Gordon reflects on eight years as mayor

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- When Phil Gordon was sworn in as mayor of Phoenix in 2004, downtown looked very different than it does today.

"When I first took office, after 5 o'clock when the business community that was there left the office, downtown was closed," Gordon said. "There wasn't a restaurant opened, there weren't coffee shops."

There was also no Metro Light Rail and no downtown Arizona State University campus, two projects which Gordon championed while in office.

"I left the city in a better place than I inherited it," Gordon said in an interview with 3TV. "We changed the face of the city, international business. We went from the crime capital of the world to the safest city of any major city."

Gordon said he is also proud of his work in passing Shannon's Law, which bans random gunfire, and of helping to build high schools in downtown Phoenix.

His run in office was not without controversy.

Gordon faced scrutiny for his relationship with a woman who consulted for businesses seeking to contract with the city of Phoenix. An outside investigation eventually cleared Gordon of wrongdoing.

His family members were also thrust into the spotlight. His police officer son, Jeff Gordon, made headlines for having sex while on the job.

"That was difficult because they never signed up for it," he said. "When it was negative it certainly affected me, but it also affected my family. It affected my mom, my close friends, my personal relationships."

He said the hardest part of the job was being isolated from friends and family.

As for a future in politics, Gordon said he is "pretty convinced" he is done with politics but added, "One should never say never."

Gordon said he will begin work with the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health later this week.

His successor, Greg Stanton, is set to be sworn in as the 52nd mayor of Phoenix at 10 a.m. Tuesday.