Phoenix Mayoral Candidates Greg Stanton, Claude Mattox Nab Coveted Public Safety Unions Endorsements

Categories: Election 2011
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Claude Mattox is the fire fighters' choice for Phoenix mayor.
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Greg Stanton is the candidate of choice for Arizona police' unions.
There are two major endorsements Valley politicians go after with gusto during election season -- police and fire.

And while one candidate usually grabs both endorsements, unions are divided on who is best qualified to serve as Phoenix mayor.

The Arizona Police Association is behind former Phoenix Councilman Greg Stanton and the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona is in Phoenix Councilman Claude Mattox's corner.

Getting the backing of those employee associations matters so much to candidates because it sends a persuasive message to voters and goes a long way toward helping candidates pocket votes. It also supplies the candidate with an army of volunteers willing to campaign on behalf of the candidate.


That leaves other mayoral candidates, including Phoenix lobbyist Wes Gullett, former Councilwoman Peggy Neely and Tea Party favorite Jennifer Wright, without the coveted endorsement.

It isn't surprising that the PFFA is in camp Mattox considering the councilman has long and loyally worked with the local firefighters to educate the public on water safety issues.

"Claude is so committed to this effort that he regularly fundraises on our behalf to quell the number of drownings in our community," Rich Woerth, PFFA representative said in March press release. "He raises money for pool fences and water safety programs and gives to the fire fighter charities and Phoenix Children's Hospital. That just tells you what kind of a guy Claude is, and what kind of a mayor he will be."

Mattox also chairs the city's Subcommittee on Public Safety and Veteran's Affairs, the first stop for policy decisions involving public safety issues. That's not to say that former council members Neely and Stanton have not been just as supportive of firefighters, but Mattox has the added advantage of being a longtime friend of Billy Shields, former head of the local firefighters' union and still a controlling force behind the local union.

Stanton's police endorsement, however, was not as expected, particularly given that his views on immigration enforcement differ from some of the associations' that represent law enforcement workers.

While Stanton says comprehensive immigration reform is the way to go, many police unions favor attrition of illegal immigrants through enforcement of federal and state immigration laws.

Stanton says the APA is not a one-issue organization.

"Where we agree is that we need strong advocacy to protect the residents of Phoenix and to support the men and women of law enforcement," he says.

Brian Livingston is the executive director of the Arizona Police Association, which represents nearly 9,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers from 32 different public safety agencies in Arizona.

Livingston told New Times that what made Stanton stand out was his ability to build coalitions with different groups.

"He takes advice from all people and then he makes a decision," he says. "Some people call that indecisive, we call that realistic. And when he makes a decision, he's firm and committed to it. He doesn't worry about how it might offend some political groups. He does what he feels is right. We don't want someone who is just going to go with the flow."

Livingston also says the APA believes Stanton will project his energy -- "vigor and vitality," he says -- on to Phoenix and help chase away the controversy and negative publicity that has visited the city in recent years.

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12 comments
Az_geo
Az_geo

Well, I see that the public service unions that bankrupt our city have made it known who they want elected....This way they can maintain the status quo.....That's why I am supporting Jennifer Wright for mayor...she is the only fiscally responsible candidate running.

Hells Angels Killer
Hells Angels Killer

They look like Hells Angels to me hiding behind that clean cut look. everywhere I go I see Hells Angels following me. a few are living in Scottsdale now and I thought that Scottsdale was Angel proof from those guys. but I keep seeing them on their bikes around Scottsdale where I live. I was told one Hells Angel is a pilot for southwest airlines another owns a car lot here and another own the biggest herb tea place in Arizona off Scottsdale road. is there anywhere those dirty bastards dont live or own an business on this earth? or are not cops or politicians that are really Hells Angels incognito? they are everywhere and look just like you and me. im starting to get worried that they are taking over the local cops local govenrment and the world.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

you can always trust short haired clean cut guys like these 2.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

good for them they look like they can be 100% trusted!

Teabagthis
Teabagthis

How do you figure the public safety unions have "bankrupted" our city? Typical inaccurate, over dramatized blather from looney tea baggers. BTW.....Jennifer doesnt stand a chance.

Hells Angels Killer
Hells Angels Killer

I forgot another Hells Angels member own the biggest house cleaning service in Scottsdale-cave creek area another owns a tow truck company and another owns the prime time cigarette company off of rose garden lane in north phoenix. another owns a florist in Scottsdale another own a hair cutting salon off bell road and 35th ave. those two one I dont get but I heard its true anything for a $ buck I guess.. Im pretty sure they are slowly taking over the world. 666

Hells Angels Killer
Hells Angels Killer

 I agree. not many men like that on this planet anymore. they look like good upstanding christian church going American men. but its possible they are really Hells Angels posing as regular hard working American guys. I heard the Hells Angels do that now and look like these two guys alot in 2011.

Hells Angels Killer
Hells Angels Killer

 I dont think very well or clearly myself after the Hells Angels beat me up in 1999 at the steel horse saloon then stole my wife. I been hearing a buzzing and bell sound in my head ever since that bloody angel beating in 99. and im now also cross eyed and have to wear very think nerd glasses to see.

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