By Linda Bentley | April 13, 2016

Still plenty of time to run for council

CAVE CREEK – In order to run for mayor or council, one must either file a statement of organization for a political action committee or a $500 threshold exemption form before they may circulate nomination petitions.

To appear on the ballot, candidates must collect at least 56 valid signatures to be turned in anytime between May 2 and June 1.

The following people have already pulled packets to run for mayor:

  • Usama Abujbarah
  • Ernie Bunch
  • Anna Marsolo
  • Janelle Smith-Haff

And, the following people have pulled packets to run for council:

  • Susan Clancy
  • Paul Diefenderfer
  • C.W. Jensen
  • Thomas McGuire
  • Reg Monachino
  • David Smith
  • John Vannucci
  • Eileen Wright

While a council candidate packet was pulled for Mary Elrod, she has not filed any papers to establish a political committee and may not circulate petitions.

So far, the only incumbents running are Bunch, although for mayor this time, McGuire and Clancy.

Readers are reminded Monachino was ousted during the March 2015 recall election, while Wright, who campaigned on her “ability to be intelligent,” was unable to get elected in the May 2013 election when she ran with Monachino and the rest of the slate led by recalled former Vice Mayor Adam Trenk.

Abujbarah was town manager for 14 years before being fired by the Trenk slate as their first order of business after being seated to council in 2013.

Back in 2004, Sonoran News reported on Vannucci’s wife Sara’s involvement in the Robert Dillie and Mid-America Foundation’s Ponzi scheme, noting it added her husband John Vannucci to the complaint.

The amended complaint stated, “Defendant Sara Vannucci … received $5,429.30 of victim money as payment for facilitating the sale of Mid-America CGAs. At all material times, John Vannucci is and was the spouse of Defendant Sara Vannucci and at all material times Defendant Sara Vannucci acted on behalf of and for the benefit of her marital community.”

The Securities Exchange Commission claimed each of the defendant-agents breached their fiduciary duty, including the duties of loyalty, good faith, integrity and honesty and as a direct result, the victims suffered damage by the loss of all, or a portion of their investment(s), including the facilitation fees paid to the defendant-agents.

To avoid criminal charges, the Vannuccis were required to pay back their ill-gotten gains.

As the campaign season gets underway, candidates are encouraged to submit to a short summary (200 words) about their background and why they’re running for council/mayor along with a photo to be published in Sonoran News.

The primary election is on Aug. 30, with early voting beginning on Aug. 2.