Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke and incumbent Alderman Matt Orlando appear headed for re-election in the first results released shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday night in the city’s primary election.
It also appears that Chandler has once again overwhelmingly approved a self-governance measure that gives the city permission to spend its money as it sees fit rather than being tied down by an outdated spending formula from the State. Prop. 478 has an 88 percent approval in the first batch of ballots counted.
It was expected. Chandler voters had endorsed Home Rule for local budget control 10 consecutive times since 1982.
Final results likely won’t be known for a few days, according to Maricopa County election officials.
Hartke, 66, a Chandler resident for 37 years, has a sizable lead with 77% of the vote in the early results of his race against challenger Ruth Jones, 55, a mortgage loan officer and Chandler political neophyte. She has lived in the city for two years.
Hartke, an associate pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship, joined the city council in 2008 and served two full terms before being elected mayor in 2018.
Orlando, 66, a 38-year-old resident of the city, has 27 percent of the vote in a tight race for three city council seats.
The field is packed right behind him in the first batch of votes.
Jane Poston, 53, a resident of the city for 13 years, holds 21% of the vote. She is the owner/partner of J2 Media and is a former employee of the Chandler Public Information Office.
She holds a slight advantage over third-placed Angel Encinas, who holds 20% of the vote. Encinas works with community members to provide legal status, employment opportunities, housing, and community services.
Darla Gonzalez is fourth in the top results with 17%; Farhana Shifa has 14 percent.
Gonzalez, 56, has been a resident of Chandler for 18 years. She is self-employed at Gonzalez Professional Services and is the Base Manager of the Az Free Enterprise Club.
Shifa, 46, has lived in Chandler for 16 years. She owns The Joy of Fine Arts.
A second round of elections would take place on November 8, if necessary.
Proposition 470, the alternative spending restraint and self-reliance option, was put to voters by the city council, asking for a four-year extension of a measure that voters first approved in 1982. It allows the council to establish the budget according to the specificities of the city. needs in general government, public safety, public works, and utilities, rather than being constrained by the state-mandated spending formula based on the 1979-80 fiscal year established by the Arizona Legislature .
It wouldn’t raise taxes or allow Chandler to spend more than he receives in income.
If approved, Chandler estimates he would be allowed to spend approximately $766,205,118 in 2023-24 (limited to $543,443,438 if Home Rule is not approved), $734,813,629 in 2024-25 ($578,389,413 if not approved), $739,234,393 in 2025-26 ($575,701,116 if not). approved) and $745,992,632 in 2026-2027 ($587,398,668 if not approved).
If the measure fails, the revenue would still be collected, but the city would be prevented from applying it to essential functions, such as police, fire, streets, parks and libraries. This, according to the City, would force it to make drastic cuts in essential services, thus impacting its ability to meet the basic needs of residents.