Big names in Mesa politics are lining up behind Scott Somers, who has announced his intention to win the City Council seat occupied by Janie Thom.

The 37-year-old Mesa resident has named former Arizona Speaker of the House Mark Killian as his committee chairman and has the support — but not yet the formal endorsement — of Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker.

Somers filed a political committee statement of organization last week, the first step for candidates seeking office. Somers, who serves on the board of directors for Mesa United Way and on the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, submitted his resignation from the Mesa Building Board of Appeals to run for council.

Somers, a Phoenix firefighter and paramedic, has lived in Mesa for 11 years.

Somers said he would like to help develop the Williams Gateway Airport area as an East Valley economic hub and build synergy among his alma mater, Arizona State University East, other schools and the business community.

"I’m very pleased that he’s in the race and I’m certainly leaning in his direction," said Hawker, who frequently clashes with Thom during council meetings.

The March 14 primary will feature elections in districts 4, 5 and 6, seats currently held by Kyle Jones, Rex Griswold and Thom, respectively.

Thom said she leans toward running again. She ran unopposed in 2002 in the first District 6 council election. That district includes southeast Mesa.

Somers and Griswold are the only two people who have set up political committees for next year’s election.

Killian, a Republican, served 14 years in the Arizona House of Representatives, is a former director of the Arizona Department of Revenue and a member of the Mesa 2025: Financing the Future committee.

Deadline for candidate filing is Dec. 14.

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