Jackie Meck

Who wants to be the mayor of Buckeye? Jackie Meck, the current mayor, is not running for reelection. 

Filing season is almost here.

For many, those two words mean it’s time to pay local, state and federal taxes.

For the incumbents and challengers who set those taxes, as well as other laws and regulations, “filing season” is slightly different.

For the August primary elections, the candidate filing period is March 9 through April 6.

While it might not match the madness of college basketball, March is hectic for many candidates, as the clock is ticking down.

Before filing with the city, county or state (depending on the position),  candidates must collect signatures of support. The number of signatures varies, based on the number of voters in each jurisdiction.

Prior to collecting signatures, candidates must file a “Candidate Statement of Interest” form. The one-page forms that ask for the candidate’s name, position desired, address and phone number are available from the clerk of each city, who collects the signed forms. 

March is a big month in Arizona, from school boards and city councils on up to the highest office in the land.

The Democratic presidential preference vote is March 17.  Local candidates are more concerned with the Aug. 4 primary election and the Nov. 3 general election.

Dozens of state and federal representatives will be elected.

Federal representatives

In the U.S. Senate race that has received a great deal of attention, incumbent Martha McSally and challenger Mark Kelly — both have already spent millions in advertising — have filed statements of interest. So have 20 other would-be senators.

U.S. House of Representative races are on in Districts 1 through 9. West Valley voters will vote in District 3, where incumbent Raul Grijalva and eight others have so far filed statements of interest; District 7, where incumbent  Ruben Gallego and 10 others have submitted interest statements; and District 8, where incumbent Debbie Lesko and six potential challengers have filed statements of interest.

State representatives

For those interested in running for state offices, the Secretary of State office hosts two “Candidate Filing Workshops” this week, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, and 10 a.m. Friday, March 6. Both are at the state Supreme Court (1501 W Washington Street, Phoenix) and require registration.

To register or for more information, visit azsos.gov/elections/elections-calendar-upcoming-events.

West Valley voters will choose their representatives in the state Senate and House of Representatives.

In Arizona District 4, which includes Buckeye and Goodyear, incumbents Geraldine “Gerae” Peten and Charlene Fernandez and four others have filed for the two House of Representatives seats. Incumbent Sen. Lisa Otondo and two others have filed interest statements for the District 4 state Senate seat.

Four candidates have filed statements of interest for the two District 3 state House of Representatives positions.

In District 19,  Sen. Lupe Contreras and Ralph Jones have filed statements of interest for the state Senate seat. Paul Boyer, current senator in District 20, and two others have filed interest statements.

Cities

On the city level, council member races are set in almost every West Valley city (Goodyear council and mayor positions do not run out this year). 

Voters in Buckeye, Avondale, Tolleson and Glendale will also choose a mayor.

Avondale:

For the 2020 Primary Election, the mayor and three council seats will be on the ballot.

Mayor Kenneth Weise has filed a statement of interest. He will have at least one challenger, as Walter Gonzales filed a statement of interest for the mayor position.

Patricia Dennis, Veronica Malone and Mike Pineda filed statements that they will run for Avondale City Council seats they hold.

Jesse Forte and Bobby Jones filed statements to run for city council.

Avondale city council seats are at-large.

For more information or forms, contact the Avondale city clerk by calling 623-333-1200 or emailing cityclerks@avondaleaz.gov.

Buckeye

Buckeye will have a new mayor in 2021.

Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck told the West Valley View in December he was not running for reelection. 

Two filed statements of interest for the Buckeye mayor position filed as of Feb. 28: Eric Orsborn, current Buckeye councilman of District 6 (his term ends 2022), and Tedy Burton.

In the August primary election, the mayor and council districts 1, 2 and 3 will be on the Buckeye ballot.

Tony Youngker is the current District 1 representative. Jeanine Guy represents District 2. Michelle Hess is the District 3 representative.

Youngker, Guy and Hess submitted statements of interest, with no challengers filing statements as of Feb. 28.

“Candidate Election Packets are available now, which include the Candidate Statement of Interest and all necessary forms and information to become an official candidate. The packets can be checked out and Statement of Interest filed by making an appointment with the city clerk,” said Summer Stewart, deputy city clerk.

For forms or more information, contact Lucinda Aja, Buckeye city clerk, at 623-349-6911 or  laja@buckeyeaz.gov, or Stewart at 623-349-6914 or sstewart@buckeyeaz.gov.

Litchfield Park

The August primary will have three Litchfield Park city council seats on the ballot. 

Those council seats are currently occupied by Ann Donahue, John Romack and Ron Clair, who was appointed in December.

As of Feb. 28, Donahue and Clair filed statements of interest.

In Litchfield Park, candidates must have resided in the city for at least one year preceding the election in which they are running. 

Candidate packets may be obtained at the City Clerk’s Office, 214 W. Wigwam Boulevard, Litchfield Park, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday,  by appointment only. 

To obtain additional information, or to schedule an appointment, call Terri Roth, Litchfield Park city clerk, at 623-935-5033 or email troth@litchfield-park.org.

Tolleson

The mayor and three council seats will be on the primary ballot in Tolleson.

Donnie Gehart, Jimmy Davis and incumbents council members Lupe Leyva Bandin and John Carnero have filed Statement of Interest forms.

Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar and Councilman Albert P. Mendoza had not filed, as of Feb. 28.

As of Friday, Councilman Juan Rodriguez was the only one to file a statement of interest for mayor. 

 “In order for a candidate to file, they will need a minimum of 41 signatures and a maximum of 82,” said Crystal Zamora, Tolleson’s city clerk.

For candidate packets, forms and questions, contact her at  623-474-4997 or czamora@tollesonaz.org.

School boards

In November, 161 school governing board seats will be elected in Maricopa County. About a quarter of those school board seats up for election are in the West Valley.

The school board candidate filing period for the Nov. 3 election begins is from June 6 to July 6, as there are no school board primaries.

Among the districts with board seats open: Agua Fria Union; Avondale Elementary; Buckeye Elementary; Buckeye Union; Dysart Unified; Liberty Elementary; Litchfield Elementary; Littleton Elementary; Pendergast Elementary; Saddle Mountain Elementary; Tolleson Elementary; and Tolleson Union. 

Most have three seats open. Avondale Elementary has five seats up for election, Liberty Elementary has four.

For a list of candidate training dates, statements of interest and more regarding school board positions, visit schoolsup.org/governing-board-elections.