By Charles Michael Schroeder
Sedona Az News: Let’s consider a few facts and figures on Sedona’s mayoral run off.
73.68% of Sedona’s voters participated in the mayoral election which ended at 7PM on November 8th. The early mail in ballots recorded Scott Jablow at 2,492 to 1330 for Samaire Armstrong, a lead of 64.19% to 35.81% for Jablow.
That’s where things stood the morning of November 8th. On election day Armstrong earned 1146 votes and Jablow came in at 751. By the end of the day, Armstrong achieved 2,476 vs Jablow at 3,243 giving Jablow the win at 56.72% vs 43.28% for Armstrong.
It is interesting to note that there were two camps in this politically charged time. A city council or mayor position is by definition “nonpartisan.”
However nothing in Sedona is “nonpartisan” no matter what the ballot says.
The long time hard core Democrat machine was in high gear from the start, and the early voting advantage reflected that as it did not matter that most of the complaints coming from the citizens about Sedona were a result of 8 years of council actions.
The early votes for Armstrong were people who wanted something different for Sedona. What was interesting was after weeks of meet and greets, events, debates and adverting of policies and positions that the people who waited swung heavily for Armstrong which included many Democrats and Independents – a fresh reality across party lines, as it should be.
Early voting may be convenient, but does it allow the voters to really engage with candidates before they make the final critical decision? Time will tell if the promised “change” really happens.
Although she lost the election, she won the hearts of many.
Samaire Armstrong, even though she did not achieve her quest to become Sedona’s mayor this time around, waged a worthy fight against the status quo. Her run could be called nothing less than remarkable.
She came back to Sedona after her career in Hollywood, a single mother with a young son, took a look around and felt that more had to be done to make Sedona a better place for her, her family and the citizens of Sedona. She thought that the city needed to be reset in a new direction she believed would improve the quality-of-life for all and save Sedona from perceived over-urbanization and the loss of the beauty it has always been known for.
So, she made a courageous decision to run for mayor.
With virtually no political experience she gathered around her a small group of Sedona residents, many of them young, who felt the same about the direction the city was going. She started a grass roots movement that led to her defeating a standing mayor in the primaries pitting her against an experienced council member that had served for eight years before deciding to run for mayor himself.
The movement drew people of all ages and affiliations to support her in her quest. There was enthusiasm, passion and a sense that the youth of this community would be now represented like never before. In the span of six months she engaged in a crash course to learn as much as she could about city government structure, how the city operates and the art of debate.
Such was the popularity of her message that she raised an unprecedented amount of money to fuel her campaign, spending most of it right here in Sedona. This brought a new awareness to the challenges Sedona faces and strove to create an atmosphere where inclusivity rather than exclusivity would reign.
It was refreshing to see a new face, a young person, so involved in the democratic process.
She learned how to campaign early on. Never having done so before she handled herself with poise and strength during the forums. A remarkable achievement for someone who had never done so before.
She survived vicious political attacks attempting to besmirch her character, moving forward without skipping a beat, throwing punches just as hard and never backing up or backing down.
She was an on-the-job learner and learned the political ins and outs in record speed. She was out there at almost every community event, meeting with the public, learning their concerns and sharing her message.
She sparked the imaginations of hundreds of Sedonans and inspired others to get involved. Simply put, she was a breath of fresh air for many in Sedona, garnering the votes of more than 2,400 Sedona voters.
The energy she brought to the process of government needs to be tapped and flourish. She should continue in her quest to make this world a better place and not allow her loss at the polls to distract her from her goal. There is still room for her on the many committees that form the backbone of city government.
She deserves respect and not derision from those who fought to keep her out of office. No one has the right to kick her while she is down, like some in this community are still trying to do.
Anger and hate should not define Sedona. Love does and love should be the primal motivator of political service. To those who hide behind pseudo names, be proud of your opinions, don’t hide under your desk, come out into the open with your comments and who you are.
Many were caught up in the rhetoric that her polices were just ideas with no detailed plans. Based on her ads, her website and her presentations nothing could be further from the truth. All is outlined in detail and will continually be monitored and updated on www.sedonareset.org. Check back often.
We need to continue to support her efforts to keep Sedona safe, strong and beautiful.
Thank you Samaire Armstrong, for bringing youth, enthusiasm and passion to our community.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Schroeder is a community activist, a Sedona resident and a successful business man with strong views about Sedona and the direction it should go into the future. Sedona.biz is not only a cyber news outlet but also a forum for those that wish to share opinions on Sedona and the world-at-large. We invite all members of the community, private citizens, business owners and elected officials, to share their opinions with us. Our pages are open to all.
I’m a now-retired former political / marketing professional who moved to Sedona after some years in the northeastern U.S. and many years in Phoenix. Samaire Armstrong would have won the election if she had not, currently and in the past, aligned herself with the philosophies of the MAGA movement. Samaire is personally likable and many, many Sedona residents are furious and disgusted with years of mis-governance by city council, and skewed priorities and poor management practices by city administrators. A lot of people who wanted to vote in favor of Samaire’s calls for change could not, however, because we are simply done with the ugliness and craziness of the MAGA world view. Systemic racism is real and needs to be addressed, climate change is real and will have profound impacts on everyone, immigrants are not demons, neo Nazis are not “good people,” Arizona elections have not been stolen, masks protect people from disease and vaccines have saved countless lives.
A lot of people who like Samaire as an individual were frightened that her presence on the city council would result in MAGA-style chaos and meanness.
Like you, Mike, I hope Samaire continues to be involved in our community. I think her intentions are honorable. At the same time I think she has fallen down the MAGA rabbit-hole to some extent. If she finds over the coming two years that she can change some of her thinking, I believe she could win an election in the future.
Samaire’s campaign and the election outcome definitely got the attention of the current city council, and recent council discussions suggest that the members who are up for election in the next cycle are now a little more focused on resident needs. Hopefully, with new council members starting work in the new year, we will see more change.
If we don’t see the change we need, Sedona voters are very likely to toss Scott Jablow out of office in the next election, given a viable alternative. People are fed up with Sedona business as usual. Scott is part of the Old Guard and needs, more than anyone, to show that he’s capable of New Thinking.
Samaire deserves credit for running, for sure. I would love to see her continue to be involved because I think she has something to offer. If her ideas can evolve beyond MAGA-style stuff, I would vote for her.
I have let this settle a bit. The MAGA is a Democrat talking point that is irrelevant. MAGA, referring to Donald Trump’s polices are not now or ever were part of the Sedona Campaign. She supported the past president like 74 million other Americans did and someone found a photo of her with a Trump T shit has nothing to do with her policies and programs that she wanted for Sedona. Sedona is not a “non partisan” place.
Using MAGA against her was just a ploy that unfortunately many people in town fell for. It’s call Associated Branding. If anyone read her policies, or met her, or went to any debate and actually listened they would realize this race had nothing to do with MAGA. And her policies as described by her, in person, literature in meetings and debates are at http://www.sedonareset.org for anyone to review.
I have no idea who “Carol G” is other than another person on the internet that does not have the conviction to identify yourself when making a statement.
If you are proud of your position then let us know who you are.
Nobody like a good debate if one comes out in the open.
With all that cheerleading, I STILL don’t know how Armstrong planned to implement her ideas.
And the MAGA thing… she will never get the vote from sane people.
WE NEED PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN REALITY IN POSITIONS OF POWER.
Otherwise things tend to fall apart pretty damn fast.
People can say whatever they want, facts and reality really don’t care.
Peggy, Ms. Armstrong outlined her platform in great detail and it has been documented at http://www.sedonareset.org.
You are correct in one aspect, in that Armstrong is only one vote on the city council. Although the Mayor does command a leadership role not only at the city level, but county and state level; as far as local decisions the Mayor is only 1 of 7 votes. It is the ability to project a vision for the city and have the backing of the people to implement those visions that makes the leader.
The pressure and input from the people drives the policies.
Mr. Jablow only has 1 vote also. The question still is whose vision do you want executed. Mr. Jablow has been on council for 8 years. If you are happy with the way the city is running and has turned out over the last 8 years then you will get more of the same.
And that is what elections should be about.
I agree with Carol G.
I researched Samaire’s background early in her campaign. Her strong MAGA leanings convinced me that she was not the candidate that I would support. Additionally, she has no service background in Sedona or leadership experience.
The far right and far left are disruptive, divisive and noisy. Fortunately, they are a minority of the voters. The midterm elections demonstrated that the majority of voters are supporting more moderate candidates in all levels of government.
I would love to see a younger, more diverse group of candidates run for office in Sedona. A diversity of ideas and beliefs is healthy for decision making. Radical ideas are disruptive.
I give Samaire a lot of credit for mobilizing many voters that generally do not participate in the electoral process. I give the majority of Sedona voters a lot of credit for doing their research.
What it comes down to is sedona citizen have spoken. The number of voters for armstrong were relatively close to the same number of people that voted NO for the tax override. I called them the haters. They just don’t like anything about Sedona government.They just don’t like anything about Sedona. The red rock news candidate lost,. Sedona voters have spoken. They approve of City Council’s, direction and they approve of Scott Jablow. Spin it any way you like, but the Sedona voters have spoken. Sedona wants nothing to do with tea party anti-everything candidates.
Mr Steve has been hiding in the trees for months and his comments should continue to be hidden.He was a mouthpiece of ex mayor sandy who was effectively voted out by the residents. He conned the Council about 8 years ago and may do it again.
I was the first to congratulate BOTH candidates after the mayoral race. I have complimented Ms. Armstrong on bringing forward ideas that are now weaving themselves into our community/governmental mindset. Bravo.
That said, it is very interesting how you are complaining about the ‘politicization’ of the mayoral race and how your candidate “survived vicious political attacks attempting to besmirch her character” when you personally published a full-page ‘hit-piece’ on Scott Jablow that was filled with such vitriol and mis-representations that my limited reply space doesn’t give me enough words to rebut it. And, your $13,000 of political contributions to her campaign were used for other attack ads and mis-representations. And, I am curious on what things were said, and by whom, in public that were attacks. I saw a lot of objective viewpoints on social media and a lot of honest ads. Specifics, please.
Shame on you for being the actual person who defined this race (and continue to do so now) with terms like ‘reset’ and other MAGA-inspired tropes. Mr. Jablow stood tall as a person who did not take political positions, showed respect for his opponent even when he was being personally attacked on stage; whereas his opponent not only went political, but showed her lack of respect for him in public debates and others within the City Council, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and City of Sedona employees with her behavior during the “Sedona Academy” sessions.
This lack of respect made her an untenable candidate for many within our community who want us all to work together, even if we have different viewpoints – sans any political positioning that you were supporting. Your political-based backing has not helped her, and, in fact, helped her defeat.
Shame on you for continuing to put forward such tropes that will not help our community heal from the election and move forward to helping our community to regain our sense of togetherness – we ALL share the same hopes and dreams that we can find a way in our small town to resolve many of the hard, gordian-knot class of problems facing us. We need people who are willing to subjugate their personal political views and BE SEDONAN, first. THAT is how we can ALL move forward to a BETTER SEDONA.
Our donation was minor in her overall fundraising.
And you are correct, instead of creating a PAC I personally ran some ads and drop cards. Sorry, Richard, just outlining the facts based on Mr. Jablow’s votes and promises that were never kept. I am not the one who cast a “Yes” vote that has created a lot of the problems this city has.
Oh, please give it a rest. You can spin Samaire any way you want but the fact that you were pushing her was all I needed to know to not vote for her. You said that she raised an unprecedented amount of money, perhaps but most of it came from you and your airport-loving “right-wingers”. Obviously unprecedented amounts of money didn’t impress the voters.
Who are you “Wally”?
Maria: You couldn’t consider me a hater, I was rather impressed until I saw her being a bully at every turn. Plus she never gave any reasonable points of what her change would look like.
What happened to civil discourse?
It seems like the internet has allowed us to weaponize our interactions with name calling, profiling and antagonistic behavior.
If we want a BETTER SEDONA, we need to be the instruments of change.
Yes you have a good point…what came first the chicken or the egg? Did you not see the online presents that Samarie had just a year before? ( Facebook is only one platform) Did you ignore her rude behavior? So when they lie, be rude, ignorant, hatful you want us to go high?…
Im sorry your out of touch…Look at the brain trusts around the state and get back to me about more lies and losing! Im supposed to be civil when people lie, and pretend its the truth? Wake up….Its not the 2000s anymore!….Nothing more bind than a man who cant see in front of his face! SAD!
You sound like such a sore loser but I guess that’s understandable since you must have invested about $20k in funding Samaire, between you paying her the maximum allowable amount PLUS all of those postcards, I guess it makes sense. You should just chalk it up to your past experiences after all you weren’t successful on any of the home rule initiatives, and your embarrassing run to take over the fire department.
There was nothing about “taking over” the fire department. Station 8 is still a disaster and with our backgrounds we could have improved efficiency and given our firefighters more opportunity than being led be ex firefighters. That is the purpose of a board, to be diverse. Think I am wrong, one of the guys that they threw in to defeat us has already resigned What could go wrong.
There were a lot of people who supported Samaire financially. I was not the biggest pro Samaire and Anti Jablow advertiser in the paper. And I was not the only one who ran some drop cards. It is easy to divert instead of listing your candidates accomplishments. All I did was point out that 8 years of Jablow votes that created a whole series of major negative issues in this town (STR being the biggest one) that now he says he’s going to fix.
Typical politician, create a mess, then tell everyone how you are going to fix it.
Home rule was a problem, and still is. In fact Home Rule cities in Arizona have declined over the last 4 years. But you also neglect to mention that the city in 2020. and in 2018 violated AZ statutes by promoting Home Rule. A city cannot take city time or resources to promote a ballot issue that affects a city. The city violated the law in 2018 and again in 2020, but then what would you expect, the council and staff does not want spending oversight from the citizens.
Think about it, these people who just left the council just spent $21.5 million dollars on property in Yavapai county. City does not pay property tax. So who covers the tax that these and other properties used to contribute to the tax base….We do. Unintended consequences by a bunch of amateurs that have their own interests above the citizens.
Wonder how long the voting block that blindly checks the cabal candidates will continue to do that no matter what it costs them out of their own pockets and degrades the city.
Samaire was not nice. When you are disrespectful and nasty and a MAGA supporter….. it just doesn’t resonate with this community. Because of these tactics much of what she even stood for was not acknowledged. Her political agenda, affiliation and her confrontive attitude were the reason many could not support her. The interviews she did, Steve Bannon in particular didn’t paint a pretty picture. I researched her and didn’t like what I saw. Strong arming doesn’t work… her Trump tactics backfired.
Andrea, what’s wrong with MAGA?
I liked $2 gas, and $2 jet fuel
Inflation ar 1.5 to 1.7% – not 7, 8 9 % depending on what state you are in
“Almost” a secure border – now 5.2 illegals running around, half million Fentanyl deaths and other drugs flowing.
The Abraham Accords – Some peace in the Middle East – trading partners don’t kill each other.
More Black, Asian and Hispanic business starts in history, especially in inner cities
Highest labor participation rate in recent history
Wages outpacing inflation
I may not like the mean Tweets – but results and freedom should really count for a lot for every citizen.
Damn right you are Mike. Unfortunately for Sedona most of its voters are Democrats and like Pavlovian dogs they barked loud enough to put their candidate in office. Instead of looking at what Ms. Armstrong was bringing to the table they chose instead to let their prejudices cloud their thinking. Now we are stuck with the same failed policies until the next election.
Thank you Mike for exposing the rabid pack for what they are, programmed sheep following a party line that will bring our country to its knees, not only our fair city.
To be honest, the Pandemic which hit everyone shut things down. I believe the shortages and slow recovery hampered everything. Everything has gone up but I can’t blame one person for that.
I just did not respect Trumps nasty attitude. That’s the reason I could not support Samaire. Her attitude was very similar and I just don’t like it. Very simple. I also respect the things Biden has done. I appreciate his wisdom and experience. So I guess we just view things differently. The ego can always find witnesses in its defense. I will agree to disagree.
The association with Trump for anyone not respecting him have given MAGA a negative impact. He was the one wearing the hat and his nastiness was all I needed. Joe Biden’s economy is just fine considering what a mess and unwelcoming he received.
I think all of you who are criticizing Mr. Schroeder are simply jealous of his success. Plain and simple. And those of you who tried to besmirch Samaire Armstrong by bringing her support of Trump into the limelight are just as bad. Samaire would have brought a new change in the trajectory of the city and now we will have much more of the same that has brought the city to where it is today.
The city should be run like a business. We would be much better off for it. Instead, an entrenched bureaucracy is running it into the ground. How stupid can they and the elected officials be to blow $20 million on a parcel of land that most likely will never be developed? And now they want to steal the airport.
It’s sad, so sad that the Jablow campaign fought so dirty. Thank God there are people like Mr. Schroeder that put their money where their mouth is in trying to make Sedona a better place and achieve its full potential. Make no bones about it, with the drop in tourism this administration has wrought we are heading to bankruptcy. The city has proved to be an enemy of innovation, growth, the Chamber of Commerce and of tourism. The life blood of this city is tourism. Watching it bleed out is a tragedy for those of us who love it.
Thank you Mr. Schroeder for making our voices heard.
You lost again. Spin it any way you want but the people of Sedona aren’t buying what you’ve been trying to sell. You bought and paid the salaries of the Red Rock News for the year and you still lost. You never had any credibility and the Red Rock News and their bully of an editor lost what little credibility they had left.
Rosey, are you a lady, a guy, or someone just hiding under your desk. Comments by those using partial or pseudo names should be taken for what they are worth. If you really have an opinion, put your full name out there and stand by it.
Oh My …. with eyes to see … how can these statements be perceived? People who still believe that Biden “is” Biden …. open your eyes, please. Track the many changes in facial features for a start. Can you really believe that this/these character actors have a key to the White House. Do you not recognize the fake stage sets that were made for TV? And those who call Trump nasty – do you feel in support of the corruption that has been rampant for hundreds of years? Do you not connect the dots to see how that has come to be? Do you even look to see who he is calling out to clean-up the mess. Do you not go beyond the false books of Classroom History and find the true documents that are no longer allowed in our educational indoctrination classes?
Instead of name-calling and blaming – perhaps another look at what we each think “reality” is and ask ourself … what of this is true and where have I possibly been misled? That might serve each of us as we move beyond all that “was” and are given the opportunity to “re-tune” our focus and find the common ground upon which to build our new mutually beneficial creations. I for one, am Grateful for the removal of those who no longer will be in positions to harm the people of any age… expecially the children. That focus – the children – might be a very good place to find common ground.