Scottsdale, Arizona municipal elections, 2014

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The city of Scottsdale, Arizona held nonpartisan elections for city council on November 4, 2014. A primary election was held on August 26, 2014. Three of the six council seats were up for election. Because no candidate received a majority of the total votes in the primary election, the top six candidates proceeded to the general election. Incumbent Linda Milhaven and candidates Kathy Littlefield and David N. Smith defeated incumbent Dennis Robbins, Cindy Hill and Jennifer Petersen.[1][2][3]

Campaign financing and the revitalization of the McDowell Corridor were some of the key issues that shaped Scottsdale's 2014 election cycle.

City council

Candidate list

August 26 Primary election candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Election results

Scottsdale City Council General Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLinda Milhaven Incumbent 17.8% 27,866
Green check mark transparent.pngKathy Littlefield 16.8% 26,352
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid N. Smith 16.9% 26,359
Dennis Robbins Incumbent 16.8% 26,298
Cindy Hill 15.1% 23,564
Jennifer Petersen 16.6% 25,964
Total Votes 156,403
Source: City of Scottsdale Official 2014 Election Results
Scottsdale City Council Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLinda Milhaven Incumbent 16.1% 17,224
Green check mark transparent.pngJennifer Petersen 14% 15,040
Green check mark transparent.pngDennis Robbins Incumbent 14% 14,976
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid N. Smith 13.8% 14,830
Green check mark transparent.pngKathy Littlefield 13.2% 14,152
Green check mark transparent.pngCindy Hill 10.3% 11,007
Bill Crawford 9.4% 10,105
Michael Auerbach 9.1% 9,758
Total Votes 107,092
Source: City of Scottsdale Official 2014 Election Results


Campaign financing

One major issue in the Scottsdale 2014 elections was campaign financing. In early October, released a report showing that a nonprofit organization called Scottsdale Strong Inc. contributed almost $100,000 to a political action committee called Scottsdale United in support of select city council candidates in Scottsdale's August 26 primary. Such contributions are commonly referred to as "dark money," because the group originally responsible for these funds, Scottsdale Strong Inc., - 501(c)4 organization - is not legally obligated to disclose its donors.

"Dark money" quickly became a frequent topic of discussion amongst Scottsdale's 2014 municipal candidates. Some, such as Cindy Hill, Kathy Littlefield, Jennifer Petersen and David N. Smith spoke out against dark money in local elections. Hill, for example, said, "Dark money is cowardly and, by its very nature, is dishonest because it hides the people behind it." Others, such as council incumbent Dennis Robbins and Linda Milhaven were somewhat less critical. Milhaven noted, "These independent campaigns are run by people in our community, so I think we can hardly call them outsiders."[4]

McDowell Corridor

Another issue was the revitalization of the McDowell Corridor, described as an "8-square mile area which spans McDowell Road from Pima Road west to Phoenix, and includes surrounding neighborhoods north to Osborn Road and south to the City limits."[5] The area has historically been a major factor in Scottsdale's economy, but, at the time of the 2014 elections, had fallen into a state of decline. In September, the city announced a series of meetings aimed at forming a plan to revitalize the corridor.[6]

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