Although the daily newspaper, clearly supportive of liberal Debra Stark, attributes her victory over Chris DeRose in Tuesday’s Phoenix City Council Dist. 3 runoff election to her focus on “quality-of-life issues such as repairing city infrastructure,” the facts speak for themselves.
Stark, the short-term interim appointee ran one of the dirtiest campaigns in memory, on par with John McCain’s blatant deception. Her numerous mailers repeatedly referred to author and former prosecuting attorney Chris DeRose as “a fraud” who “cannot be trusted.” One of the mailers posed as a legitimate tabloid size newspaper using the masthead, The Phoenix Press. It had sections labeled news, community, local, opinions and even a page devoted to entertainment, featuring an inane, self-serving crossword puzzle. The costly “newspaper” was a union effort on her behalf — the firefighter’s union — which has close ties to Democrat Mayor Greg Stanton.
Stark, also a Democrat, was appointed to fill a vacancy on the council when Republican Bill Gates resigned to run for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. In his new perch, Gates remained silent during the campaign, not aiding his would-be successor in the north Phoenix district. Councilmen Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring both stepped up to endorse DeRose as did Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Congressman David Schweikert. Corporation Commissioners Tom Forese and Bob Stump, and House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro all endorsed Chris DeRose.
DeRose, who ran a quality, issues oriented campaign, opposes sanctuary city status for the City of Phoenix. Debra Stark, who slickly voted to table the issue until after the election, has denied her affinity for this disastrous equivocation.
So what went wrong in this GOP majority district? Traditionally city elections are low turnout affairs. This one for a single district was destined not to generate much interest. Unions turn out the vote. Women often vote for women. Voters don’t pay close enough attention to the issues. The result? Republicans are now in the minority on the city council of the capitol city of red state Arizona.
The grand hoax is that the mayor and council represent non-partisan positions. Everyone knows that charade to be nothing more than a political pretense. Debra Stark presents a stark example of the sham.
Continually updating election results can be seen here.