It’s a race a lot of people outside of Arizona were not paying attention to. Doubtless because it was written off as, “just a city council race.”
But the Phoenix City Council District 6 race was anything but a normal city council race. Pitting incumbent Phoenix city council member Sal DiCiccio against an openly gay opponent, Kevin Patterson, it was a slugfest with DiCiccio winning last night, 52.61% to 47.39%.
Why is this race so unique? Well, back in November, Hillary Clinton won this city council district by 10% and DiCiccio was state co-chair for Donald Trump. That’s a 15% swing in less than a year and while Presidential turnout differs from city council race turnout, this race was as high profile a local election as I can remember (it was the only contest city council race in Phoenix this cycle).
What was the difference? Kevin Patterson ran as a pro-labor union, environmental issues candidate. Frankly, he was all over the map, devolving into personal attacks against DiCiccio in the final days of the election.
Sal DiCiccio ran an entirely different campaign. He was a tireless, passionate and articulate candidate who focused on three issues-public safety, runaway spending and unfunded pension-while his staff worked overtime on constituent services.
And then there were the nuts and bolts of his campaign. Using an aggressive social media campaign, DiCiccio recorded numerous clips of himself looking straight into the camera, talking to the voters about the issues they cared about. In addition to all this, he had a consistent two month canvassing program, 6 days a week using one of the best voter contact platforms in the business, CampaignSidekick, with its new video survey model. In other words, he didn’t wait until the last few days to turn out his voters. He and his campaign went out and had a multi-month conversation with them. All the above are marks of a winning campaign.
It also proved that disciplined candidates with great issues and the right tactics can win, no matter the national political environment.