Former Scottsdale Councilman David Ortega

Former Scottsdale Councilman David Ortega announced he is running for mayor on Jan. 31.

Another former Scottsdale Councilmen has entered the increasingly-crowded mayor’s race in the wake of the citizen referendum to halt the proposed Southbridge Two development in downtown Scottsdale.

David Ortega, who served on the Council from 2000 to 2004, joins Council members Virginia Korte and Suzanne Klapp and former Councilman Bob Littlefield in announcing their candidacies or indicating they are considering a run for mayor.

Ortega was an early opponent of Southbridge Two, appearing before Council on a handful of occasions to urge its rejection before it eventually passed on a contentious 4-3 vote last December.

In a press release, Ortega pointed to opposition and his opposition to a since-pulled proposed medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Scottsdale as motivating factors behind his candidacy, arguing city leaders are not listening to citizen concerns with new development. 

“I have seen how council members can listen, work together, share diverse insights and create a powerful citywide blueprint,” Ortega said. “As mayor, listening and building consensus will be my priorities.”

Ortega, an architect by trade, cited the city’s need to update its General Plan, which has not been updated and ratified by voters in nearly 20 years.  

“City government has operated with a patchwork of resolutions after the failure of the 2011 General Plan Update…rather than working immediately and diligently to revise and reconnect, the City Council raced ahead, testing the limits of rampant development.  Leaving residents and businesses behind,” Ortega said.

After one term on the City Council, Ortega unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2004.

Ortega secured the second-most votes in the March 2004 mayoral election and faced off against Mayor Mary Manross in a May 2004 special election, which Manross won with 66 percent of the vote.