Orlando returning to Chandler City Council for third new tour of duty - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Orlando returning to Chandler City Council for third new tour of duty

September 22nd, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Orlando returning to Chandler City Council for third new tour of duty

Santan Sun News Staff

Matt Orlando is adding another term of service to the City of Chandler on his resume.

After a see-saw battle with Matt Eberle, Orlando joined incumbent Chandler City Council members Terry Roe and Rene Lopez in the winner’s circle after the Aug. 28 election.

This marks Orlando’s third separate stint on council after serving a total four terms over 17 years – from 1990 to 1998 and then 2004 to 2013.

When the three council members are sworn into office Jan. 10, they’ll be joined in the ceremony by a new mayor – Kevin Hartke, the top vote-getter in his unopposed bid to succeed termed-out Jay Tibshraeny.

Voters also approved the home rule option for Chandler, allowing officials to set their own spending without state limitations for another four years.

The city said in a release that voter turnout was 29.72 percent, with 44,099 voters casting ballots out of a total voter population of 148,404. During their meeting on Sept. 10, the City Council accepted the official results of the election.

Hartke scooped up 36,564 votes, while Lopez and Roe were re-elected with 20,391 and 19,542 votes, respectively. Orlando received 17,847 votes, besting Eberle’s 17,219 votes.

Results in the two legislative districts covering Chandler also set the stage for the Nov. 6 election.

In the LD 17s House primary, former Chandler Councilwoman Nora Ellen took the next step in replacing her son, House Majority Leader J.D. Mesnard — who was termed out. He had no primary opposition in the Republican Senate primary in LD17 and will now face Democrat Steve Weichert.

Ellen and incumbent Rep. Jeff Weninger came out victors in a three-way race and will tangle with Democrat Jennifer Pawlik for the two House seats.

In LD 18, which covers Ahwatukee and parts of Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert, the two incumbent House members won their respective party’s primaries. Incumbent Republican Jill Norgaard will be joined by Tempe lawyer and onetime legislator Greg Patterson in running against Democratic incumbent Denise “Mitzi” Epstein of Tempe and newcomer Jennifer Jermaine of Chandler.

Norgaard, who will be seeking her third term in the House, and Patterson, a state representative in the 1990s, defeated Chandler businesswoman Farhana Shifa and retired Tempe programmer Don Hawker in the Republican primary. Jermaine and Epstein won a three-way fight for two nominations that left Chandler resident LaDawn Stuben in the cold.

In the LD18 Senate race, neither incumbent Democrat Sean Bowie nor Republican hopeful Frank Schmuck faced opponents.

In running again for council, Orlando told the SanTan Sun News that “Chandler is a first-class community” and that he wanted “to make Chandler a world-class community with top-notch public safety, an educated workforce, plenty of green spaces, a vibrant and sustainable downtown/entertainment districts, additional cultural attraction and a high-capacity transportation system. “

“We can achieve all this by continuing sound fiscal policies I and others put in place many years ago, expanding and enhancing public-private partnerships and closer working relationships with our educators,” he also said. “Of course, we need to ensure we provide a forum for open communication and dialogue with all citizens.”

He also took some credit for what Chandler has become.

“The quality of life that we enjoy today is due to the smart planning, programs, infrastructure and economic policies that I and others have put in place over many years,” he said. “I want to utilize my experience, knowledge and leadership skills gained from 17 years of service on the Chandler City Council, 30 years of military service, and 33 years of increasing management responsibilities at high-tech companies to ensure Chandler’s great quality of life continues. I will work to ensure safe, sustainable and strong neighborhoods and to improve police and firefighters’ response times.”

He handed Eberle his second defeat in two consecutive election cycles. In 2016 in another six-way race for three seats, Eberle was edged out by Mark Stewart.

Special to the SanTan Sun News

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