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Phoenix City Council will appoint a new member for District 7 on Tuesday

The Phoenix City Council is scheduled to appoint a new council member on Tuesday to fill the vacancy created when Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari resigned last month to run for Congress.

In a letter to City Manager Jeffrey Barton, Mayor Kate Gallego said candidates interested in the appointment should submit letters of interest and resumes to the City Clerk by 5 p.m. Monday, April 8.

Candidates for the appointment include former Hayden, Ariz. Mayor Carlos Galindo-Elvira and former Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski. The list also includes Phoenix Planning Commission member Lisa Perez and Valley of the Sun United Way executive Gilbert Arvizu.

The council’s appointee will represent District 7 until November, when the city will hold both a regular and special election for City Council. Whoever wins that special election will finish Ansari’s term and represent the district until April 21, 2025.

The candidate who wins the general election in November will begin a new four-year term, also on April 21.

In an online post, Galindo-Elvira said he does not plan to run in the regular election and would donate his council salary to nonprofits in District 7, though he specified that he would not donate any portion of his council salary to his employer. Arvizu told the council he does not plan to run in the special or regular election.

Emilio Avila Solís was the first candidate who has filed to run in the special election. Solís said he will not submit his name for consideration for the appointment and will focus on campaigning in both special and regular elections.

“It’s not in my campaign’s best interest to split my time,” he said.  

Other special election candidates include Galindo-Elvira; former Councilman Michael Nowakowski; Realtor Martyn Bridgeman; and Phoenix Planning Commission member Lisa Perez.Than

Former state Rep. Marcelino Quiñonez, who has been linked to the vacancy in media reports, did not respond to a request to comment on whether he will seek the appointment. 

“I think I'm in a place where I'm really pleased with all of the work that we've been able to accomplish and I'm also looking at the opportunities and possibilities of next week,” Quiñonez said when he resigned from the Legislature last week.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been updated to correct that Carlos Galindo-Elvira will run in the special election.

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Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.