Paradise Valley elections begin to warm up

Paradise Valley Independent, February 3, 2022

Editor’s Note: Paul Dembow was not listed on a town-provided list of candidates who had filed a statement organization. However, Dembow is circulating petitions to run again, and is not required to file a statement with the town.

Paradise Valley’s political races are beginning to heat up this winter as the town is about six months away from ballots hitting mailboxes.

In the Aug. 2 primary election, Paradise Valley Town Council will elect a mayor and three council members.

The terms of Councilwoman Ellen Andeen, Councilman Paul Dembow and Councilwoman Anna Thomasson are all up. Andeen and Thomasson have filed paperwork for re-election. Dembow is also reportedly circulating a petition for re-election, according to town officials, however he is not listed publicly on the town’s website because he has not reached a monetary threshold to do so. 

Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner’s two-year mayoral term is also up in December 2022. Bien-Willner recently announced a reelection campaign as well.

Challenging Bien-Willner for the mayor’s seat is Councilwoman Julie Pace, who’s council term is up in 2024.

In addition to Andeen and Thomasson, Paradise Valley resident Christine Labelle is seeking election.

There is still time for other candidates to get in the race.  The deadline to file petitions to become an official candidate is April 4.

Of the five people seeking election in August, there are two people with campaign finance reports available.

Committee Jerry for Mayor of Paradise Valley reported an ending balance of $14,610 for fourth-quarter 2020, from Oct. 1-Dec. 31.

Bien-Willner spent a little more than $4,000 during the reporting period, mostly with an advertising firm for campaign needs. He also reports two donations totaling $150 and a personal loan of $475.

Andeen’s committee also has filed campaign finance reports for fourth-quarter 2021. Her committee, Ellen Andeen for PV Town Council, has $5,797.

Andeen reports a $1,000 donation from her fiancée, Charles Keller. She also reported $5,500 of her own monies for the campaign, and spent $702 on various campaign advertising, bookkeeping and a website.

Thomasson, Labelle and Pace don’t have campaign finance reports available.
Arizona law requires candidates who receive or expend, in any combination, $500 or more to register as a candidate committee and account for all monies or things of value.

The next campaign finance reports will be due in April, for first-quarter 2022: Jan. 1-March 31. After that, candidates will be required to file second-quarter reports, for April 1-June 30.

The following week, ballots will be mailed beginning July 6, and drop boxes will be available. Voters are encouraged to mail their ballot back by July 26, with election day officially on Aug. 2.

Also during the primary election, Paradise Valley voters are being asked to approve or deny the general plan update.