PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Phoenix mayoral candidate Kate Gallego is defending her record on public safety after a television attack ad emerged claiming she voted against public safety funding.

“Councilman Valenzuela and I had exactly the same record on public safety issues. We differed on tax increases,” Gallego said.

Gallego voted against a proposed property tax increase in 2016 that raised $37 million for police and fire funding. The increased passed with a 5 to 4 vote.

“I said at the time that before the city raises these taxes, we need to make sure we look at our spending, that we are being fiscally responsible, and that the first place we go isn’t property tax,” Gallego said.

While Gallego says she wanted to find funds from other places, the ad, paid for by police and fire unions supporting Daniel Valenzuela, claims she voted against public safety.

“I would encourage Daniel to ask his union to take down this misleading advertisement,” Gallego said.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela says the ad is simply the opinion of several first responders.

“I don’t think that’s misleading. I think they made a decision, and one I certainly agree with,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela, a Glendale Firefighter, says it should come as little surprise that his fellow first responders are supporting his mayoral bid.

“I am the candidate with the leadership and the track record that will move us forward,” Valenzuela said, adding that he championed fire and police issues while on city council.

The Phoenix mayoral election will be held March 12th.


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