Guy Phillips: On Lessons From Mask Rally Controversy and Reelection Bid

By Recker McDowell —

Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips found himself in the international spotlight after he said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ at a June 24th rally against new COVID-19 mask mandates. ‘I Can’t Breathe’ were the last words of George Floyd before he died in Minneapolis Police custody.

Phillips apologized for the comments, but critics made a push for him to resign or be kicked off the Scottsdale City Council.

The social media and national media spotlight have moved on from Phillips, but he is running for reelection to the City Council. Phillips was first elected to the Council in 2012 and was reelected in 2016.

We caught up with Phillips and talked to him about his reelection bid, his hopes for Scottsdale and what he learned from the past few weeks.

So, what have the last few weeks been like for you and your family?

I am very humbled by the support I have received these past few weeks.  Most people knew what I was talking about and the rest tried to use it to discredit me for their own personal or political gain.

What is your message to Scottsdale voters on all that has happened?

My message remains the same.  We needed leadership and education when it came to opening up and wearing masks. Instead, we got mixed messages and unlawful mandates.

Do you have any message to those who have wanted you to resign or booted off the council? 

I was elected two times from our citizens. If they no longer want me to represent their interests, then we will find out at the ballot box.

What are the driving issues for the August elections, for Scottsdale’s future? What is this election about?

This election is about the same thing every election is. Those that want to slow down the height and density and those that are willing to sell out Scottsdale to the highest bidder.  My record shows I have voted for quality projects that benefited both the city and our residents and have vetoed those that are detrimental to the city and our residents.

What is your vision for Scottsdale?

I didn’t get on the council to push any vision for Scottsdale. I ran to be a voice for the people, to help them with their issues within the city bureaucracy and to promote tourism which is a fundamental part of Scottsdale’s cache and pays 30% of our taxes.  Unfortunately, I spend a lot of my time on council trying to stop bad projects and self-promoting agendas from ruining that cache.

What don’t people know about Guy Phillips?

I believe that those who run for office should do it out of duty as a citizen of this country, represent to the best of their ability, and then retire for the next person to step up to the plate.  I’m not in it for self-gratification, monetary gain, or to represent special interest groups.

I love helping others, promoting our city, and fulfilling my duty as a citizen. I wasn’t able to join the armed forces and therefore hold our veterans in the highest regard. My duty as a Councilman pales in comparison to their service to our country.