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Mesa Mayor Smith to focus on economy, education

PHOENIX — Soon-to-be former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said he is focusing on two areas when it comes to his run for Arizona governor: the economy and education.

Smith told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Rob & Karie on Thursday that a great education program is key to igniting the state’s economy.

“We can never reach the level and the goals we need to create great jobs and a healthy economy without world-class education,” he said.

Smith said Arizona has dropped the ball and has not been focused enough on education. And while Arizona does have a myriad of problems, Smith said there is one big step it can take to resolve a lot of issues.

“If you have a healthy economy that creates great jobs, a lot of the other problems take care of themselves,” he said.

However, one of the problems immune to that theory is the on-going situation within Arizona’s Child Protective Services.

“Problems like CPS have got to be taken seriously and got to be solved,” Smith said, adding that he hopes there is a fix in the works by the time he would take office, should he be elected.

Despite filing his paperwork Thursday, Smith said the plan when he was elected mayor was not to make a run for governor.

“That was never the long-term plan. It just sort of evolved.”

Smith said he loves his job as mayor of Mesa and would “stay another 20 years” if he could.