Skip Rimsza, Former Phoenix Mayor, Blasts Union-Supporting Mayoral Candidates

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

To former Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza, union is a four-letter word.

Rimsza, mayor from 1994 to 2004, wrote a letter for one mayoral candidate that blasts three others who he claims are preferred by "out of control" union bosses.


Rimsza believes that "Greg Stanton, Claude Mattox, and Wes Gullett all have ties to labor unions with a lot to gain from a Mayor sympathetic to their cause," according to a news release sent out by the candidate Rimsza supports, Peggy Neely.

Rimsza then goes into detail about the supposed sins of each union-supported candidate:

"Mr. Mattox is supported by the largest public employee union in the city and stood with them by voting to support the food tax increase and the pay raises..."

"Mr. Gullett was a lobbyist for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is the largest public employee union in the country. Nationally, they pushed for the boycott of Arizona. Locally, Mr. Gullett tried to get Maricopa County government to bargain with his union supporters..."

"And Mr. Stanton was an ardent opponent of SB 1070 and is supported by several labor and union groups such as the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union and the AFL-CIO affiliate Maricopa Area Labor Federation, who together have stood against Arizona and supported boycotting the state..."
We can't speak for all of these candidates, but it should be noted that Wes Gullet once served as former chief of staff for the highly conservative former Governor Fife Symington. As a lobbyist, he obviously takes money from those willing to give, but that doesn't necessarily mean Gullett personally supports the SEIU's causes, any more than a defense lawyer supports the alleged crimes of a client.

Neely seems to be using Rimsza to garner support from right-wing Tea Party types, though labor unions don't have as many sympathizers in Arizona -- a right-to-work state -- as they do elsewhere in the country.

Whether the attack on labor unions and the three mayoral candidates works for Neely will become apparent in the August 30 Phoenix election.

Neely's also a big supporter of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.