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Ryan Winkle's Mesa City Council Replacement To Be Chosen This Week

Since Ryan Winkle was voted out of office after pleading guilty to extreme DUI, the Mesa City Council has been short one member.

The council will interview five finalists for the District 3 seat at a special meeting Thursday morning. The city received 33 applications for the open spot.

The appointee will serve south and west Mesa, through next year’s elections on Aug. 28.

The minimum qualification includes District 3 residency for at least two years.

Here are the finalists:

Pablo Felix

Pablo Felix is a corporate sales consultant for ADP and previously worked for Hispanic broadcasting outlets as an analyst and sales executive. Felix wrote in his application he’s lived in Mesa for 20 years and raised his family there.

“I envision Mesa and District 3 as destination for business growth and safe neighborhoods where families can raise their children and have good schools,” Felix said.

He said he’s a native Spanish speaker who will listen to the diverse communities of District 3.

Francisco Heredia

Francisco Heredia is a community relations manager at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. He previously worked as a national field director for the Latino-focused civic engagement group Mi Familia Vota. Heredia earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master's in public administration from ASU.

"The intersectionality of community and politics is an important facet of how we get our community to actively participate in the democratic process,” Heredia wrote.

Heredia says he was previously a Chandler resident, but he’s hopes to dig into his new home.

“I believe that Mesa has been and will continue its trajectory to be a city that acknowledges its history while progressing for it’s future, that it’s inclusive and respects diversity at all its levels, and that it encourages its residents to imagine bigger and better things,” Heredia wrote.

Frank Mizner

Frank Mizner is a retired urban planner who worked in Mesa from 1988 to 2003. He’s currently president of the Dobson Homeowners Association and serves on the Imagine Mesa Advisory Committee. Mizner wrote he has been Mesa resident for 30 years.

"I am familiar with the city's organizational structure and many major issues,” Mizner wrote. “My career has allowed me to be very comfortable in working with the public and within an elected/appointed group setting.”

Theresa Ratti

Theresa Ratti teaches social studies and a college prep class as Mesa’s Westwood High School. She has a Doctor of Education degree from Arizona State University and has taught in Mesa Public Schools for 25 years

“I see this as an opportunity to give back to Mesa,” Ratti said. “Servant leadership is something that is at my core, especially through civic engagement and action."

Ratti says she's lived in Mesa since 1974.

Christian Stumpf

Christian Stumpf is the director of external affairs at the Nature Conservancy and previously was vice president of government relations at the American Lung Association and a lobbyist, according to his LinkedIn profile. He wrote in his application that his experience with nonprofits and government has helped him learn how to work with people who have different beliefs to solve problems.

“I'm proud of the neighborhood and community I live in and want to be a participant in positioning Mesa as a leader as the Valley accelerates into the future,” Stumpf said.

Stumpf is the only finalist to have not completed an undergraduate degree. He attended ASU for a Bachelor of Arts in political science, but did not complete the degree.

Read their complete applications below:


Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.