By Scottsdale Pinetop
We are in the final days of the Phoenix mayoral race. With the election right around the corner, both candidates are spending big money to sway any last minute voters – if they haven’t already decided – bombarding Phoenicians with TV ads, newspaper ads and recorded calls. And with the recent push from “dark money” organizations throwing large sums of cash attacking both Gallego and Valenzuela, the mayoral race has turned into more of a finger-pointing contest than an election.
There’s no doubt that fundraising is a critical component in getting a candidate elected regardless the office. Without a sufficient bank account, a candidate can easily fall short at the polls. This doesn’t mean the candidate who raises and spends the most wins very time, but it is the case more often than not.
Early last week, the 2019 Pre-Election campaign finance reports were released. Political fighter Kate Gallego is still leading the fundraising game with well over $2 million while Daniel Valenzuela trails behind at $1.4 million raised. This is especially surprising as Valenzuela’s campaign has worked tirelessly to secure high-profile donors and endorsements from Phoenix heavyweights such as Jerry Colangelo and former mayors Phil Gordon, Paul Johnson and Skip Rimsza. While name recognition can be a powerful tool for winning it doesn’t always lead to victory. This is something Daniel Valenzuela is having to learn the hard way.
Kate Gallego’s fundraising ability is telling. Over the course of the election cycle, it is clear Kate Gallego has made a name for herself and in a good way. She knows how to connect with the community and voters are taking her seriously. As they should. Her campaign messages have been predominantly progressive, proactive and inclusive with a solid vision for Phoenix’s future – something Valenzuela struggles to communicate.
The city has opened 28 voting centers with voting starting March 9th with the final Election Day on March 12th. In a city of 1.6 million people, Phoenix needs a leader that understands the issues, ability to collaborate with the larger community and keeps the city moving forward. Kate Gallego checks all of the boxes to be Phoenix’s next mayor. We will surely be rooting for her success.