A Maricopa County grand jury indicted William Craig Miller on five counts of first-degree murder, plus burglary and evidence tampering in the Barrington Estates quintuple slayings last month in Mesa.
East Valley voters generally endorsed their political leadership and the current direction of their communities with the likely outcomes of Tuesday’s elections.
But Queen Creek residents clearly expressed frustrations with traffic and other growth problems by apparently replacing Mayor Wendy Feldman-Kerr and taking away the council seat of Vice Mayor Gary Holloway.
Election results won’t be final until at least Friday, so some specifics still could change. But the pattern from Mesa to Chandler to the East Valley portions of Phoenix was voters are backing the key financial decisions and future plans of their top leaders.
Mesa City Councilman Kyle Jones is poised to win another term outright, a sign of deep support in District 4 since he faced three challengers. Even if the closest candidate, JT Ready, can force a runoff, he will have a long ways to go to overtake Jones.
In District 6, incumbent Janie Thom was soundly defeated by Phoenix firefighter Scott Somers, backed by Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker. Thom was a frequent minority voice on the council during her one term, highlighted by her recent vote to continue some residential zoning under the flight path of Williams Gateway Airport.
These two races, along with the overwhelming victory for the Phoenix bonds campaign, validate our position that Mesa voters might be prepared to approve a property tax to shore up the city budget despite rising county property valuations. But property tax supporters can’t get overconfident, since Jones and Somers were careful not to place that issue at the center of their campaigns.
Chandler voters returned Mayor Boyd Dunn and council member Bob Caccamo. Two other seats will have to be decided among three challengers in the May 16 runoff.
Tempe City Councilman Ben Arredondo topped his city’s ballot, and challenger Shana Ellis joined him in a strong showing. Both should win a seat outright. But incumbent Len Copple will have to go into a runoff with Onnie Shekerjian for a race that likely will focus on personalities because there have been few policy clashes.