast a ballot in at least the past three city election and are likely to vote in a 2011 local election.

Neely, who formed her exploratory committee in May 2010, has served on the Phoenix City Council since 2001. The most recent campaign finance reports show that she has raised $104,000 through December 31. Since then, her exploratory campaign has raised another $125,000, giving her a  about $230,000.

Stanton, who just formed his mayoral committee in December 2010, served as a Phoenix councilman from 2000 until 2009. He resigned to serve as an Arizona deputy attorney general.

Although his campaign kitty of nearly $80,000 was emptied by Mindy Shields, his former treasurer and daughter of influential Phoenix lobbyist Billy Shields, the Stanton for Mayor campaign appears to have recovered.

According to the Arizona Guardian:

Billy Shields, the former leader of the politically powerful Phoenix Firefighter's Association, deposited two checks totaling $80,000 into the "Friends of Greg Stanton" account, Stanton and his attorney Hector Diaz said Wednesday.
Both checks, they said, were deposited in the name of Shields' daughter, Mindy Shields, who was the former treasurer of Stanton's account and is accused of embezzling the money.

Stanton has raised another $60,000 since he first announced his bid for mayor. His grand total is about $140,000.

Mattox has served on the Phoenix City Council since 2000, and he first formed his exploratory committee for mayor more than a year ago in October 2009. He made official his bid for mayor in January.

During that time, his campaign has raised almost $130,000. The rest of his money -- about $250,000 -- was carried over from his previous council races, giving him about $380,000.

Wes Gullett, who served three years on the Phoenix Planning Commission, set up his campaign for mayor on November 11. Gullett's campaign-finance report show that he has raised nearly $57,000 through December 31, the end of the most recent reporting period. Since then, his camp has raised another $43,000, for a total of about $100,000.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo