The second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is coming up but the jockeying to be the next Mayor of Phoenix has long been underway. Mayor Stanton is term-limited and will depart in 2019, if not before.
So let’s take a look at those in or eyeing the starting gate, and the odds associated with each for the not too far away contest.
Phil Gordon (3/2): How can this be say you? Because, technically, acute observers may recall he didn’t fill out his entire two-year term. He resigned a week before. A court will surely decide whether Gordon can run. He certainly wants to. If so, he would start out as a strong favorite.
Tom Simplot (2:1): The former Councilman and current head of the apartment lobby has all the ingredients a Phoenix Mayor needs. Pro-business, social conscience and he’s not afraid to make a decision, a ding on the current occupant of the office. He’s well spoken and serves with a smile. Simplot has a story to tell and will be able to raise money though he does have some blemishes on his record (i.e. Valley Metro) that could come back to bite him.
Danny Valenzuela (3:1): A current councilman with major backing from unions and the Latino community Valenzuela would be very difficult to prevent from getting into a run-off election. But can the soft-spoken one eventually get to 50+1? That would be the question in a run-off election.
Michael Nowakowski (12:1): Few were working harder to position themselves more for the post-Stanton era than Nowakowski. However, a series of slip-ups has undermined his prospects. But Nowakowski is not one to be underestimated. Anyone who came from so far down to beat the daughter of a Congressman in order to capture his council seat is someone to be taken seriously.
Sal DiCiccio (13:1): The odds are long just because his interest in the job seems to be low. Well-positioned to coast to re-election victory in 2017 the question is what does he do with his massive campaign bank account if it’s largely intact because potential opponents know there are few better campaigners in Arizona than DiCiccio? The odds on DiCiccio could drop precipitously later in 2017 or early 2018.