Phoenix Mayoral Candidate Claude Mattox Fires Political Shot at Opponents, Unwittingly Hits His Own Campaign Chairman

Categories: Election 2011
Claude Mattx Phx Library.jpg
phoenix.gov
Oops. Councilman/Mayoral candidate Claude Mattox's criticism of his political opponents smacks his own campaign chairman.
Councilman Claude Mattox called out two of his opponents in the Phoenix mayor's race for "quitting" the City Council before the end of their terms.

Former Councilwoman Peggy Neely resigned her District 2 seat in April to run for mayor -- as required by Arizona's resign-to-run law. Former Councilman Greg Stanton left the City Council in 2009 to serve as a deputy Attorney General.

"Public offices should be more than stepping stones to political careers," Mattox says in a press release issued on the heels of a City Council vote to appoint Bryan Jeffries to fill Neely's old seat. "Quitting before the end of their terms so they can chase the next opportunity is a major disruption and comes at a cost."

It is a curious line of attack.


First, if Mattox felt so strongly about this issue, why would he reward a City Council quitter -- Councilman Sal DiCiccio -- by voting to reappoint him in 2009 to the seat he had abandoned years earlier when he made an unsuccessful bid for Congress?

And while Mattox contends that these opportunity-chasing candidates cause a major disruption for the city, he fails to mention that Paul Johnson -- his own campaign chairman -- did the same thing.

In fact, for the past two decades, Phoenix leaders have been resigning to seek higher, or different, political offices ... and somehow the city has survived.

Former Mayor Terry Goddard resigned in 1990 to run for governor. Johnson was elected mayor in 1993, but after a mere 15 months in office, he also resigned to run for governor. In 1994, Skip Rimsza left his council seat to run for Phoenix mayor. And in 2003, then-Councilman Phil Gordon did the same thing.

Mattox took a boomerang shot at his political opponents, and managed to hit some of his political allies, including Johnson.

It boils down to not much more than an argument of convenience for Mattox.

Consider this: The only reason that Mattox, who represents District 5, is not resigning to pursue the next "stepping stone" in this political career (being mayor of Phoenix) is because he is in the last year of his term.

And lucky for him, mayoral elections are always aligned with City Council elections in odd-numbered districts.

That means, like Mattox, elected officials who represent districts 1, 3, 5, 7 will automatically be in the final year of their four-year term by the time the mayor's race rolls around again. Of course, those representing even-numbered districts 2, 4, 6 and 8, like Neely, will have two years remaining on their four-year terms, forcing them to resign if they choose to run for mayor.

See:
Election 2011: Mayor, Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7
Election 2013: Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8
Election 2015: Mayor, Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7

And, we have to point out that Mattox had his eye on one of the "stepping stones" of his  political career two years ago when he started his exploratory committee to run for mayor. He wasn't in the last year of his term, but he was able to start raising money and floating his name for mayor in the community.

The laws just aligned in his favor -- allowing him to get a jump-start on his mayoral run by calling it an "exploratory" campaign while he was representing District 5 residents.


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6 comments
Daq
Daq

Claude might have said something he truly believes. Like when he said he said his vote to give away $100 million to the City North developer was a mistake. Or the next week when he defended it.

J Bloom
J Bloom

This article is funny!

It probably wasn't Paul Johnson's Idea to bring up the issue of politicians leaving office early.

Maybe Claude Mattox has a mind of his own.

Just maybe Claude said something he truly believes.

Could it be that Claude might not have run if he couldn't fulfill his commitment to the voters.

Wait, Peggy Neely and Greg Stanton have walked away and are asking the voters for a promotion. There is no maybe here, it is a fact.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I attended the mayoral candidate forum last week at the Phoenix Theater. I won't call it a debate because the forum was limited to answering questions presented to the candidates.

A couple of them, Mattox and Neely, took a few cheap shots across the bow of some of the others.

Eichenauer was seemingly there on a single item agenda, cheap water. He had no clue what answers were to most of the questions and he referred voters to do their research on each 'council' candidate to know who to vote for. Odd, at the very least.

Neely defended her position on the City North 'incentives' to private developers.

Greg Stanton appeared to be the most knowledgeable and transparent of the group and he appeared to be prepared to answer each question.

Neely seemed to be 'lecturing' from notes most of the time, including a very phony "jobs, jobs, jobs" diatribe she spewed to end one of her comments.

Wes Gullett presented his Seven Point answer on how to run a city. Interesting and thoughtful, but I got the sense that he is a planning personality without the ability to put any of the planning into action. I would put him as a potential second place, behind Mr. Stanton.

I have the feeling that Mr. Mattox should have opted to stay on council, honestly. He probably does a commendable job there, but doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of beating Stanton.

Just some thoughts.

I would encourage folks who live and vote in Phoenix to be part of the next standing room only crowd at such a forum.

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Quickly snapping up right

Terry
Terry

Even the aide on Mattox campaign quit. Tom Milton walked away from his duties as a councillor too. Even though it was Gods plan that he should have kept the job so he could help the less fortunate from his position. All these people on the mattox campaign are either quitters, defy the Lord, or both. I guess the penance to be paid were those hideous Mattox for Mayor signs.

Chrischamp
Chrischamp

Its wasnt Paul Johnson's decision when he left office, it was Skip Rimsza's. Very crafty.

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