Phoenix Mayoral Election Likely Heading for Runoff

Two candidates for mayor will likely compete in a runoff election on March 12.

Kate Gallego and Daniel Valenzuela — both Democratic former Phoenix City Council members — will advance to the March mayoral election because neither garnered more than 50 percent of the vote.

With about 220,000 ballots counted as of 11 p.m., Kate Gallego had a wide lead, garnering about 45 percent of votes over Valenzuela’s 26 percent.

Republican Moses Sanchez came in third, with 19 percent, while Libertarian Nicholas Sarwark trailed with 11 percent of votes.

Valenzuela, favored by the business-friendly Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, is likely to pick up votes from Sanchez and Sarwark in March. Conservative interests that backed Sanchez are expected to get behind Valenzuela in the runoff election.

Valenzuela also has the support of several labor unions, including the police union.

Gallego is favored by the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood Advocates for America, and the Arizona Republic.

Both candidates raised more than $1 million.

The special election was triggered when former Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton resigned to run for U.S. Congressional District 9, a race he appeared to be winning comfortably as early ballots came in.