El Mirage election will decide whether Mayor Lana Mook gets another four years

Students at Arizona State University's Tempe campus were sent free pizza from Twitter users and the Arizona Democratic Party while waiting in line to vote on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018.

El Mirage voters will decide Tuesday whether it’s time for a new mayor.

Alexis Hermosillo, a lifelong El Mirage resident and political novice, is challenging Mayor Lana Mook in the city’s nonpartisan election.

Mook is finishing her second term and touting all she has done to make El Mirage a better place, such as building new city services, fixing roads and improving the city’s finances.

Hermosillo, who hasn’t run for political office before, has said it’s time for the city to go in a new direction.

Hermosillo and Mook were the top two vote-getters in the August primary election, defeating challenger Chance Mikos.

Mook touts experience

Mook has touted her years of experience as a way to separate herself from her competitor.

Mook, 71, is 43 years older than Hermosillo, 28.

“Younger people,” Mook said, “although they are motivated and probably do great work, I think this kind of a situation needs someone who has had life experience in running and managing businesses and corporations and needs to really be able to work with people.”

Hermosillo works for Valley Metro as a community outreach coordinator on the controversial south central light-rail project. In the past, she has worked in political offices and for community organizations.

Hermosillo said she knows how to build relationships and manage projects. She believes her generation sees new ways to solve problems, by using technology, considering sustainability and thinking about business in a different way.

Mook has been in conflict with the city’s police union for several years now.

The El Mirage Police Employees Association is opposing Mook’s reelection, but it hasn’t officially endorsed Hermosillo, said Doug Jones, the association’s president. The union supported Mikos in the primary.

Police union has council edge

The union has recently gained support from the majority of the City Council, and seems to have maintained control in the August primary.

The union endorsed two candidates for council in the primary, Councilwoman Anita Norton and Donna Winston. Both won and will soon take their seats.

Monica Dorcey, a member of the city’s Planning Commission who was on Mook’s slate, also won.

Dorcey and Winston will replace Councilmen Bob Jones and Jack Palladino, who were on Mook’s slate.

Hermosillo said she doesn’t think that public-safety needs have been met under Mook and that, as mayor, she would ensure that the police union has what it needs and that residents feel safe.

Mook has said she has supported any request the union has brought forward.

The city recently built a new police station, and the council approved more officers and a reinstated pay scale this year. Violent crime in the city has dropped under Mook’s tenure.

Reach reporter Jen Fifield at jen.fifield@azcentral.com or 602-444-8763. Follow her on Twitter @JenAFifield.

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