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Get to know the Phoenix mayoral candidates

Posted: 6:24 PM, Oct 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-27 08:46:31Z

The race to lead the fifth largest city in the nation is heating up.

Two incumbents who resigned to run for Phoenix mayor will be facing off against each other, and with two newcomers who say it's time to get some new blood inside City Hall.

In alphabetical order by last name, here are the four vying for the Mayor's seat.

Former Councilwoman Kate Gallego:

She resigned from her seat to run for this office. Gallego, a Harvard graduate who earned a degree in Environmental Studies and then went on to get her MBA at the University of Pennsylvania felt she was the right person for the job.

"I would be the only big-city mayor who is raising a son, and I think people are just hungry for real elected officials who have the same opportunities and challenges they do, and they just want to get things done," said Gallego.

She says he was proud of her record at city hall.

"We've been able to build a very diverse coalition of people who have not been involved in politics but who are inspired by the things I've been able to get done in the city council," said Gallego.

She said her top three priorities as mayor would be to have a safe city, invest in infrastructure, and bring the best jobs into our community.

You can read more about Kate Gallego, her platform and priorities HERE .

Newcomer Moses Sanchez:

Sanchez is an immigrant from Panama, a war veteran and businessman.

"We need someone to shake things up and that's why I'm running," said Sanchez.

Sanchez said the issue that really burned within him was the spike in homelessness within the city. He also called the current city council fiscally irresponsible. 

"All Phoenix has done, city hall has done is pay for one bill with a credit card, then pay for that with another credit card, and another credit card and you end up with the mess we are in now.”

To read more about Moses Sanchez and his platform CLICK HERE.

Newcomer Nicholas Sarwark

Sarwark is a former public defender turned businessman. Sarwark said he wanted a better and economically stable city for his children to grow up in.

"The biggest issue in Phoenix right now is that the city council has spent more money than the city has. For the last six years we've given out $1.6 billion in property tax breaks to big developers," said Sarwark.

He said he wanted to get city hall to focus back on core services and get them out of the business of handing out favors and tax breaks to big developers.

"If Phoenix voters want a mayor that is responsible with their money, and not going to raise their taxes, give tax breaks to big developers I'm the only candidate that has pledged to do those things," said Sarwark.

You can read more about Sarwark and his platform HERE

Former Councilman Daniel Valenzuela:

Daniel Valenzuela is the fourth and final candidate vying for the seat of Phoenix mayor. Valenzuela is a firefighter and resigned his seat in city council to run for this office.

"I didn't become a firefighter to one day become mayor of my hometown. It is to give back to the community that raised me," said Valenzuela.

Raised by a single mother, Valenzuela said he attended 13 Phoenix schools as they moved a lot, and he faced homelessness as a child too.

Valenzuela said as a former council member he fought to lift the hiring freeze for first responders and led the economic development and job creation arm of the city council.

"We've gone from 60 tech companies in downtown Phoenix in 2012 to far more than 300 today," said Valenzuela. He added his focus was going to be to attract, retain and develop talent in the community. 

To read more about Valenzuela, his platform and plans for the city CLICK HERE.