Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said Friday that has no intention of quitting his job as a firefighter if he's elected mayor next year.
Valenzuela announced this week that he will run for the city's top elected position, which would make him Phoenix's first Latino mayor.
This comes as Phoenix's current mayor, Greg Stanton, said he would be stepping down in the near future to run for an open seat in Arizona's 9th Congressional District.
Valenzuela has worked as a Glendale firefighter for 15 years and served as a Phoenix councilman for the past six years.
However, he says his day job will not interfere with being mayor, even though the office comes with more demands.
"I'll tell you this, we've had mayors in every city in this state including Phoenix. We had mayors that are attorneys, mayors that are lobbyists, we have elected officials that are developers and so on and so forth. I'll never apologize for being a firefighter," Valenzuela said.
The jobs Valenzuela mentioned are not paid for with taxpayer money while firefighters are.
Valenzuela also said his day job does not create a conflict of interest even though the firefighters' union is one of the most politically-influential groups in the state.
As as example, Valenzuela pointed to votes he made that ended up costing the Phoenix Fire Department.
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"As a councilmember in Phoenix, you know I had to cast a very tough vote and we had to impose contracts on unions, including firefighters and what that meant ultimately was a pay cut," he said.
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