An Intriguing Contest Brewing: the Glendale Mayoral Race

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers

While the Arizona Progress & Gazette tends to focus on issues east of the I-17, we do our best to keep our eyes on intriguing issues across the Valley, and there are few issues more intriguing than a long-term incumbent who is facing serious challenges. That is what brings our attention to Glendale and what may end up one of the most noteworthy mayoral races in the entire county.

Mayor Jerry Weiers is running for his third term but finds himself with probably the strongest resistance of his political career after what has been a colorful few issues.

One of the more respected former members of the Arizona legislature, Paul Boyer, jumped into the race towards the beginning of the year. After witnessing more contention and partisanship in the legislature than he preferred, he decided to not run for re-election there and instead chose to run to represent his home city. His time in the legislature was known for reaching across the aisle, a deeply pragmatic spirit, and a generally affable and likable persona that made him a favorite amongst many in the legislature.

More recently there has been another entrant into the race: Glendale Councilman Jamie Aldama. He can point to his time in the council as well as experience in a number of related boards as good reasons why he is highly qualified for the position, but his priorities are what is really turning heads. In a completely unveiled dig at Weiers, in his announcement, Aldama led off with “When elected, my top priority will be to improve the image of the office of mayor.” Ouch, shots fired.

Typically we like to look at campaign finance reports in order to handicap the odds of various candidates, since those who win the money race are often considered frontrunners. That said, there hasn’t been any necessary reporting regarding contributions and expenditures, so observers are flying blind, but we can look at previous fundraising prowess to extrapolate forward.

Weiers has shown himself to be a prolific fundraiser in the past, raising over $230,000 in his last mayoral campaign. Not to be outdone, Boyer wasn’t a slouch when it comes to fundraising either, raising over $200,000 in his last State Senate campaign. Aldama has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to fundraising chops however, as he raised just over $22,000 in his last election cycle.

From a traditional perspective, it looks as though this is a two-person race, with Weiers and Boyer having the fundraising acumen to compete at a higher level than Aldama. But perhaps the biggest question is whether Weiers’ strong name identification throughout the city is more positive than negative, and if he is able to avoid any more outbursts over the next 12 months. Boyer is clearly a more steady hand and navigated many complex situations at the Capitol with grace. More of the same or something new? What does Glendale want? We will know in one short year.