Commercial banker Gary Livacari, 34, filed a Statement of Interest just before the deadline Jan. 2 and is initiating efforts to collect signatures for his nominating position.
Livacari, who said he has lived in Gilbert for six years, joins Sandra Reynolds as challengers to incumbent Jenn Daniels, who is running for re-election.
Livacari said his concerns about the town’s spending are what led him to run for mayor.
“I originally came to Arizona from the Chicagoland area, so I've seen firsthand what happens when a local government starts to spend too much,” Livacari said. “It usually leads to crowding out of essential services or higher taxation. My family and I came here to escape some of that, and we've been troubled to see that.
“Gilbert has been a great place, but it seems to be on the path forward a different future if somebody doesn't step up now and ask tough questions and challenge the status quo.”
Livacari said he would like to see the mayor and Town Council challenge staff more and function more as advocates for the taxpayer.
Livacari has served on the town's Industrial Development Authority. That public corporation recommends to council projects the town should endorse for tax-exempt, low-interest bond financing made available by federal law for certain eligible construction projects
Reynolds said she is running to make sure residents still have a voice in what happens in town, something she became concerned was no longer happening after recent council decisions regarding the Heritage District.
Daniels served on Town Council from 2009-16 and was appointed mayor by the council after the resignation of former Mayor John Lewis in July 2016, who was taking the position of president and CEO of non-profit regional coalition East Valley Partnership. Daniels was elected to a full term as mayor that August.
The candidates have until 5 p.m. April 6 to file nominating petitions with enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 4. If a runoff were required, it would happen at the general election Nov. 3.