The Glendale General Election is in less than a month and early ballots have been mailed out and voters are beginning to make choices. For the voters of the Cholla district in Glendale’s General Election, sorry but there are no good, clear-cut choices. Gary Deardorff, a self employed financial consultant is running against Lauren Tolmachoff, a self employed realtor.

Both claim the mantle of fiscal conservatism. Deardorff wins on that score. He has years of expertise in finances. Each has taken a position on the proposed casino with Deardorff opposed on the basis of reservation status and Tolmachoff supporting because of the jobs she believes it will create. Neither has a good grasp, due to lack of incumbent knowledge, on the issues facing Glendale. Both candidates’ websites are disappointing. Here are the links to each: and .

Gary Deardorff’s “Cholla Chats” are lightweight and generally offer feel-good news about events in the Cholla district. Lauren Tolmachoff’s “Blogs” are stale and have not been updated since August.  Neither website speaks to the issues of the Glendale City Council’s penchant for spending money it doesn’t have, Glendale’s debt burden, the Arizona Coyotes situation or the Camelback Ranch Spring Training Facility. It’s obvious as to why they are reluctant to do so. Taking a clear, definitive position on any of these issues will alienate some voters. If you, the voter, want to know these candidates’ positions on the issues you won’t find it on their warm and fuzzy websites.

Let’s look at their campaign reports. The last report made by their political committees is the Post Primary Report which covers activity through September 15, 2014. Both candidates filed complete reports. Lauren Tolmachoff has raised $10,675 as of Sept. 15th.                  Gary Deardorff has raised $23,822.00 as of Sept. 15th.

Tolmachoff’s base of support is the farming community and real estate related community. Four of the Hickman clan and one Tolmachoff (all related to farming) contributed. Eight of her contributions came from real estate and related interests.  Two contributions of note are a $1,000 contribution from Louis Olsen, Director of the World Wildlife Zoo; and a $2,000 contribution from the Realtors of Arizona Political Action Committee. Tolmachoff has loaned herself $3,200 to date.

Deardorff’s base of support is from former Mayor Elaine Scruggs’ circle of contacts and friends or loans he made to himself. Scruggs along with others hosted a fundraiser for him. It grossed $2,837 but Deardorff met expenses for it for almost $800. Scruggs donated $50 but also made an in-kind contribution of $123.14. We don’t know what the in-kind was for as Deardorff did not answer that portion of the form. He also did not explain what Robert Campbell’s $200 in-kind donation was for. In fact, his reporting for nearly every donation he received from individuals is incomplete as occupations and employers are not listed. His major source of funding is loans made to himself totaling $19,067.00 to date.

Deardorff’s campaign expenses are twice that of Tolmachoff’s. Deardorff spent $18,340 to date and Tolmachoff spent $9,415.56 to date. Both spent funds on Deardorff’s legal challenge regarding petition signatures. The difference in spending may relate to the number of political mailings by each. Since I do not live in the Cholla district I do not have any information related to their political mailings. I hope they were more informative than their websites.

As I indicated earlier, the choice in this race is not clear-cut for the Cholla voter. Do you want a council representative who will be sympathetic to the interests of the farming and real estate communities? Or a candidate primarily self-funded and garnering the support of former Mayor Scruggs and her friends?

Based upon readily available information to the Cholla voter the choice for this race is:


Lauren Tolmachoff

Next up: Barrel district candidates.

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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