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.
Chandler also appears to have endorsed Proposition 470, a self-governance measure that gives the city permission to spend its money however it sees fit rather than being bound by an outdated state spending formula. Prop. 478 achieved 88% 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 and a resident of Chandler for 37 years, won 77% of the vote in the early results of her race against challenger Ruth Jones, 55, a mortgage loan officer and political neophyte from Chandler, who 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 and a resident of the city for 38 years, won 27% of the vote in a close six-person race for three city council seats.
The field is packed right behind him in the first batch of votes.
Jane Poston, 53 and a resident of the city for 13 years, won 21% of the vote. She is the owner/partner of J2 Media and is a former employee of the Chandler Public Information Office. She has a slight advantage over third-placed Angel Encinas, who got 20% of the vote. Encinas works with community members to provide legal status, employment opportunities, housing, and community services.
Darla Gonzalez finished fourth in early results with 17%; Farhana Shifa had 14 percent.
Gonzalez, 56 and a resident of Chandler for 18 years, is self-employed with Gonzalez Professional Services and is the local director of the Az Free Enterprise Club.
Shifa, 46 and a resident of Chandler for 16 years, 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 city council, asking for a four-year continuation of a measure that voters first approved in 1982 and which allows the council to establish the budget according to the specific needs of the city. 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, the city says, would force it to make drastic cuts to essential services, impacting its ability to meet residents’ basic needs.