With the announcement from Kelly Anderson, Maricopa’s first elected mayor, that he would not seek his seat for a third time in the spring, and with no other challengers coming forward, Planning and Zoning Chairman Anthony Smith became Maricopa’s next mayor.
Smith, who has campaigned for mayor since August, nervously awaited the stroke of 5 o’clock on Wednesday, Dec. 12, to see whether the only other resident to pull papers to run for mayor, Jeremy McGuire, would submit his application. He did not.
For Smith, his focus on the campaign was never about who he was running against, he said, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t be focusing his efforts differently now that he is unopposed.
“What I want to do is start attending more of the meetings to be very well versed with the issues,” said Smith, who has attended nearly every public city meeting in the past two months. “I was all in for this back in August. I am strongly committed to making this run... and it’s been a really good experience for me going out and meeting the community.”
Smith said he will turn his attention in the coming months to shaping a 100-day plan for his first months in office, tasking himself with lining up achievable goals for economic development and transportation to push the city forward once he takes office in June.
Three other council seats are up for the March primaries – the vacant seat of former Councilmember Stephen Baker and those of councilmembers Kelly Haddad and Will Dunn. Both Dunn and Haddad made the deadline to get their names on the March 11 ballot.
A number of local residents had pulled packets to run, including Public Safety Committee Vice Chairman Carl Diedrich, Traffic Task Force Chairman Ken Edwards, Planning and Zoning commissioner Marquisha Griffin and local residents Marty Hermanson, Robert Lewis, Camerino Lopez and Marvin Brown. All but Edwards turned in their packets by the deadline.
The council seat of Joseph Estes could also be on the March primary ballot as a separate recall election. Dan Lathrop and Jim Gerard led the recall effort against Estes, but garnered only the 53 signatures needed to continue the process. Those signatures must be checked by the County Recorder’s office and if they somehow all hold up, the recall may still face challenges over its legality as the petitions did not include any statements giving reason for the recall as required by law.