Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announces resignation ahead of congressional race

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announced his resignation as he moves closer to his race for Congress. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announced his resignation as he moves closer to his race for Congress. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Greg Stanton officially announced Monday that he will resign as mayor of Phoenix next week, an expected move ever since he declared his run for Congress in October 2017.

"After serving nearly six and a half years as mayor, I will resign this incredible job as mandated under Arizona's resign to run law," he wrote in a letter to City Clerk Cris Meyer. "My resignation will be effective at Noon (sic) on Tuesday, May 29."

[PDF: Read Stanton's entire resignation letter]

Stanton resigned his post as the leader of the nation’s fifth-largest city for a run at Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. 

"Serving the people of Phoenix, both as member of city council (sic) and as Mayor (sic), has been a great honor for my family and me," he continued. "I look forward to new opportunities to serve the people of Phoenix and our entire community."

[RELATED: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announces run for Congress]

In his final State of the City address, Stanton touted Phoenix's rising economy, the growing light rail system, including the City's Transportation 2050 plan, and the increase in sustainability as some of his triumphs while mayor.

The prominent Democrat's run as mayor came with its fair share of controversy, especially the frequent clashes with President Donald Trump over his immigration policies.

In 2016, Stanton clashed with the then President-elect Trump about the Phoenix Police Department not becoming a mass deportation force. This was in regard to a "60 Minutes" interview in which Trump said he would deport illegal immigrants who have criminal records once he took office.

[RELATED: Mayor Stanton: PHX PD will never be 'a mass deportation force']

The controversy didn't end once Trump took over the White House. Stanton released a statement saying he was "disappointed" Trump would continue with his planned Phoenix rally, the first of its kind since the deadly white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, VA.

[READ MORE: Stanton to Trump: Stay out of my city]

Last October, Stanton declared his candidacy for the congressional seat in a statement.

"Arizonans deserve better than what we're getting from Washington, and there has never been a more consequential time in the fight to protect the middle class," Stanton said in a prepared statement. "In Congress, I'll continue to do what we've done in Phoenix: deliver real results that improve people's lives. "His announcement to run for Congress came within a week of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema launching her campaign for Senate, leaving open Arizona’s 9th Congressional District for the taking.

[READ MORE: Phoenix Mayor Stanton considering a run for Congress]

In a previous report, former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon confirmed to Arizona's Family that Stanton was ready to make the jump to Congress if Sinema decided to run for the U.S. Senate

"His exact words to me were, 'I'm hearing Kyrsten is running for Senate; if she does, I'm running for Congress,’" Gordon said, describing a conversation he had with Stanton.

[RELATED: Kyrsten Sinema announces she's running for Senate]

Arizona's 9th Congressional District takes up most of Tempe and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler and Mesa.

[MAP: Arizona's CD9]

Stanton had until May 30 to resign due to Arizona’s “resign to run” law, which requires elected officials to leave office before they can run for another position.

Recently-elected Vice Mayor Thelda Williams will assume the role as interim mayor until a special election can be held.

The election could be held in May, August or November 2018, depending on when the City calls for an election.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Anyone interested in running for Stanton’s seat must declare within 10 days of his resignation.

Once all City Council members announce their run for mayor, they to must resign from their seats, which means more special elections must be held to fill those empty seats.

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