Phoenix Mayor and City Council candidates

The city of Phoenix could see a major change in leadership as most executive positions in Phoenix are on the ballot

The city of Phoenix could have a different look after the 2020 election, as Mayor Kate Gallego and four city council members' seats are up for grabs. 

While the mayoral and city council races are nonpartisan, some candidates have a party affiliation. 

Mayoral race

Mayor Kate Gallego, who is as a Democrat, is facing re-election. Tim Seay, who is also a Democrat, and Merissa Hamilton, who is a Republican, are running on the idea that the city of Phoenix under Gallego lacks leadership.

Kate Gallego


Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego speaking at the 2019 Legislative Forecast Luncheon in Phoenix, Arizona on Jan. 11, 2019.

Gallego is the current mayor of Phoenix. Prior to being elected mayor, Gallego served on the Phoenix City Council.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallego is pushing for public testing, and she criticized Gov. Doug Ducey's response as too weak.

Gallego's re-election campaign promotes her accomplishments in her initial term as mayor.

Her first term has centered around diversifying the economy, investing in infrastructure and building a more sustainable city. She worked on passing a citywide transportation plan, Transportation 2050, to invest in bus services, improve and expand the light rail system and improve the roads.

Gallego also worked to improve the city's biomedical campus to provide better medical care for residents and worked with AARP to better serve Phoenix's senior citizens.

Tim Seay

Seay categorizes himself as a community leader and philanthropist. In 2020, he won the city of Phoenix's Living The Dream Award for his commitment to serving the community. 

Seay is running on a platform of diversity, fair housing, safety and advocacy. He says as mayor, he would work to allow greater opportunity to access resources.

In regard to fair housing, Seay believes families and people of all incomes should have access to affordable housing options in Phoenix.

Merissa Hamilton

Hamilton markets herself as the option to prevent "failed policies" of San Francisco, Seattle and other "majority liberal cities" from being implemented in Phoenix. 

Her campaign is focused on protecting small businesses, safety and bringing manufacturing jobs to Phoenix. Hamilton has been a part of efforts to reform zoning laws and police departments in Tucson, Tempe and Goodyear. 

Hamilton also states she is passionate about working to decrease homelessness in Phoenix.

City Council

District 1 — Northwest corner of Phoenix

District 1 of the Phoenix City Council is a two-person race between Ann O'Brien and Dave Siebert. This would be O'Brien's first time serving on the Phoenix City Council, whereas Siebert served from 1996 to 2007. 

Ann O'Brien

O'Brien has experience in other elected positions, serving on the Deer Valley Unified School District. Her campaign focuses on building a better neighborhood with better schools, infrastructure and homes.

Dave Siebert

Siebert is prioritizing public safety, fiscal responsibility and investing in infrastructure. The current District 1 councilmember, Thelda Williams, endorses Dave Siebert.

District 3 — Mid-north Phoenix

This district is one of two with an incumbent in the running.

Debra Stark

Debra Stark, a Democrat, is the current councilmember representing Phoenix's 3rd District. Stark is focused on economic development and continuing to improve the cities infrastructure. 

Nicole Garcia 

The challenger for Starks' seat is Nicole Garcia, whose priorities include limiting wasteful spending and investing in policing, education and mental health outlets. 

Garcia has a business background with administrative roles in small and large companies.

District 5 — Midwest Phoenix

District 5 is the other district with an incumbent in the ballot. Betty Guardado is this district's current representative and is up against two challengers, Nathan Schick and Andre Williams.

Betty Guardado

Guardado, a Democrat, is an advocate for the West Phoenix light rail project and will continue to fight for it. She also has advocated for hospitality industry workers through unions in the past.

Nathan Schick

Schick is focused on restoring trust in the city council and staying non-partisan. Schick is a first time candidate and a teacher of religious studies at ASU. His campaign states he will work toward a safe community during the coronavirus pandemic.


Andre Williams

Williams is running on platforms that include promoting community safety, investing in public transportation and reducing the urban heat island effect in Phoenix. 

District 7 — Southwest Phoenix

This is the highest contested election, with five candidates running for the city council seat. 

Yassamin Ansari 

Ansari is a first-time candidate but has experience interning for politicians such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and volunteering for Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. She has a wide platform that focuses on climate action and ranges from protecting women's reproductive rights to treating housing as a human right.

Cinthia Estela 

Estela is running on building a greater community through public safety and infrastructure. She has unique goals and plans for each of the five areas of District 7 — south Phoenix, Laveen, Maryville, downtown Phoenix and Estrella Mountain. Estela has experience within Laveen, serving as the Community Council vice president.

Gary Flunoy 

Flunoy is running to boost public transportation, specifically regarding the light rail expansion in West Phoenix. He also prioritizes public safety, police reform and economic development.

Susan Mercado-Gudino

Mercado-Gudino entered the race after feeling her councilmember did not listen to public concern over the west Phoenix light rail. She decided to run and promise to listen to her constituents' needs.

Francisca Montoya

Montoya has previously served as the chief of staff for District 7. She is focused on helping boost the economy in response to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and support housing, transportation and public safety.

Clarification: This article was updated at 9:45 a.m. on Oct. 22 to better specify Ansari's involvement with Gallego's campaign and campaign focus.


Reach the reporter at drodish@asu.edu and follow @david_rodish on Twitter.

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