Mark Mitchell Elected Mayor of Tempe

Tempe, AZ – Tempe City Clerk Brigitta Kuiper has released updated preliminary unofficial results for the city’s May 15 General/Special Election. These results include early ballots dropped off at the polls on Election Day, as well as most of the provisional ballots cast on Tuesday.

Mark Mitchell has been elected Mayor and Kolby Granville has been elected to the City Council.


Mark Mitchell

Write-in votes will be counted by about 5 p.m. Friday. Three conditional provisional ballots – cast by voters who did not bring ID to the polls – will be finalized by 5 p.m. Friday. A final canvass of the votes is scheduled for the City Council’s approval at its May 31 meeting – at that time, the results will be official.

Estimated voter turnout was 26.7 percent, with the majority casting early ballots. Tempe has 85,181 registered voters and the total number of ballots cast is 22,753.


Updated preliminary unofficial tallies for Mayor:

Mark  Mitchell – 11,351 votes (49.89 percent)

Michael Monti – 11,212 votes (49.28 percent)

Rick Carias* (write-in) – 0 votes (0.00 percent)

*Votes cast for write-in candidates are hand-counted and will be available after 5 p.m., Friday, May 18.


Updated preliminary unofficial tallies for one City Council seat:

Dick Foreman – 9,383 votes (41.24 percent)

Kolby Granville – 11,698 votes (51.41 percent)

Joel Navarro and Corey Woods were re-elected to City Council seats in the March 13 Primary Election.


Proposition 439, a proposed amendment to the Tempe City Charter, Article VII, Nominations and Elections, 7.01 city elections:

YES – 14,667 (72.04 percent)

NO – 5,692 (27.96 percent)


One ballot equals one vote. A voter only has one vote and one ballot, even though a voter may exercise a number of choices on each ballot. If there are three council seats to be filled at the election, each voter would have three choices on the ballot; however, in counting the total number of votes cast (ballots cast), it is the number of ballots, not the number of choices exercised on each ballot, which determines the majority. The minimum number of votes a candidate must receive to be elected to office under this provision is more than half the total number of valid ballots cast at the primary election for all offices. For example, if six persons are running for the office of councilmember and the total number of valid votes cast (ballots cast) for all offices is 500, then any individual, in order to be elected at the primary, must receive more than 250 votes, more than one-half of the total votes cast.

A True Crime or A Political Ruse?

By: The Arizona republic

There does appear to be a crime committed in the 30-year-old case of Mark Mitchell vs. an anonymous alleged-sexual-assault accuser.

But the allegations leveled against Tempe mayoral candidate Mitchell are sufficiently vague and, often, contradictory to question which crime, exactly, has been committed.

Is it a case of sexual assault? An attack committed in the early 1980s, when the accuser may have been 10 years old and the accused perhaps as young as 13?

Or is there a mean-spirited political crime at work here? Mitchell, who denies that any of the alleged sexual incidents took place, contends that the campaign of his opponent for mayor is at the bottom of an insidious whisper campaign. All of it, he says, is cooked up and false.

We can only deal now with what we know.

We do know that Tempe voters have found Mitchell’s character suitable to keep him on as a City Council member for 12 years. We know he has been an upstanding citizen as an adult, willing to serve his community.

And we do know campaigners for Mitchell’s opponent, Michael Monti, have been hawking the sexual-assault story for weeks to reporters. At the same time, they have been insisting vehemently that the story did not initiate from them.

Sexual assault is a terrible crime. No one should diminish an iota a serious accusation raised by a credible victim.

But voters must weigh what they believe is the truth in what has been laid before them now.

Are they witness to evidence of a credible crime committed by a child 30 years ago? Or are they seeing evidence of brutal politics at play?

Read more:

Statement from Mayoral Candidate Mark Mitchell’s Website


Dear Friends,


My grandfather often told me that it takes a fool to argue with a fool.  He was right.  Lately, I’ve been repeating his advice to my supporters who have urged me to address the baseless claims and negative campaign being waged by my opponent about me and my campaign to be Tempe’s next mayor.

I’ve taken the hits.  I’ve done the right thing by choosing to talk about the issues that I believe Tempe voters want us to focus on.  Many of you know, I’m a bridge-builder, not a bomb-thrower.

But I’ve come to realize that my opponent’s negative campaigning is a commentary on his plans for Tempe, and I feel compelled to set the record straight.

I support smart economic development like bringing a hotel conference center to our downtown.  This center will help leverage assets like the Center for the Arts to become the supercharged economic engine we know they can be.

My opponent opposes this hotel conference center because he’d like to build his own over his restaurant and has previously asked the City Council to approve zoning for it.  My only stake in this project is the betterment of our community for generations to come.

I support creative investments like Tempe Marketplace and have supported seeking federal grants to transform what was a toxic waste dump on the riverbed into a thriving economic center that created local jobs. 

My opponent opposes these community investments because his ideology doesn’t afford him the understanding that local governments can leverage federal resources to provide the private sector with opportunities for success – success that creates private sector jobs. 

I support engaging regional and national leaders to strengthen Tempe’s economy.  Tempe is best served when working as a regional partner with our neighbors to compete nationally and globally, and this is why the Arizona Republic endorsed my candidacy for mayor.

My opponent believes he can advocate for Tempe in a global economy from inside a bunker. This lack of vision illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how the world works.

And for the record, any time I traveled to advocate for the City of Tempe, locally, regionally and nationally, I have done so to move Tempe and our region forward.  Throughout my time on the Council, I have disclosed everything state law and the City Charter has required of me as an elected official. 

My opponent on the other hand had been reprimanded by local media and forced to amend his campaign finance reports multiple times in order to comply with state law. 

Unfortunately, a campaign that should have been waged on ideas, vision and leadership has been denigrated into a smear campaign attacking my integrity, character and family.  Make no mistake, the closer we get to Election Day, the unsubstantiated claims, misleading attacks, and slanderous accusations will only get worse.  Tempe deserves better.

Thank you for standing with me.


Email exchange between Mayoral Candidate Mark Mitchell & Anonymous writers in regards to alleged abuse

The emails below are an exchange between “Anonymous” and Mayoral Candidate Mark Mitchell on April 12,2012 and April 13,2012 respectfully.  Another email regarding the same topic was sent on May 5th,2012.   The exchange takes place after a meeting between the suspected victim and Mitchell on April 5th,2012 and a meeting with Phoenix Police Detectives detectives five days later.   It has been reported by a Phoenix Police source that the exchange between the alleged victim and Mitchell was recorded and that the tapes are to be released soon.  It has further been alleged that Mitchell denied knowing the alleged victim when interviewed by Phoenix Police around April 10th 2012.

When asked about the allegation from the Mitchell campaign that “The allegations in the Phoenix police report involving me are false, vile, and clearly politically motivated.”  Candidate Michael Monti responded that “I do not have the power to do that”  and pointed out that there was also an alleged victim in this case.  Monti also said that he received an “anonymous letter” on Monday April 9,2012. regarding the allegations, however did not do anything with the information and will be releasing a statement later today.

From: Anonymous  April 12,2012

Street Address:



“Councilman Mark Mitchell. It’s being reported that you are currently being investigated criminally for child molestation and possibly rape that allegedly happened years ago. Your father Congressman Harry Mitchell was Tempe’s Mayor at the time, and covered it up. Is this true ? Are you currently  under criminal investigation ? Tempe residents deserve to know the truth, BEFORE the Mayoral election.”

Subject: RE: Council Communicator Message From Anonymous

Response April 13,2012

“Hi all,

It’s apparent that there is no longer any issue that is too low or too unsubstantiated for Tempe politics.  Needless to say this is outrageous.  I’ve been in public service for 12 years and my father for close to 40 years.  Given the timing, I’m a confident you can see this for what it is.  As you could imagine, I don’t want to dignify these accusations by responding and hope you will respect that.



“From: []
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2012 3:52 PM
To: Hallman, Hugh; Woods, Corey; Arredondo-Savage, Robin; Ellis, Shana; Meyer, Charlie; Shekerjian, Onnie; Navarro, Joel
Subject: Mitchell Hires Private Investigator


Mayor and Council,

Today’s article in the Arizona Republic criticizes both Mitchell and Monti for bad politics. Speaking of bad politics, it is rumored that Mark Mitchell  is potentially in serious legal trouble and has hired a high dollar criminal defense  attorney. Is it considered “bad politics” when Mark Mitchell hires a Private Investigator to do a “Public Records Request” for e-mails,  letters, and  recordings on for his own City manager, Mayor, Police Chief and Councilperson Ellis? Is this an attempt to harass these City Staff members and elected officials, or to quiet them?  It’s quite obvious, Mitchell in serious trouble. But to hire a Private Investigator to look for records for high ranking public officials is a little over the top! As a Tempe resident, we desreve to know the truth about the following two questions!

Two Simple questions for you Councilman Mark Mitchell.

#1: Are you currently being investigated for an alleged serious crime, allegedly a sex crime. Yes or No?

#2. Do you have any anything to do, directly or indirectly with a public records request that was recently filed asking for communications for Tempe’s Mayor, City Manager, Police Chief and Shana Ellis? Yes or NO?

CC: TV 5, TV 3. Fox 10, News 12, AZ  Republic, Tribune”


For full story please visit: posts Mayoral Candidate Mark Mitchell’s Assault report as Teen

“Tempe Mayoral Candidate Denies Sexual Assault as Teen”  is the headline to the article posted to their website.   According the post    “Phoenix Police have been interviewing Mark Mitchell for the past several months in connection with several incidents dating back to 1983”.   The full story, along with the original police report and Mtchell’s response can be read by following the link below.

Editor Note:  It’s a sad day for Tempe; in that it’s hard to find anything good that comes from this mess.   However when you sign up as a politician your past becomes part of the public domain.   Regardless of who you support for Mayor, our readers would like your comments on the story, police report and Candiate Mitchell’s statement.



Bill Richardson supports Mark Mitchell for Mayor

Tempe will elect a new mayor on May 15. Current council member and former Vice-Mayor Mark Mitchell and restauranteur Michael Monti are mayoral candidates.

Tempe is a big business with almost 2,000 employees, a city budget approaching $400 million dollars, and serious problems.

Tempe police press releases announcnethe a significant presence of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel or warring street gangs. Tempe’s serious crime rate is the second highest in Metro Phoenix, higher than Phoenix’s and significantly higher that the bordering East Valley cities.

Tempe has become an increasingly expensive place to reside and do business as taxes and water rates have jumped in order to pay for the highest number of government employees in the region.

And Downtown Tempe is the new home of impeached state senator and far right Republican Party official Russell Pearce and his Ban Amnesty Now organization.

The question for voters is who can change Tempe’s direction or who’ll keep it going in the same direction that’s been pushed by current Mayor Hugh Hallman?

Hallman has thrown the full weight of his machine and the Republican Party behind Monti.

In the mayoral race Mitchell clearly has the local governmental experience and extensive background working with other cities, county, state and federal officials and Arizona State University, Tempe’s last remaining cash cow. Mitchell has served on the council for twelve years and has represented Tempe at the National League of Cities and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. He enjoys the trust and respect of many governmental and business partners Tempe needs for its future. Mitchell’s established political relationships with the mayors of bordering cities Mesa and Phoenix will be of great benefit to land locked Tempe. His dedication to Tempe is second to none.

Monti who co-owns a downtown restaurant, has never held elected office, and has demonstrated during his campaign that he knows how to throw rocks when it comes campaigning and discussing the issues with a mean touch.

Monti’s continuous attacks on Mitchell for his travels as part of his city sponsored involvement with the National League of Cities and his Republican cohorts attacks on Mitchell for his support from fire fighters, their threats to illegally tear down campaign signs and well placed stories with the ultra conservative media portraying Mitchell as a liar and criminal are all the wrongs kinds of things Tempe needs.

Monti’s campaign is reminiscent of Hallman’s 2004 scorched earth campaign when similar attacks were used against competing mayoral candidate Dennis Cahill. The February 21, 2004 Tribune editorial, Mud Mania in Tempe, pointed out how the race between Cahill and Hallman “has degenerated into a mud-wrestling match. And most of the mud has been manufactured by Hallman out of purely phony issues.”

Hallman’s aggressive and often mean spirited campaign and leadership styles ushered in a new way Tempe does business with its citizens, business owners and governmental partners. Styles that are expected to continue if Monti becomes mayor.

Tempe needs a mayor and council member with leadership style and experience that accomplishes the mission of government with dignity and respect for others.

More of the same or change? In this election every vote will count.

Mark Mitchell

Streetcar Support Depends on Funding

By: Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Tempe has always been a leader and ahead of its time when it comes to public transit and transportation. I am proud that our city fully embraced and popularized Valley Metro Light Rail, and that our voters supported the concept of commuter rail at a time when all other Valley cities did not.

In the great tradition of Tempe’s forward-thinking vision for transit, I also support the concept of a downtown street car project.  But we need to make sure it can be planned out and effectively implemented. This project holds tremendous potential to have a positive impact on our community, particularly Mill Avenue and downtown.

However, I have numerous questions and concerns about this project’s feasibility – questions that I believe are shared by Tempe taxpayers.

The 2.6 mile Tempe street car line cannot be built without federal funding. Local taxpayers would pay two thirds of the cost, while the final third would be matched by federal transit funds. However, in my recent meetings in Washington with the Under Secretary of Transportation, he stated that we have an existing revenue problem. The current gas tax is not covering existing programs.  If the current gas tax does not cover existing programs, how can it cover a new street car project?

Congress has extended the current gas tax until March, but has not addressed the long-term sustainability of our transit funding source.

In addition, the proposed operating budget for this project relies on one-time local revenue sources from the sale of property purchased with transit funds. We do not yet have clarification from Tempe city staff if that revenue can be used for operating the street cars or for capital projects only. I am concerned that a one-time money source can be budgeted for a longtime ongoing expense. What happens when the money runs out?

I also do not support a proposal to use revenue from advertising throughout the street car route to help pay for the project. I want to hear new ideas on how to make this concept work without requiring a major rewrite of Tempe’s sign ordinance just for this project.

I have other concerns, including the fact that even with questionable or unsustainable revenue streams this project would run a deficit in its projected operation budget for its first four years. But my primary concern is that Tempe’s current transit fund – hit hard by the ongoing recession – is operating at a deficit now. We have already cut millions of dollars from our transit budget, and now we want to add a massive new project?

Given the information that has come forward about this project so far, it doesn’t make economic sense at this time.

Tempe is a well-balanced city with a vibrant downtown and distinct neighborhoods. A streetcar could be a key part of that balance. However, our challenge is to maintain and improve what we have in a realistic and well-thought-out manner. When I see that for this project, it will have my support.

 Editor Note:  Mark Mitchell is currently a Tempe City Councilman who is running for Mayor of Tempe

OUR “DIFFERENT” TOMORROW – Mark Mitchell for Mayor

By:  Mark Mitchell for Mayor . 
Editor Note:  Please follow this link to vote for your favorite candidate for Mayor of Tempe..

Tempe is different. And we are proud to be different. We welcome people of all ages, from all walks of life. We protect our neighborhoods. We celebrate our diversity. We cherish our schools and we generate thousands of jobs.

Our difference has allowed us to make a positive difference locally, nationally and even internationally. In order to continue attracting families and businesses of all size, we must continue to be a city of choice that distinguishes itself as one of the best cities in the nation.

Leading this great city isn’t going to be easy and our successes didn’t happen overnight. Arizona’s economy was the hardest hit by the economic downturn and these economic challenges have impacted all people still quietly struggling to get by.

I’m running for Mayor because I believe we need a bold vision for our future and strong leaders committed to invigorating our economy, giving our local businesses the opportunities to grow and getting our families back to work.

I work for a local Tempe small business and I know that bringing in business and other economic opportunities will take hard work, require the ability to listen and learn and work in partnership with many. The same goes for leadership at City Hall.

If we are going to attract businesses and entrepreneurs, we have to work in partnership to create the environment to thrive economically and so we can continue to invest in our neighborhoods, parks, and services that keeps opportunity in Tempe. As leaders, we also need to continue listening to our residents’ forward-thinking wishes to preserving our distinct neighborhoods that make Tempe different — one of the most desirable cities in which to live.


For too many other Arizona cities, the smallness of their politics has overtaken their ability to successfully govern their community. Their vision fails to extend beyond partisan talking points focused on the next election. We cannot stand by and allow the very things that make Tempe unique be threatened because of a lack of vision, a lack of leadership or a lack of cooperation.

Tempeans are different. From non-profits boards, volunteer and civic organizations to city boards and commissions, residents from all points in Tempe have always been involved in defining the direction and character of our city. Our residents plan today to build a stronger tomorrow.

The decisions we make today affect future generations. During my service on the city council, I have always strived to do what is best for our community and believe elected officials have an obligation to gather as much information from as wide a variety of sources as possible before making any decision that affects a community. Making decisions when you only expose yourself to one point of view is a disservice I have always taken the time to listen from friends, neighbors, and community members to hear what is on their mind and what issues are important to them. I’m a proven consensus builder and I believe that communication is the key to finding solutions to every issue.

As Mayor, I will strive to unite Tempe in our shared belief that we can be better, we can work together, and we can build upon a community that honors the principles of respect, dignity and civility.

I live in south Tempe and know that many residents are greatly involved in the happenings that affect the entire city. From non-profits boards, volunteer and civic organizations to city boards and commissions, residents from all points in Tempe are very involved in defining the direction and character of our city.


What is different about Tempe is its diversity. Tempe’s geography allows for a well-balanced city that allows for a vibrant downtown and distinct neighborhoods. As Mayor, I’m committed to ensuring that Tempe remains a forward-thinking community that we are proud to call home. We can retain our All-American city character by not only investing in new infrastructure, but by maintaining and improving current services such as public safety, neighborhood preservation, and parks and recreation. Our families deserve to send our children to great schools, to live in safe neighborhoods, and maintain one of the lowest cost for services.

Our challenge is to preserve the unique character and neighborhood pride that defines our community. The decisions to build the Tempe Center for the Arts, work with our business community to attract and retain businesses, invest in our parks, neighborhoods and public safety have helped our city tremendously. Tempe been voted as one of the top 100 communities to raise youth two years in a row, twice been named an All-American City and was recently ranked Tempe #3 by Business Week as “America’s Most Fun, Affordable Cities.


I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to serve our community and I’ve had the great fortune of meeting so many great people and getting to know their families along the way. I know that our community and the environment we raise our children is why we engage each other. I’m running for Mayor of Tempe because I want to continue to give back to the community that has given me so much.

The only way we are going to be able to keep our city strong is if we are fair, work together and invest in a future that is brighter for our kids. I’m proud to be a part of our forward-thinking community. I’m also proud to belong to a family who’ve dedicated their lives to public service in our community.

My dad taught me that you should always care more about the outcome of than getting credit for something. He has also told me many times over that a person cannot be successful unless a whole lot of other people want them to be.

He’s right. That is why I’m running for Mayor and I hope you will join with me. Together I know we can keep Tempe different and build the Tempe of tomorrow we are still proud to call home.

Councilman Mark Mitchell to run for Tempe mayor

by Dianna M. Náñez – Sept. 7, 2011 01:34 PM

The Arizona Republic

Longtime councilman Mark Mitchell told The Arizona Republic today that he will run for mayor next year.

Mitchell’s father, Democratic political icon Harry Mitchell, will stand by his side when he makes a formal announcement Wednesday night at a Tempe gathering.

Rather than shy away from the shadow that his father’s extensive political career will cast on his run, Mitchell said he is embracing the values, worth ethic and love of Tempe he shares with his dad.

“He’s my best friend,” Mitchell said. “I’m lucky to have many mentors. My dad’s a huge mentor.”

He is the first candidate to confirm plans to run for mayor in 2012. The primary election is March 13. The general election is May 15.

Harry Mitchell served as a councilman from 1970-78 before being elected Tempe mayor, an office he held for 16 years before being elected to state and congressional seats.

Mark was first elected to the council in 2000. His third term expires next year.

He said he had hoped to run for mayor in the future, but he only considered a 2012 bid when Mayor Hugh Hallman made a surprise announcement this summer that he would not seek re-election. Hallman’s stepping aside left the race wide open.

Mitchell said his decision was based on wanting to ensure that his hometown continues to prosper.

“This is going to give me the opportunity to give back even more to the community I grew up in and love,” he said. “I want to work to preserve our neighborhoods, help grow our economy, continue to create jobs, usher in a positive change. We’re a forward-thinking community that has been nationally recognized for our innovation. I want to keep Tempe different.”

Harry said he warned his son that a mayor’s role compared with a councilman’s requires an extensive time commitment, which can be especially difficult for candidates with young families and full-time jobs. Mark is vice president of Arizona Flooring and Interiors in Tempe. His wife, Debra, is a teacher and they have two school-age children.

Mark thinks that he is no different than the many Tempe residents struggling in today’s economy to handle increasing work and family responsibilities. Sharing that experience will make him a stronger, more honest candidate, he said.

Harry recalled worrying about balancing family life and his work as a Tempe high school government and economics teacher when he first considered running for the City Council.

“A friend of mine . . . said I should run. I told him I don’t think this is the right time,” he said. “He drove me down to City Hall. I learned there is never going to be a perfect time. You just have to do it if you feel it’s the right thing to do, regardless of what the circumstances are.”

Mark said a priority of his campaign will be to remain fiscally conservative, while securing resources to invest in Tempe’s economy.

“We’ve had to cut our budget by 20 percent, and there’s more (cuts) that have to be done,” he said. “We have to be prepared for what the state Legislature is doing to cities, (and) we have to wean ourselves off the temporary sales tax increase (that expires in 2014). But even in this economy, without factoring in the increase, we are growing our sales taxes.”

Although some conservative residents are encouraging limited spending, Mitchell said that Tempe is a landlocked city that will only survive if it invests in economic development.

“If we continue to invest responsibly, we’re going to be better off for it. Just like with light rail and the (Tempe Town) lake,” he said. “I will tell you this; we cannot get out of the issues we’re in today alone. It’s going to be about partnership with the private sector.”

But explaining public investments to a community where Tea Party members are lobbying for slashing spending will be difficult, Harry said.

“He’s got to be able to communicate these investments. They’re not just willy-nilly spending,” he said. “People expect a certain level of services. He’s got to be able to explain that we have one library in Tempe. It’s very busy. If we cut hours it will be felt by many, many people.”

The main piece of advice Harry had for his son is to be “honest.”

“Don’t get caught up with the title,” he said. “You’re still the same kid who went to Meyer (Elementary) School, to McClintock High School to ASU. Your parents still live in the same house you grew up in. Just be straightforward with people . . . (and) don’t forget how you got here and what matters.”

The Mitchells are already looking forward to continuing a family tradition. When Harry was a kid he hung political signs with his grandfather, W.W. Mitchell, who served as a state legislator. Years later, Mark did the same with his dad.

Harry said he will “absolutely, be out there hanging signs for Mark.”