Peoria’s New Rising Political Star

Peoria Mayor Jason Beck

Politics always needs its rising stars; those who come from seemingly out of nowhere to have captured the attention of an area, who have the CV and background to compel many to support him, and who are creating the sort of relationships that imply that their first win is simply the beginning of many. And it seems as though the city of Peoria might have created the Arizona Republican Party’s next rising star.

New mayor Jason Beck has the sort of story that grabs the attention of GOP king-makers: he has lived in the city for 20 years, is a former Marine and currently is head of one of the city’s largest companies, TYR Tactical, a manufacturer of body armor for law enforcement and the military. Married with six sons, he has the sort of attractive family that works great on political mailers and TV ads.

His campaign initiatives walk the delicate balance of GOP aspirations and pragmatic. He speaks to streamlining government, something that many new Congressional candidates speak to but will never achieve, yet for a city like Peoria seems within the realm of reasonable. “No new taxes” is another common refrain, but for someone who routinely is able to balance budgets one would have to assume that it will work better than George HW Bush’s iteration.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of his campaign was his criticism of Peoria’s pursuit of jobs; he compared the city to “the last kid picked on the dodgeball team” with regards to economic development, and it’s a salient point. For all of the corporations you hear of bringing jobs to Arizona, you never seem to hear about them planting their flag in Peoria. It would seem as though they have not been aggressively courting said businesses, and who better to do that than someone who is running a highly successful business?

Of course, campaign promises are easy to make. One could say that they will make the streets of Peoria paved with gold if they were to be elected. It’s difficult to ascertain how far towards achieving those goals he’s gotten the city only a few months in. But identifying the pertinent issues is a good first step, as opposed to the more extreme attention-seekers of the GOP who may instead promise to stop illegal immigration or audit the elections, both actions which are far outside the scope of the job.

Obviously Beck needs to succeed to some degree in his current role before going on to bigger and better things. But he certainly does seem to be precisely the sort of person who has the potential to rise through the ranks, and as such makes Peoria a city to watch over the next few years.