Mesa Mayor Scott Smith’s success could lead to governor run

Smith does not dismiss the possibility, even though he cruised last week to uncontested reelection for a four-year term that begins in January

By Gary Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Mayor Scott Smith

When Scott Smith threw his many hats into the 2008 mayoral campaign and promised to banish Mesa’s sad-sack reputation, you could all but hear the city, the Valley — for that matter, the whole state — raising their eyebrows.

Skeptics seemed to think that Mesa, widely disparaged as the home of broad streets and narrow minds, where snowbirds’ Buicks turned into pumpkins if they didn’t get home before the sidewalks rolled up at 5 p.m., was here to stay. They doubted that Smith’s talk about changing the way Mesa did business, about building a better Mesa, about restoring the civic swagger he remembered from his childhood, would ever become a reality.

But a funny thing happened over the ensuing four years.

Smith defeated two City Council veterans in the election and began turning his happy talk into a new reality for America’s 38th-largest city.

Some examples:


About Scott Smith

Age: 56.

Moved to Mesa: From Tucson, 1967. His father, George, became superintendent of Mesa Public Schools.

Party: Republican.

Family: Wife, Kim; three grown children.

Education: Westwood High School; accounting degree, Brigham Young University; law degree, Arizona State University. His time at BYU was interrupted by a two-year Mormon mission in Bolivia.

Career: Accountant, Price Waterhouse; co-founder, ExecuShare; owner, Great Western Homes; executive, K. Hovnanian Homes; business consulting.

As mayor: Serves as first vice president of U.S. Conference of Mayors and is in line to become president next year; numerous national media appearances; has made 18 trips to Washington, D.C., to promote Mesa and regional economic and development issues; five international trips (Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Switzerland and Canada); numerous regional boards and committees; involved with Brookings Institution in developing policies for the Intermountain West.


8 of 9 Peoria charter changes rejected / The Arizona Republic



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