Scottsdale surprised, again, with Tuesday’s election results. Just as it did in the August primary. Some quick observations and opinions.
*The typical campaign correlation between spending and winning held true in the case of now Scottsdale City Councilwoman-Elect Tammy Caputi. No one spent, raised or contributed more of their own money. But it didn’t when it came to Tom Durham and Betty Janik. They refused to take money from those with interests before city government and were outspent by most in the candidate field. Yet, they prevailed. That says a lot about their message and campaign.
*Lisa Borowsky got further than most anticipated when she became a late entrant into the mayoral sweepstakes. But her messaging was way off in the run-off election with Mayor-elect Dave Ortega. This was a Democratic year – exemplified by Joe Biden winning the city south the Loop 101. Yet, Borowsky was running like it was 2010 and 2014 focusing on Republican, Republican, Republican. To her credit she raised and spent a lot of money. But apparently she did not poll. That was a big misstep and ended up being fatal.
*We did not support Ortega but that doesn’t mean you can’t graciously congratulate him on a race well run. Now, it’s time for all, including us, to do what can be done to encourage his success. For his is now Scottsdale’s.
*The new Scottsdale City Council is old. It will be fascinating to watch how it relates and governs one of the city’s strengths – its youthful exuberance. Scottsdale is not Palm Springs. Nor should it be. How the new City Council recognizes this, or not, will be fascinating to watch.
*Former City Councilman George Zraket was the most notorious always no vote in Scottsdale. It eventually cost him his seat as voters tired of the negativity towards all things business. But that doesn’t seem to be the same governing philosophy of newcomers Ortega, Durham and Janik. It will be fascinating to see which projects and initiatives they support, and which they do not. It is not in the city’s interest to renew its reputation as “Stopsdale.”
*If Congressman David Schweikert, who represents much of Scottsdale, is not able to overcome his narrow deficit with his Democratic challenger look for a Republican free for all in 2022. A Democratic cannot hold the seat in most any year. People who may take a look or make a serious run include Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring, outgoing Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri, former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, former Congressman Ben Quayle, and Schweikert himself, among numerous others.
*Finally, a thank you to everyone who ran, win or lose. It takes guts to step into the arena these days. You have shown there is, and should always be, a nobility to the notion of public service.