Chandler City Council and mayoral candidates are scrambling for endorsements by organizations and prominent individuals to help bolster their campaigns for the March 9 primary election.
S everal local public safety organizations, prohibited by city charter from participating in city politics, are recommending endorsements to their state organizations, which can publicly endorse candidates.
Brian Tobin, president of the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, said his organization is the only state group that represents Chandler firefighters and will support council candidates Matt Orlando, Martin Sepulveda, Lowell Huggins and Mayor Boyd Dunn as recommended by the Chandler Firefighters
Jim Parks, president of AZCOPS, said his group represents 65 associate organizations across Arizona, including the Chandler Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, which is recommending endorsements of candidates Bobby Joe Harris, Dean Anderson and Huggins.
David LeVoy, president of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association, said his organization is recommending that the Arizona Police Association endorse Sepulveda and Orlando. Brian Livingston, executive director of the police association, said that group has not yet made any endorsements but is researching several candidates.
Rhonda Perez, vice president of public affairs at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is researching candidates and will decide soon on endorsements.
Anderson, an incumbent, said he is being supported by individuals including state Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, R-Chandler, state Rep. Bob Robson, R-Chandler, and Dunn.
Harris, former Chandler police chief, said his supporters include Robson, state Rep. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, and Councilman Bob Caccamo.
Vice Mayor Huggins said he counts Tibshraeny, Dunn and lifelong friend Eddie Basha among his supporters.
Dale Mukavetz, a newcomer to Chandler politics, said that while he has not yet received any organizational endorsements, he does have the support of his wife, son and others who know him.
Orlando lists council members Patty Bruno and Phill Westbrooks as well as former mayors Coy Payne and Kenny Thomas among his supporters.
Sepulveda, who served on the council from 1996 to 2000, said he is supported by prominent Chandler business people such as Basha and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Fulton Brock, RDistrict 1 of Chandler, among others.
Mayoral candidate John Conley said he has not yet received any endorsements from any organizations or individuals.
Dunn, who is seeking re-election, could not be reached for comment.