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Mesa mayor talks with family about running for governor

Current Mesa mayor Scott Smith is weighing his options to run for governor of Arizona in 2014. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

MESA, Ariz. -- An East Valley political leader has a big decision to make.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is spending the holidays talking with his family about whether to run for governor.

Smith said he's talking with them "because this is a big change. I did not get into politics to climb the ladder. I ran for mayor, coming straight from the business world, because I wanted to change Mesa."

Although, now might be an inconvenient time to run for mayor.

"Things are going really well in Mesa, and I am involved on a national level with my U.S. Conference of Mayors Presidency," Smith said. "With the resign to run law, I would have to resign as Mayor of Mesa. That's a tough decision."

On the other hand, Smith thinks 2014 might be the right to run for governor because it's an election year and Arizona is at a crossroads.

"The next governor will probably face an improving economy," Smith said. "(He or she) will face some incredible challenges as to what to do with the state in that economy. Not only from state expenditures, but building a state that's competitive in a global economy."

The mayor will announce his decision on whether to run sometime after the beginning of the new year.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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