Kevin Patterson tells ABC15 he wants to be elected to the Phoenix City Council this month, even though he's never attended a council meeting.
"I have not attended any," Patterson admitted to ABC15 in an interview Wednesday. Patterson, 33, an executive at Banner Health, said he realized earlier this year that he wanted to make an impact on local government policy.
"As an informed and caring parent, I really need to make sure I can show other families that city council matters," Patterson said.
Patterson is challenging Sal DiCiccio, who's served two stints on the council for a total of 13 years. DiCiccio is an outspoken conservative who frequently criticizes city decisions on financial matters.
"Some days, it's very frustrating," DiCiccio said. "If you don't have the finances and you don't have the money, it doesn't matter what your agenda is."
Both men say they support hiring hundreds more Phoenix police officers.
DiCiccio says Phoenix needs to refocus fiscal priorities and make pension reforms. Patterson wants to sell unused city properties to balance the budget.
Patterson also wants the city to change criteria for offering tax breaks to developers and big corporations.
"I think that we give tax breaks to large organizations that don't commit to affordable housing; that don't commit to taking in people at a livable wage," Patterson said.
Patterson says he'd collaborate with other council members better than DiCiccio.
"When you vote 'no' without collaborating with your fellow council members, and you vote 'no' just because you a want to be a dissenter, often times it shows District 6 doesn't have a voice at the table," Patterson said.
"If you look at the successes of my district, the repaving in my district, the amount of money we put into the parks in my district, all those things are not done in a vacuum," DiCiccio said. "I do it because I can work across party lines."
The Phoenix City Council election is Aug. 29. Early ballots have already been mailed to homes. Several seats are up for reelection, but DiCiccio is the only incumbent with a challenger.