Vice Mayor Thelda Williams fills departing Mayor Greg Stanton’s slot.
On May 29, pushing Arizona’s resign-to-run law to its limit, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton officially said “deuces” to City Hall. Under the law, Stanton had until the end of May to quit his post before filing paperwork for the Arizona 9th District Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who in turn is running for Jeff Flake’s ditched U.S. Senate seat. Perhaps Stanton – who served as mayor for more than six years – stayed put for so long becase it kept him in the public eye with a city-provided campaign staff, both helpful while campaigning. (Councilman Sal DiCiccio – a Stanton foe – called for the mayor to leave earlier, saying nothing of substance was getting done in this time of limbo.) Or maybe Stanton simply wanted to delay the inevitable chaos stirred by his departure. Vice Mayor Thelda Williams takes over until a mayor pro tempore (a fancy phrase for temp) is chosen by City Council on June 11. If an existing council member wants the gig, they have to do both jobs until the special election on November 6. But don’t expect a mad dash to be nominated, since council members who want to be mayor for more than a few months – and be elected by the people – need to resign by August 8. That means adios for Kate Gallego and Daniel Valenzuela. So, it’s expected Williams will hang on to the baton until November as she’s done twice before, in 1994 and 2012. Whoever does win the November election will not rest for long – the office is up for grabs again in 2019.