2024 Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Candidates

Watch Candidate Video Interviews

Candidates running for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors - District 1 (1 seat):

  • Joel Navarro
  • Jack Sellers (incumbent)
  • Mark Stewart

Campaign Email Address: info@joelnavarroforsupervisor.com
Campaign website or social media account: joelnavarroforsupervisor.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Tempe
How many years have you lived in District 1?: Born and Raised in District 1
Name of Employer: Phoenix Fire Department
Occupation or Title: Deputy Chief
Brief Summary of Employment: Phoenix Fire Department (Deputy Chief, 2019-present; Battalion/Division Chief, 2016-2019; Captain, 2006-2016; Paramedic, 1997-Present; Firefighter, 1995-2006); Tempe City Councilmember, 2008-Present
Educational Background (List Format): B.S. in Advertising Design, New Mexico State University; B.A. in Secondary Education, Ottawa University

Campaign Email Address: jack.sellers@cox.net
Campaign website or social media account: electjacksellers.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Chandler
How many years have you lived in District 1?: 25
Name of Employer: Maricopa County
Occupation or Title: Supervisor
Brief Summary of Employment: Maricopa County Supervisor - currently Chair of Board. Chandler City Councilmember & vice mayor. General Motors Desert Proving Ground - Facilities Manager
Educational Background (List Format): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Campaign Email Address: mark@markstewartaz.com
Campaign website or social media account: https://markstewartaz.com
Community/Neighborhood of Residence: Chandler, Arizona
How many years have you lived in District 1?: 24
Name of Employer: Gameday Mens Health and Concept2Completion
Occupation or Title: Business owner
Brief Summary of Employment: I own 6 Gameday Mens Health Franchises in the SE Valley and I have owned Concept2Completion for nearly 10 years.
Educational Background (List Format): Missouri State University - Bachelor of Science, Communication Management

Give three (3) of your qualifications/skill sets that make you a leading candidate for Maricopa County Supervisor. Explain why these qualifications make you a better candidate than your opponents.

  • Joel Navarro: Steady leadership in a crisis: As a Deputy Chief who oversees Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Fire District and its Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting program, I know that the best way to respond to an emergency is to be prepared. In these difficult times, I believe my experience as a cool, calm and collected leader in crisis situations is the best fit for the Board of Supervisors. Relationships: As a longtime Councilmember and community leader, I have built relationships with members of every political party—and no party. People know me as someone who will listen first and act second based on fundamental principles of safety, prosperity and fairness for all. Experience protecting the public: For the last 29 years, including during the pandemic, I served our community as a firefighter and paramedic. I plan to use that experience to improve the health and safety of everyone in Maricopa County by helping address the shortage of police officers and 911 call dispatchers who are vital to protecting our communities.
  • Jack Sellers: My experience serving on the Board of Supervisors including serving as Chair. Two terms on the Chandler City Council including Vice Mayor twice. Serving six years on the State Transportation Board provided an opportunity to meet and work with County Supervisors all over the State. Also allowed me the opportunity to gain respect and influence in the infrastructure world, including all levels of Government, local, state and federal. My business experience in leadership at General Motors and my involvement in economic development areas, including GPEC and Sister Cities, allowed me to interact with significant world leaders.
  • Mark Stewart: As a candidate for Maricopa County Supervisor, my qualifications uniquely position me to serve our community effectively. My entrepreneurial background and experience with a Fortune 50 multinational company provide me with a profound understanding of economic trends and opportunities. This insight is crucial for fostering economic development and ensuring our community's prosperity. My ability to anticipate and capitalize on these trends distinguishes me from other candidates, offering a forward-thinking approach to regional growth. Additionally, I have established an extensive network throughout the East Valley and across Arizona, encompassing influential figures from both political parties. I've navigated challenging political landscapes and secured opportunities for our community thanks to this network, which I've strengthened by my active participation on the National League of Cities' Technology and Communications Committee and my advocacy for CHIPS Act funding at the U.S. Commerce Department. My proven track record of bipartisan collaboration is instrumental in continuing our region's upward trajectory. Most importantly, my passion for good governance and community service forms the cornerstone of my candidacy. I am deeply committed to representing the often unheard voices of small business owners, advocating for their needs, and ensuring a balanced approach that supports the growth of large enterprises. My dedication to creating opportunities for all businesses and fostering environments where innovation and collaboration thrive is unmatched. My comprehensive economic insight, extensive network, and heartfelt commitment to serving the community make me the right candidate for Maricopa County Supervisor. I am dedicated to ensuring that our best days lie ahead, and I am eager to continue working tirelessly to unleash the potential of our vibrant community.

What is your vision for Maricopa County in the next 20 to 30 years?

  • Joel Navarro: I believe the Maricopa County of the future should: • Encourage continued growth in the tech, health, financial services, and real estate sector • Pursue policies to make water management more efficient • Remove barriers to creating enough housing to meet demand • Push forward responsible, balanced budgets • Incentivize transition to renewable energy sources
  • Jack Sellers: These are exciting very times. Planning for the next 20 plus years means recognizing and planning for future needs while addressing current issues. Passing Prop479 is a very important first step but as soon as we accomplish that, our next assignment is to ensure that our priorities are addressing our most immediate needs. The longer term plan needs flexibility to ensure we are utilizing technology everywhere practical to improve efficiency and safety. Think about autonomous vehicle trains that don't need fixed rails and autonomous air taxis'. But we need to plan for and complete the infrastructure that supports commerce now and in the future, which includes things like SR-24, I-10 improvements, the N-S corridor and I-11."
  • Mark Stewart: My vision for Maricopa County over the next two to three decades is ambitious yet grounded in pragmatic strategies to address our current and future challenges. As we look forward, our leadership must focus on innovative solutions that empower county staff and foster robust collaboration across all departments and levels of government. This collaborative approach will be key to developing strategic and cost-effective sustainability initiatives, particularly in critical water and power management areas. In addition to environmental sustainability, securing our communities will be a priority. I envision a Maricopa County where public safety is responsive and intelligent, ensuring businesses and residents thrive in a secure environment. Enhancing our public safety departments with smart technology and community-focused policing will be crucial in maintaining the safety and security of our communities. Economic diversification is another pillar of my vision for Maricopa County. While real estate and development have traditionally driven our local economy, it is vital to broaden our economic base. This means attracting multinational companies and fostering sectors outside of real estate, such as technology, manufacturing, and green energy. Working closely with nonprofits, we can also bridge the gap for those who have not yet experienced the benefits of our economic growth, ensuring that the American Dream is accessible to all. Moreover, Maricopa County's government should evolve to serve primarily as a conduit for opportunity and a facilitator for growth, stepping in as a regulator only when necessary to ensure public safety and prevent monopolistic practices that limit consumer choice. We can create a more dynamic and inclusive economy by adopting this approach. Overall, my vision for Maricopa County is one of a thriving, diverse, and secure community driven by smart governance and sustainable development. By embracing innovation and inclusivity, we can ensure a prosperous future for all residents, making Maricopa County a model for the nation.

What are the top three (3) priorities you would like to see accomplished during your term as County Supervisor, and why do you believe these are important to accomplish?

  • Joel Navarro: Improve emergency response systems: As a Deputy Chief at the Phoenix Fire Department, I was on the front lines of the region’s response to the pandemic. Based on that experience, I believe we need to apply lessons learned to formulate an emergency response plan that is flexible and comprehensive enough to prepare for an evolving list of threats and emergencies. Currently, 911 call centers are struggling with staff pay and retention issues. We need a plan to protect and expand this critical part of our emergency response system. Expand access to preschool programs: For Maricopa County businesses to remain competitive, we need an educated workforce. Studies have consistently shown that students who enroll in preschool programs have better educational outcomes than children who don’t. I helped create Tempe’s expanded preschool program, and as a candidate for Board of Supervisors, I want to give parents in other cities and towns the same opportunity for their children. Create a comprehensive plan to address homelessness in the county: In Tempe, we’ve worked with many stakeholders, including the Chamber of Commerce and others in the business community, to address this complex issue. But cities and towns can only do so much. The County must lead efforts to address an issue that goes beyond the borders of any one municipality.
  • Jack Sellers: Maintain a very cost effective budget while working to resolve major issues like housing affordability & homelessness. Plans on how to implement Prop479 most effectively and to get our share of federal infrastructure dollars. Address air quality issues that could impact our economic future.
  • Mark Stewart: During my term as County Supervisor, I have three primary objectives that I believe are crucial for the advancement and betterment of Maricopa County: Shifting to a customer service-oriented culture within county operations aligns with the Chamber of Commerce’s goals of advocating for and supporting businesses. This approach would streamline bureaucratic processes, reduce red tape, and improve the overall business climate. By training county employees to prioritize efficiency and solutions, we can enhance the ease of doing business, from obtaining permits to navigating zoning laws. This would be particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises that might not have the resources to navigate complex bureaucratic processes. The proposal to expand the Board of Supervisors by increasing the number of supervisors and creating more districts directly addresses the need for better local representation and more tailored services. For the business community, this means having more direct access to elected officials who understand the unique challenges and opportunities within their specific districts. This structural change would facilitate a more business-friendly environment by ensuring that local policies are responsive to the needs of business owners. Emphasizing a problem-solving approach within the government can lead to innovative public-private partnerships and initiatives that support economic development. This aligns with the interests of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce by opening new opportunities for collaboration on projects that drive local economic growth, such as infrastructure improvements, workforce development programs, and business incubators. Increasing engagement with the business community through regular forums, advisory panels, and collaborative projects is not just a strategy, but a commitment to ensuring that the voices of business owners are not just heard but also considered in county decision-making. This fosters a strong sense of community and partnership, ensuring that policies and initiatives are not just supportive but also reflective of the needs and growth of the business sector. By integrating these tailored strategies into my platform, I aim to assure the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and its members that their interests are a priority and that the county government is a proactive partner in fostering a thriving business environment.

What experience do you have with complex budgets? Do you feel Maricopa County is financially positioned to address long-term sustainability?

  • Joel Navarro: As a Tempe Councilmember currently considering my 12th budget, I have experience allocating resources based on measurable standards that align with strategic priorities, as well as local and regional economic forecasts. I believe that Maricopa County is well-positioned financially. However, we need to be vigilant in our planning for the possibility of a severe economic downturn, or a period of less-than-optimal growth.
  • Jack Sellers: I've had responsibility for complex budgets at many levels in industry and government. Serving on the Board of Supervisors, especially as Chair, has been a real learning experience. Each County Elected Official, including Assessor, Attorney. Recorder, Sheriff, Treasurer and School Superintendent, is independently responsible for the own groups. but the Board of Supervisors is responsible for the entire $4 billion County budget.So the budgeting process becomes very complex. Maricopa County is very well managed. We have cut our share of property taxes four years in a row while continually improving efficiency.
  • Mark Stewart: My extensive experience with complex budgets is rooted in my career with a Fortune 50 company and as a business owner. This background has honed my ability to work effectively with priority-based budgeting strategies, focusing on aligning resources with an organization's strategic goals and core competencies. In Chandler, we regularly conduct vision and mission workshops, integrating community feedback to ensure our budgeting process supports our collective goals effectively and efficiently. At the county level, the Board of Supervisors must maintain clear, ongoing communication with the county manager about strategic objectives. This collaborative approach ensures that every budgetary decision advances our shared mission, prioritizing needs such as public safety, infrastructure, and essential operations. By focusing on these core areas, we can ensure that Maricopa County meets its immediate needs and addresses long-term sustainability challenges. Regarding Maricopa County's financial positioning, I am confident we can manage long-term sustainability. The key to this confidence is our commitment to priority-based budgeting, which ensures that we maximize every dollar towards enhancing the quality of life for our residents and ensuring robust infrastructure and safety measures. By treating the county more like a customer service-oriented business, we focus on efficiency and effectiveness, empowering our staff to achieve more with less and making strategic decisions that prepare us for the future. This approach positions us well to handle upcoming challenges and ensure fiscal health and sustainability for years.

How do you plan to balance and prioritize the needs of the entire county with those of individual cities and towns?

  • Joel Navarro: Maricopa County is one of the largest counties in the nation, with many communities that span the rural, urban, and suburban divide. Balancing the needs and priorities of such diverse municipalities is a challenge that requires good communication, sound policy, and effective leadership. I believe my background as a leader in the Phoenix Fire Department and the Tempe City Council will give me a strong foundation to meet this challenge.
  • Jack Sellers: My job is to provide the bridge between each of my municipalities, the unincorporated areas and the business community. Engagement and communication is key and that is certainly a major focus for me.
  • Mark Stewart: As a County Supervisor, my approach to balancing and prioritizing the needs of Maricopa County with those of individual cities and towns centers on leveraging the county's role as a strategic facilitator. Recognizing that cities are often closer to the community and more directly responsive, it's essential for the county to serve as an effective conduit for communication and collaboration. To achieve this, I plan to engage actively with city council members and mayors, serving as a liaison to harness opportunities that benefit both the county and its cities. This involves not just listening but actively participating in dialogues that bridge city and county objectives. By understanding the unique needs and plans of each city, the county can better support and complement their efforts, especially in areas such as county islands where integration with city guidelines and planning is crucial. Moreover, my experience as a networker positions me uniquely to create what I call "collision opportunities." These are forums and collaborative spaces where city leaders, small business owners, and large companies can come together to address shared challenges. Utilizing these connections, we can foster a synergistic environment where collective resources are used efficiently to solve problems that cross city and county lines. This approach not only ensures that the county supports the cities within it but also strengthens the overall effectiveness of our regional governance, making sure that all layers of government work together towards common goals. By prioritizing communication and collaboration, we can ensure that the diverse needs of our communities are met, while also driving forward countywide initiatives that benefit everyone.

How would you propose to interact with your constituents (including the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce) to ensure that they understood what was happening with the County and had an opportunity to voice their opinions?

  • Joel Navarro: As a Councilmember, I provide multiple forums for businesses and members of the community to bring up issues and concerns. I pride myself on always being available to take calls, to listen, and then act based on those concerns. This open-door policy is something I want to bring to the Board of Supervisors to ensure that all my constituents in District 1 have a voice and feel that someone is advocating for their best interests.
  • Jack Sellers: I stay in constant communication with my municipalities, especially the Mayors and I work closely with all of the Chambers and Civic organizations in my District.
  • Mark Stewart: I plan to adopt a proactive and transparent approach to communication and engagement to ensure that constituents, including the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, are well-informed and actively involved in county affairs. One of my core strengths is being consistently present and engaged within the community, which is fundamental to effective leadership. As a County Supervisor, I will maintain this approach by being highly accessible and visible at various community events and gatherings. Attending these events allows me to listen to the concerns and ideas of community leaders and citizens and provides a platform to share updates and developments concerning the County's operations and initiatives. This two-way communication is crucial for ensuring the community understands county activities and feels their input is valued and considered in decision-making processes. Additionally, I will facilitate regular meetings and forums, including town halls and workshops with entities like the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. These forums will serve as vital platforms for dialogue, where business leaders and residents can directly interact with county officials, express their concerns, and propose solutions. By creating these ""collision opportunities,"" where ideas and expertise can be shared, we can collaboratively develop strategic plans that reflect the community’s needs and aspirations. Moreover, I will leverage digital tools and social media to enhance our outreach and keep the community informed and engaged. Regular updates via these platforms will ensure that even those who cannot attend in-person meetings remain updated and have the opportunity to provide feedback. Through these efforts, I aim to foster a governance culture that is inclusive, transparent, and responsive, ensuring that all voices are heard and that the county’s actions reflect the collective will and best interests of our constituents.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

  • Joel Navarro: No. Thanks for your consideration.
  • Jack Sellers: This is a critical time for our region. We have attracted over $90 billion in economic expansion and that means we have a lot to do to support that expansion. I have established the knowledge, contacts and influence in areas like critical infrastructure and air quality to help ensure we keep growing properly. It takes time and focus to accomplish what needs to be done and County Supervisor is my priority and my only job.
  • Mark Stewart: I want to share that I am deeply passionate about GOOD governance, embodying the principles of servant leadership as the key to being a successful community partner. My neighbors have come to expect a high level of responsiveness from me, with immediate feedback on city developments. I intend to carry this same dedication into my role as County Supervisor, ensuring I am always accessible to my community and proactive in listening and implementing opportunities. Our business community is the lifeblood of any thriving city or county. With opportunities for growth and job creation, it becomes easier to maintain public safety, develop infrastructure, and, importantly, build community. As County Supervisor, I will make it my mission to keep Maricopa County focused on the needs of its people and our business community, striving to ensure that customer service becomes synonymous with county government. The county should primarily be a conduit for opportunity and growth, not merely a regulator. I am committed to creating a culture in Maricopa that empowers our staff to excel and consistently find ways to say ""yes"" to fostering a supportive environment for business and community initiatives. With a proven track record of treating county business as an opportunity to provide great service, I am humbled by the chance to serve and earnestly ask for your support. By focusing on these core values, I aim to ensure Maricopa County stays out of the headlines for the wrong reasons and shines as a model of effective, responsive governance.
Return to 2024 Candidate Overview