Dentist Michael Cooper confirmed earlier reports that we was withdrawing from the city council race just one week after qualifying for this November’s ballot.
Cooper cited the need to spend more time with his family as the reason. Had Cooper remained, he had the political portfolio to be the strongest challenger to face the three incumbents Helene Schneider, Brian Barnwell, and Das Williams. Cooper has long served on the board of the Downtown Organization, and currently chairs City Hall’s Transportation and Circulation Committee. A lifelong Republican who became a Democrat in reaction to the presidency of George Bush, Cooper has been a staunch critic of how he says City Hall is trying to get people to abandon their cars in favor of alternate transportation. Cooper claims City Hall is seeking to induce anger and frustration in motorists to get them out of their cars.
Cooper would have been running as part of a slate with challengers Dale Francisco-a vocal critic of the mini-roundabouts approved by City Hall-and Michelle Giddens, a Mesa resident opposed to recent regulations passed by City Hall to limit the proliferation of large homes and mini-mansions in more suburban neighborhoods. Also running are Bob Hansen, David Hotchkiss, and Dan Litten. Of all the challengers, only Hansen has run for elected office before, and Hansen has run unsuccessfully for mayor and council about seven times.