Lane Passes Buck on AZ Treasurer Run

I’m a little late getting this posted, but since several folks have asked about it, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth:

Dear Friends:

For months now you have probably heard the rumors that I have been considering running for State Treasurer, if Doug Ducey decided to run for Governor.  Now that Doug has formed an exploratory committee for that position, I feel it is time for me to announce my decision.  I am grateful to everyone who has called and encouraged me to run.

Before running for the city council in 2004 I never had any political ambitions.  I ran for council because I felt I had something important to offer my community.  The same reason was true for my campaigns for Mayor in 2008 and again in 2012.  It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the citizens of Scottsdale these past nine years.

When I was elected Mayor in 2008, Scottsdale was facing a $48 million deficit.  Today, in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, Scottsdale has emerged stronger than ever.  During this time, we have been able to cut expenses and eliminate our deficit without raising taxes, while improving our credit rating – we now have a better credit rating than the federal government!

To ensure that Scottsdale would always be on strong financial footing, I pushed a reform to our City Charter, overwhelmingly supported by our voters, which established an independent City Treasurer position responsible directly to the City Council.  With this critical reform, the council and the public now have direct access to Scottsdale’s financial information.

Scottsdale has a great story to tell and has set a great example for others to follow.

I would be proud to follow in the footsteps of Doug Ducey by running for Treasurer.  Doug has done a remarkable job managing our state’s finances and I am thrilled that he is exploring a run for governor.  However, when I asked Scottsdale voters to re-elect me last year, I made a commitment to serve the full term if they saw fit to give me another four years.  Re-elect me they did, so it is for that reason that I have decided not to run.  I love this city and I will not walk away from my commitment to Scottsdale.

To all of you, who called and encouraged me to run, please accept my heartfelt thanks.   Joanne and I feel truly blessed to have so many people who believe in the work we do.

Sincere best wishes,

Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane
City of Scottsdale

What’s are the real reasons, you may ask? Several astute ScottsdaleTrails readers have offered their guesses:

  1. Lane’s handlers paid for four years and they expect to get four years.
  2. The soon-to-be-defeated Scottsdale bonds, Scottsdale’s debt, and the deficits Lane has approved have eroded his credibility as a business-like candidate.
  3. Lane still doesn’t understand the definition of “deficit” ($8 million last year, $9 million this year). Sad for a former CPA.
  4. A certain former candidate forced him to spend his war chest to escape facing a general election last November; money he would have needed to run for state treasurer.
  5. Lane would rather put his money into a Pinetop summer home so he can hang out with former councilman Ron McCullagh.
  6. In a statewide race, Lane wouldn’t be able to dodge the debates like he did in Scottsdale’s primary last year (he skipped half of them).
  7. He had a good reason for skipping the debates: He’s much worse at debating issues than he is at running a city council meeting. If you can believe that. His closing statement at one debate was: “If you don’t think I’ve done a good job, you should vote for my opponent.”

Those are seven pretty good reasons, all speculation of course. Should we make this a David Letterman-style top-ten list? What are your thoughts?

I will add in closing that the reason Lane gives in his next-to-last paragraph simply doesn’t ring true

“…when I asked Scottsdale voters to re-elect me last year, I made a commitment to serve the full term if they saw fit to give me another four years.  Re-elect me they did, so it is for that reason that I have decided not to run.”

If that’s true, why couldn’t Lane have announced his decision not to run for state treasurer on election night when he won his second term as mayor? Like a year ago?

The bottom line is that–promise or no–Lane would have dumped Scottsdale in a heartbeat if he thought he had a prayer to win state-wide office. Do you really think he ran for mayor because he cares about the citizens of Scottsdale?

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