by Cameron Arcand
Democrat Kevin Robinson will replace Republican Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio in District 6, and Democrat Kesha Hodge Washington unseated incumbent Councilman Carlos Garcia following a runoff election on Tuesday.
Republican Sam Stone, who was up against former police officer Robinson (pictured above, right), quickly conceded after seeing the results at his election night party in north Phoenix. Stone worked for DiCiccio and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
“The results are in. We lost,” Stone said.
“The fight does not stop here,” he later added.
Stone’s success largely depended on in-person turnout, as many likely Republican voters that would vote in a runoff election in an off-year would likely be skeptical of voting by mail. In past years, DiCiccio, a vocal supporter of law enforcement, won despite the increasingly liberal trends of the district.
Once a low turnout, swing district, it is now staunchly Democratic and voted for Mark Kelly in 2022 by a 26% margin. However, In 2017 incumbent Republican Councilmember Sal DiCiccio dramatically outperformed the district's partisan lean and won re-election by 4%. pic.twitter.com/l17YordyeI
— Landon Wall (@LandonWall_) March 14, 2023
With these results, the city council’s Democratic majority will grow from five of nine seats to six, even though it is technically nonpartisan.
In District 8, progressive incumbent Carlos Garcia is facing off with Democrat Kesha Hodge Washington. Hodge Washington (pictured above, left) has the support of Mayor Kate Gallego and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, whereas Garcia has the support of the more progressive members of the city council.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber is proud to endorse Candidate @KeshaForPhoenix for Council District 8. If you are a registered voter in Council Districts 6 or 8, be sure to vote on Tuesday, March 14th. pic.twitter.com/iXTpUhyr4N
— Greater Phoenix Chamber (@phxchamber) March 10, 2023
Hodge Washington is leading against Garcia, but it’s too close to call as of Tuesday night.
Despite a Democratic pickup, some progressive Democrats in Phoenix didn’t react well to the two winners’ apparent outlook toward economic issues.
We’ve all just witnessed @MayorGallego build the corporate Democratic Party within Phoenix City Council.
It’s unfortunate that @KeshaForPhoenix and @KevinforPhoenix don’t realize how they were used as pawns in her political game.
— Senator Anna Hernandez (@ahernandezfor24) March 15, 2023
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Cameron Arcand is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Kevin Robinson” by Kevin Robinson. Photo “Kesha Hodge Washington” by Kesha Hodge Washington. Background Photo “Phoenix City Hall” by Visitor7. CC BY-SA 3.0.