Over the past two plus decades in Scottsdale there have been two epic campaign contests for Mayor. In 1996 Diana Smith (wife of former Councilman David Smith) spent a major chunk of her own change to almost upset the presumptive frontrunner, Sam Campana. Almost. And then in 2008 then Councilman Jim Lane challenged a vulnerable Mayor Mary Manross, very narrowly prevailing. Back in 2016 we thought Lane v. Littlefield might have made the list but after the latter fared worse than the Phoenix Suns on opening night it’s not even worth an honorable mention. And speaking of honor it’s been how many hundreds of days since the Bobcat has failed to call Mayor Lane to congratulate him?! We hear Dear Abbey may be writing a column about the Lilliputian’s bad manners, but we digress . . .
While Scottsdale has important council elections later in 2018 it’s the 2020 campaign, most especially that for Mayor, stirring the most speculation and discussion.
Much of the attention has been driven by the aplomb, agog and athirst of Councilwoman Virginia Korte. She’s always wanted to be Mayor, and is perhaps the most qualified to seek the post in the city’s history. By announcing for the post about the time JFK was talking about sending someone to the moon, she’s setting a pace that has been both productive, and counterproductive.
Interestingly, it hasn’t seemed to unsettle fellow Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp who, according to rumors, whispers and dais display is exhibiting an almost Phil Jackson, Zen-like vibe to the prospect of challenging Korte. She’ll get to it when she’s get to it could be her campaign slogan now, showing little preoccupation that Korte in Kentucky Derby speak is out of the gate so quickly.
But there’s an increasing sense that Klapp will enter the 2020 race, so much so that popular Councilman Guy Phillips is said to be exploring other options, including a run for statewide office.
Klapp versus Korte. Two people who, as candidates in 2016, raised about $250,000 per person. What a race it would be. But we’ll save further analysis until another time.
What a profound impact the showdown would have on the balance of power in Scottsdale too. With the Mayor’s Office, and the seats of Klapp, Korte and Phillips in play the council candidate field could be quite large, in contrast to 2016. Jason Alexander , Barry Graham and Christian Serena could be top candidates, along with those that have tried before like Dan Schweiker or Eric Luoma, or those who don’t reach the promised land in 2018.
Buckle up. No, not about Trump in 2020. About what may be coming to Scottsdale that same year.