Election 2022 begins for Chandler mayor, council - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Election 2022 begins for Chandler mayor, council

April 10th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Election 2022 begins for Chandler mayor, council
Community
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By Ken Sain
Staff Writer

The campaign season for the 2022 city election is officially underway in Chandler.

The deadline for submitting signatures to qualify for the Aug. 2 primary election was April 4 and two candidates for mayor and five for three Council seats appeared to have qualified, though the deadline for challenging petitions is April 18.

Unlike his inaugural run four years ago, Mayor Kevin Hartke appears headed for a contest as he faces Ruth Jones. Jones, who said she submitted more than 1,500 signatures – 500 over the number needed.

In the Council race, only incumbent Matt Orlando is seeking reelection as council members Rene Lopez and Terry Roe are termed out.

Roe, a Republican, is running for the state House in Legislative District 12, which covers northern Chandler, while Lopez is one of six GOP hopefuls running for a chance to challenge incumbent Congressman Greg Stanton in the fall.

Here’s a look at the candidates in the city election:

Mayor

Kevin Hartke: The current mayor is pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship in Chandler, where he started working in 1985. He has served on council for nine years and before that worked on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the Human Relations Commission.

He said he thinks the biggest issue the city faces in the coming years is adjusting to build-out. Hartke started this year with about $206,483 for the election, according to his campaign finance reports, raising more than $78,500 in the final quarter of 2021.

Ruth Jones: Jones said she got inspired to get involved in local government after the death of her 17-year-old son, Joshua, from cancer. It was while he was getting treatment in Utah that she first joined some city commissions. She started her career as a network analyst for the National Security Administration, has done marketing and business and for the past 20 years has focused on finance.

Jones said her top campaign issue will be public safety and beefing up the police department.

Council

Angel Encinas: Raised in downtown Chandler, where he still lives, he is a Chandler High and Arizona State University grad who manages an immigration consulting firm and a real estate company.

“My career helping people through the legal immigration process led me to decide to run for City Council,” he wrote. “Assisting people to achieve the American dream has been rewarding and I want to make that difference here for everyone in my hometown.”

Darla Gonzalez: She is the owner and founder of Gonzalez Professional Services, which provides genealogy, accounting and human resources services, as well as grassroots strategic consulting and database management. She moved to Chandler in 2004 while she was pregnant and recalls on her website how friendly and supportive neighbors were.

She lists her priorities as maintaining fiscal policies that are conservative and supporting public safety.

Matt Orlando: He is an Air Force veteran currently serving his fifth term on Council. He has been termed out twice after serving on council from 1990-1998 and 2004 to 2013.

He worked as the director of technical sales at Honeywell before recently retiring. He said public safety remains his top priority, stating, “Last year, I led the effort to hire an additional 29 police officers and fire fighters and will continue pressing the Council to hire additional first responders to meet our growing demand for services.”

Orlando had more than $23,000 in his campaign war chest to start this year, all of it raised in the final quarter of last year.

Jane Poston: She and her husband own J2 Media and she recently served as chair of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She has volunteered and served on the boards of a number of nonprofits, including the Chandler Education Foundation and Women in Leadership.

“[Chandler has] been a wonderful place to raise my kids, own a business, engage in the community and enjoy the superb quality of life,” Poston wrote. “But good can always be better and I have the leadership experience and a perspective that will contribute to Chandler’s continued success.”

Farhana Shifa: She owns and operates the Joy of Fine Arts academy and has been serving on the city’s arts commission for the past six years. She says her background as a small business owner helped prepare her to take this step. She said build out will be the toughest challenge facing the city in the coming years.

“We must properly manage infrastructure during the continued city growth as we approach build-out while maintaining our strong financial standing,” she wrote.

In addition to the races for mayor and three Council seats, voters will also decide the home rule question. The city must ask voters every four years to allow it to override spending limits imposed in a constitutional amendment. If they do not, then the Council would have to make severe cuts to its budget.

The city is collecting arguments in favor and against home rule to be presented in its voter guide. The deadline to submit arguments to the City Clerk’s office is 5 p.m., May 4.

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