2020 Tempe Election Endorsements


Clowes was the obvious choice even before our straw poll. She is running for council on an explicitly urbanist platform. She looms over the field in terms of policy proposals and other candidates would do well to read over her blog posts and perhaps borrow a few ideas.

She understands the root causes of rising rents and understands that we must legalize diverse and dense housing to take this issue on. She would seem to be the candidate who mosts wants a Tempe for people, not cars.

She was also far and away the favorite for council in our straw poll, coming in first place no matter how we sliced the vote. Clowes would be the best possible addition to Tempe City Council out of those running.


The second most supported candidate overall was Councilmember Randy Keating. In his responses to our questionnaire, he was one of the few to support increased height and density in Tempe’s urban core and understood the need to increase the supply of housing in order to make our city more affordable.

Keating supported the legalizing of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and fought to keep scooters in Tempe, preserving a key multimodal option. He supports the expansion of Tempe’s urban tree canopy and its free Orbit bus system and was a major backer of Tempe’s Climate Action Plan.

Keating’s practical approach to improving Tempe show he is a valuable member of Council.


In the mayoral race Corey Woods was the overwhelming favorite, winning over 85% of the vote outright. There is no question about him being the favorite among our respondents. That being said, the responses to our questionnaire were somewhat lackluster.

Woods had many good elements. His emphasis on having housing options for residents new and old is important and well within our guiding philosophy. Woods is quick to point to past experience with affordable housing and the need for leadership on this issue, which is no doubt valuable. Unfortunately, he is light on more details when it comes to exactly what he would do with housing.

Both candidates said they support protected bike lanes. While this is good, the amount of protected bike lanes in Tempe remains quite low and in some cases existing protected bike lanes have been rolled back. Bicycle and pedestrian safety needs to take higher priority in this city.

What separates Woods from Mitchell is that Woods has made affordable housing a far bigger focus of his campaign. Tempe needs to get far more serious about this problem and it’s time for change. Tempe YIMBY endorses Woods in the hopes that he backs up his campaign’s focus on affordability with policies that get serious about increasing housing supply in Tempe.


The top three vote getters will win seats on the council in this election. Because of this, it generally makes the most sense to vote for the single candidate you most want to win. In theory a vote for any candidate other than your favorite decreases their chances of winning.

The two incumbents, Keating and Navarro, are likely to win reelection to their seats, as they both lead in fundraising which has historically been a good predictor of electoral performance. Because of this the real competition is between the non-incumbents running for the open-seat.

Because of this it makes sense to just vote for the two best pro-housing and urbanist candidates, Clowes and Keating.

The Tempe ballot will look like this.

Ballots started being mailed out on February 12th. They must be mailed back by March 4th. Election day will be March 10th.

Remember to vote pro-housing and urbanist for a better Tempe.

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