Heated Council race heads to finish line

With just two days left before the Aug. 2 Primary Election, the seven candidates running for three Scottsdale City Council seats are wrapping up their campaigns with a possibility that at least some will be resuming their pitch to voters in the Nov. 8 General Election campaign.

Incumbents Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead and challengers Daniel Ishac, Rauol Zubia, Barry Graham, Pamela Carter and Tim Stratton are all aiming to win 50% of the vote plus 1 to avoid a runoff later this year.

Littlefield is running for her third term and Whitehead is running for her second term.

If only one candidate gets the required majority of the vote, the four hopefuls with the next highest total votes would head to the Nov. 8 ballot. If two candidates get the majority of the vote, then the next two will face off in the general election.

If none get a majority of the vote, then the top 6 will run in the General Election.

Voters can go to any polling place in Maricopa County to get a ballot and vote.

“Say you live in Scottsdale but you work in Phoenix, you can go to any location in Phoenix,” Scottsdale City Clerk Ben Lane said. “It doesn’t have to be in Scottsdale.”

To find polling places in Maricopa County, go to scottsdale.vote or locations.maricopa.vote.

It’s too late to mail early ballots but they can still be returned to any polling location in the country or drop off location. The only ballot drop-off location in Scottsdale that is not also a polling site is at Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

Here’s a look at the candidates.

Pamela Carter

Carter, 72, is a mother of two and grandmother of two. She has lived in Scottsdale for 40 years and has a master’s in biblical theology and communications. She is a retired owner of a sports medicine and weight training business.

She is endorsed by business owner and candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction Shiry Sapir and state Sen. Nancy Barto, as well as several candidates for state offices.

Her top three priorities are stopping high-rise, high-density apartment complexes, protecting Old Town’s western heritage, and transferring funds from other areas in the city budget to law enforcement.

Carter started the period with $1,395, raised $950 and spent $936 for an ending balance of $1,409. Her biggest contribution was $250 from Christopher Ganther, director of L2 Properties Inc. in Scottsdale. Carter also gave her campaign $500.

Her biggest expenses were $500 to Times Media Group for ads and $216 to Industry Print.

Barry Graham

Graham, 37, and his wife Farrah have twin boys. He has lived in Scottsdale for 26 years. and has a master’s in accounting from the University of Massachusetts and bachelor’s in economics and international relations from the same school. He is a certified public accountant with WP+D. 

Graham is endorsed by former councilman Paul Messinger, the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, Treasurer Jim Davis, council members Betty Janik and Kathy Littlefield, city Planning Commissioner Barney Gonzales, Protect Our Preserve President Howard Myers, city Development Review Board member Michal Joyner and Republican state Rep. Joseph Chaplik.

His top three priorities are taming out-of-control development, more resident outreach and financial efficiency.

Graham started the period with $20,400, raised $2,395 and spent $15,051, leaving him with closing balance of $7,743. His largest contributions were $750 from Phoenix businessman William Brachman and $500 from Scottsdale art gallery owner Trey Brennen.

Graham’s largest expenses were $14,000 to Primary Consultants and $1,000 to Tim La Sota for legal services.

Daniel Ishac

Ishac, 57, and his spouse, Javier, have lived in Scottsdale for 10 years. He has a certificate in executive leadership from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s in applied mathematics/operations research and industrial management from Carnegie Mellon. He is a retired actuary and human resources consultant. Ishac has been endorsed by former Mayor Jim Lane.

When asked to name three top concerns, he listed available housing, short-term rentals and homelessness on streets.

Ishac started the final campaign finance reporting cycle, which ran from July 1 to July 16, with $44,465. He raised an additional $3,850, bringing his war chest up to $48,315. He spent $931, leaving an ending balance of $47,383.

Ishac’s largest contributions during the period were $2,500 from California broker Sean Cunningham; $500 from Michigan resident Clay Cprek, who is listed as retired; and $200 from Linda Pham, a financial consultant in Houston.

His biggest expense was $930 to Facebook.

Kathy Littlefield

Littlefield, 73, and her husband Bob, a former councilman, have two children. She has lived in Scottsdale for 66 years. She has a bachelor’s in education from ASU and is the treasurer of NetXpert Systems. She has been endorsed by the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, the Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association and the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale.

Her three top concerns in Scottsdale are the city’s dwindling water supply, safety and homelessness.

Littlefield started the finance reporting period with $1,159, raised $2,577 and spent $54, leaving her with an ending balance of $3,681. Her biggest donations were $500 from Scottsdale resident William Brachman, who is listed as self-employed and $500 from James Bushlow, a Scottsdale resident.

Her only expenses were about $54 to PayPal for user fees.

Timothy Stratton

Stratton, 48, and his wife Deborah have three daughters and have lived in Scottsdale for 12 years. He has a doctorate in law from Western Michigan University Law School and a bachelor’s in history and political science from Ball State University. He is also finishing up a master’s degree in public policy/administration from Cornell University. He is a municipal finance/tax attorney at Gust Rosenfeld.

Stratton has been endorsed by former Mayor Jim Lane. 

His top three concerns are maintaining the city’s current level of amenities without raising taxes or making cuts in service, prioritizing public safety and keeping Scottsdale relevant in the retail and tourism sectors. Stratton started the period with $32,382. He raised and spent nothing during the period, leaving $32,382.

Solange Whitehead

Whitehead, 60, and her husband Mike have three children. She has lived in Scottsdale for 26 years, has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and considers herself a full-time council member.

She is endorsed by council members Tom Durham and Betty Janik, former Mayor Mary Manross, former city councilmen Tom Silverman and Ned O’Hearn, former county attorney Rick Romley the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, the Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association, the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale and Arizona List. 

Her top concerns are the city’s dwindling water supply, short-term rentals and protecting seniors.

Whitehead started the period with $11,309, raised $1,745 and spent $1,519, leaving a balance of $11,535. Her biggest contribution was $250 from Scottsdale resident Jacqueline Weitzner.

Her biggest expenses were $6,580 for stamps and $435 to Canva for postcards.

Raoul Zubia

Zubia, 61, is in a relationship with his partner, Karen. He has lived in Scottsdale his entire life. He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a retired banker and currently works as a business consultant.

His top concerns are protecting neighborhoods from disruptive short-term rentals and intrusive development; providing workforce housing for young families and many who work in Scottsdale, and ensuring the city’s financial strength of while keeping taxes low and quality of services high.

Zubia started the period with $13,273, raised $3,525 and spent $82, leaving him with an ending balance of $16,715.

His biggest contribution was $2,500 from California broker Sean Cunningham. His next biggest contributions were $479 from Scottsdale resident Michael Rosenberger, a director of security at Valley Ho, and $239 from Scottsdale Realtor Tom Mayer.

Zubia’s largest expense was $66.05 to Circle K for gas for yard sign pick up.

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