Arizona mayor hopes council vote for Stringer resignation sent message
PHOENIX – The mayor of Prescott said he didn’t expect Arizona state Rep. David Stringer to resign just because the city council passed a motion demanding it.
The 6-1 vote was meant to send a message to businesses concerned about tolerance after Stringer was recently recorded making racially insensitive remarks, Greg Mengarelli said Wednesday.
“I think this is more about making a statement that we will not tolerate this kind of thing in our city.” Mengarelli said by phone on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes.
“We don’t want to allow him to define who we are as a city. There’s an economic situation here where we could lose businesses we’ve been recruiting into town.”
He said the city was trying to bring in an innovation center and pushing for more technology-based businesses.
“They’re calling us: ‘What’s going on down there?’ We felt like we had to make a strong statement.”
The council voted Tuesday morning. Two weeks ago, Stringer told Arizona State University students that African-Americans “don’t blend in” and that Somali immigrants don’t look like “every other kid” as previous European immigrants did, Phoenix New Times reported.
The negative attention could be detrimental.
“He’s put us in a spot where he doesn’t have the influence now in the state legislature. (Stringer has been removed from the House Judiciary and House Education committees and resigned from the House Sentencing and Recidivism Reform Committee),” they mayor said.
“People aren’t going to want work with him. We truly would want him to resign so we can get somebody in there … that could actually do something for us.”
Mengarelli, who was voted into office in November 2017, said he was under no illusions Stringer would resign.
“Based on past history, no,” he said.
In June, Stringer told a men’s forum audience, “there aren’t enough white kids to go around.”
The Arizona Republican Party wanted Stringer to resign immediately. He was re-elected last month to represent House District 1, which covers most of Yavapai County, including Prescott.
Stringer pulled in 67,023 votes. Another Republican, Noel Campbell was also elected with 79,130. Democrat Jan Manolis had 32,706 votes.
“I think (voters) know they’re voting for a Republican or a Democrat,” Mengarelli said.
“They may not do the kind of research that they should. We’re very red up here and people are very loyal to the party. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes maybe not so much.”