Daniels withdraws from mayor’s race; Brigette Peterson steps up to run

Jenn Daniels, Brigette Peterson
Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels (left) has decided not to run for re-election this year, and Council Member Brigette Peterson has filed paperwork for a run. (Photos courtesy Town of Gilbert)

Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels (left) has decided not to run for re-election this year, and Council Member Brigette Peterson has filed paperwork for a run. (Photos courtesy Town of Gilbert)

Incumbent Jenn Daniels has withdrawn from Gilbert’s mayoral race, and Council Member Brigette Peterson has filed paperwork to enter the race.

Daniels made her announcement on her personal twitter account in a pair of tweets.

“I have loved the nearly 11 years I have spent serving Gilbert as both a Councilmember and as Mayor,” the tweet read. “It’s been an incredible experience and we have so much to be grateful for as a community. It has been a difficult decision but I have decided not to run again for Mayor.

“I am thankful for the support I have felt over the years from so many of you and I am excited to continue to celebrate Gilbert’s Centennial with you as I fulfill the remainder of my term. Gilbert will always be my home and the future is bright!”

Daniels, who could not be reached for comment, first won election as a council member in 2008 and served from 2009-16 in that capacity. She was appointed mayor in 2016 after John Lewis resigned, but won her own term by election a month after her appointment.

Peterson had served in numerous capacities in the town before her 2014 election to Council, most prominently on Planning Commission for 14 years, including time as vice chair and chair. Peterson served as vice mayor in 2018.

Peterson said she had a suspicion that Daniels might not run again and talked about a possible run of her own with her family if Daniels did not.

“It seemed like it was the next best step for me in serving the community,” she said.

Peterson said she believes the community is headed in an upward trajectory and that continuity in leadership is important in keeping that going.

She also said she believed it was a difficult decision for Daniels to withdraw.

“She has served this community well for 11 years since she was elected to council,” Peterson said. “I have known since she was first running for council, and I wish her all the best.”

If Peterson collects the necessary signatures to run for Mayor, she would then have to resign her council seat, which would then be filled by appointment. That could make two openings to be filled by appointment, as Council Member Jordan Ray will resign his seat if he qualifies to run for justice of the peace for the Highland Justice Court.

Two other residents are in the process of collecting signatures to run for mayor, Gary Livacari and Sandra Reynolds.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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