Jessica Florez, Former Phoenix City Councilwoman, Dies in Scottsdale Over the Weekend
One month shy of her 40th birthday, former Phoenix City Councilwoman Jessica Florez died in Scottsdale on June 1.
Although she reportedly died in her sleep, her cause of death has not been disclosed. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office says the death investigation remains open, and can not yet release any information.
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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton released the following statement about Florez, who served as a strategist in his campaigns for Phoenix City Council:
"Nicole and I are mourning the loss of our dear friend and former Phoenix City Councilwoman Jessica Florez. She cared passionately about our city, having served in dozens of leadership roles, the most important one being her public service as a District 4 city councilwoman in 2003," he writes. "Jessica had a passion for education and worked tirelessly raising funds to support the work of Maricopa Community Colleges, Achieving a College Education (ACE) scholarship. Jessica's life ended way too early, but we will never forget her or her passion for Phoenix."
She was appointed to the Phoenix City Council in 2003 to fill the seat then-Councilman Phil Gordon was vacating to make a run for mayor. Although an ambitious politico who mingled in influential circles, she was unable to fend off a challenge from Tom Simplot.
A New Times article on Florez (August 8, 2003) notes that when the New Mexico native moved to Arizona, she accomplished a great deal.
Excerpts from Vote For Me Or I'll Shoot This Dog: