Guest Editorial: What’s At Stake

By Recker McDowell —

Today (July 6th) is the deadline to register to vote in the August 4th primary elections.

The primary election, of course, is not as much on the radar of voters and advocates focused on the November presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden or the U.S. Senate race between Martha McSally and Mark Kelly.

But the local primaries in cities such as Scottsdale, Gilbert, Glendale, and Chandler will go a long way for those community’s paths on issues such as growth, jobs, land-use, and economic development. Localities are also on the frontlines in some of our responses to COVID-19.

Scottsdale’s August primary is for three City Council seats and the contest to succeed term-limited Mayor Jim Lane.

Chandler is filling three City Council seats and Gilbert has council seats up and a mayoral race to succeed Jenn Daniels who is not seeking another term. Gilbert is charting its paths on growth, housing, and economic development.

In Glendale, Mayor Jerry Weiers faces a primary challenge from Michelle Robertson and three council seats are up for votes.

Some of the races, especially in Scottsdale, are expected to go to run-offs in November between the top vote getters (if no candidate surpasses the 50 percent mark).

In Scottsdale, the Mayor and City Council races next month (and in November) will be essential to the city’s future with jobs, economic development, land-use, support for the arts, and Old Town.

COVID-19 and all the stresses of 2020 make how communities and candidates economic and public health challenges more important than ever. Some candidates are poised and ready to take their communities in the right direction. Others are stuck in the past.

The November elections with Trump and Biden are already sucking up a lot of oxygen. But the local races also have great impacts on where we live and work. Local elected officials, economic developers, planners, and city managers impact what our neighborhoods, public safety priorities, what kind jobs we attract and keep and how our region grows and where.

That is why it is important to register and vote not just in November but register today and vote next month.