Election 2020 revving up for Chandler Council seats The Chandler Arizonan

Election 2020 revving up for Chandler Council seats

Election 2020 revving up for Chandler Council seats


Election 2020 officially is officially kicking off in state, county and location elections and more than 30 candidates have expressed interest in running in Chandler for council, Legislature and school board this year.

Although Democrats already are casting early ballots for the March 17 Presidential Preference Primary, the battles for legislative, county and city positions will begin shaping up now.

The campaign season for county and state offices officially began yesterday, March 7, while the races Chandler City Council seats begin Monday.

Those are the dates when candidates can start filing their petitions for a spot on the Aug. 4 Primary Election ballot.

Although candidates have until April 6 to file, Republican and Democratic party faithful and political junkies can get some idea of what awaits this summer from statements of interest candidates are now required by law to file before they can get a single petition signature.

Those statements of interest are filed with the Maricopa County Recorder for local races and with the Arizona Secretary of State for legislative and statewide contests.

At the county level, Mesa voters in both parties may have some primary election decisions to make, at least according to statements of interest filed so far.

Six Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination for county assessor. Five Democrats have filed statements of interest in the County Attorney primary.

Two from each party have filed statements for county school superintendent while two Republicans threaten to duke it out for the County Recorder nomination.

As many as five Republicans could be vying for the Republican nomination for sheriff.

Seats also are up for election on the Arizona Corporation Commission, where former Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn has indicated he will seek another term.

A diverse pool of political veterans and novices have filed statements of interest to represent Chandler in the Arizona Legislature, on council and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Chandler Councilman Mark Stewart has filed paperwork to seek re-election to a second term and Jeremy McClymonds, who was appointed to fill an empty council seat in 2018, plans to run for his first full term.

Councilman Sam Huang has not filed papers to seek re-election, as he plans to run for the Republican nomination in Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District race.

Huang could have a lot of company on the ballot, since seven other Republicans also filed statements of interest in that seat, now occupied by Democratic former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton – who could face challenges from two other party members.

The newcomers intending to challenge Stewart and McClymonds include Rick Heumann, Christine Ellis, Joseph Curbelo, Beth Brizel, and O.D. Harris.

Heumann previously sat on the council and Brizel served on the Kyrene School District Governing Board. Ellis, Curbelo and Harris have not held elected office in Chandler before.

State Sen. J.D. Mesnard intends to run for another two-year term in Legislative District 17 and may be challenged by Republican Julie Willoughby in the primary election.

Democrat Ajlan Kurdoglu filed paperwork to run for the LD17 senate seat.

State Rep. Jennifer Pawlik is the only Democrat to express interest for running for one of the two LD17 House seats.

Six Republicans have filed statements for those two seats. They include incumbent state Rep. Jeff Weninger, former Chandler City Councilwoman Nora Ellen, Liz Harris, Shamile Hirsh, Kenneth Kubert, and Jonathan Parris.

Ellen, who is Mesnard’s mother, lost to Pawlik two years ago.

LD17 encompasses most of central Chandler from Elliott Road to Hunt Highway and from Price to Gilbert roads. The district is considered to be a toss-up among Republicans and Democrats, having elected candidates from both parties in recent years.

Farther west in Chandler, LD18 is all blue, but State Sen. Sean Bowie plans to run for re-election in Legislative District 18 and may be challenged by Michael Bishop for the Democratic nomination.

Suzanne Sharer is the only Republican intending to run for the LD18 senate seat.

LD18 Democratic Representatives Jennifer Jermaine and Mitzi Epstein both intend to keep their House seats for another term and likely will face no Primary Election challenge.

The Republican primary for the House races in LD18 includes an attempted return to the Legislature by Bob Robson, a former Chandler resident who moved to Ahwatukee after he lost a bid for his seventh term in the House in 2016.

Besides Robson, other Republicans who have filed statements of interest in the LD18 primary are Tracy DuCharme, Mark Kleppin, Alyssa Sheahan and Tim Taylor.

Campaign finance reports indicate Bowie is going into the 2020 election with the most cash on-hand among Chandler’s legislative candidates. He ended 2019 with $92,500 in his campaign reserves – a significant boost from the $2,700 he had at the end of the 2018 election.

Mesnard is not far behind Bowie with an account balance of $64,600. Pawlik finished 2019 with $42,600 saved away, Epstein had $40,400, and Jermaine reported $37,300.

Maricopa County Supervisor Jack Sellers, a former Chandler councilman whose district includes Chandler, is planning to seek election this year to a full term after his appointment last year to fill former Supervisor Denny Barney’s seat.

Barney resigned to take over the East Valley Partnership as executive director.

So far, no other Republican has filed to take on Sellers and  Democrat Jevin Hodge is the only candidate who filed a statement of interest.

Justice of the Peace Samuel Goodman of Chandler’s San Tan Precinct may be challenged by Republican Warde Nichols, a former state legislator, in the primary race.

School board candidates don’t have a primary and can’t file petitions for the Nov. 3 General Election until June 6. Those candidates have until July 6 to qualify for the ballot.

The Chandler Unified School District Governing Board so far has five potential candidates looking to fill three seats open for election this year.

Incumbents Barbara Mozdzen and Karen McGee are seeking re-election and may run against Jason Olive, Sharon Tuttle or Joel Wirth.

David Evans, who has been on the CUSD school board since 2005, has not filed paperwork indicating an interest in seeking re-election, but it’s still early before other people interested in servicing on school boards might file.

Key dates in the

2020 primary

May 3: First day to request an

early ballot.

July 6: Voter registration deadline.

July 8: Early voting begins.

Aug. 4: Primary Election Day.

Where to register: recorder.maricopa.gov/earlyvotingballot/voterregistrationlookup.

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