Incumbents, newcomers pick up packets to run for Queen Creek Town Council

Editor’s note: Emilena Turley’s photo was not published in the print version of this story. The Queen Creek Independent apologizes for the mistake. All the candidates’ photos are included below. Also, Michelle Griffin-Corray has notified the Queen Creek Town Clerk’s office that she is not running for office, as previously reported.



Six people — including four incumbents — have picked up application packets to run for Queen Creek Town Council this fall.

As of Jan. 9, they are incumbents Gail Barney, who serves as mayor; Dawn Oliphant, Emilena Turley and Julia Wheatley, and newcomer Jeremy Benson, according to an e-mailed response to questions from Town Clerk Jennifer Robinson.

Michelle Griffin-Corray also picked up a packet; however, she since has notified the town clerk’s office that she is no longer interested in running for office, Ms. Robinson said Jan. 14 in an e-mail to the Queen Creek Independent.

Council members Robin Benning; Jeff Brown, who serves as vice mayor, and Jake Hoffman were elected in 2016. Their terms of office are January 2017-January 2021, according to the town’s website.

Queen Creek will hold a primary election Tuesday, Aug. 28, for the purpose of nominating/electing three council members and a mayor. A general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, if needed.

May 15 special election

In addition, the town will hold a special election May 15 to ask voters to ratify the town’s General Plan Update. The public can review the 2018 General Plan by visiting

The Queen Creek General Plan serves as the town’s road map to guide development, appropriately manage growth, and effectively conserve natural resources. State law requires communities to prepare and adopt a General Plan every 10 years with input from the community.

Town council elections

Effective in 2014, Queen Creek’s regularly scheduled town council candidate elections are held in the fall of even-numbered years.

All candidates must be qualified electors of the town who have resided in the town for at least one year prior to the election for which he or she is a candidate.

An exception applies for a person living in an area that has been annexed into the town during the year preceding the election, as long as that person has resided in the annexed area at least one year prior to the election, according to the town’s website.

Queen Creek municipal elections are non-partisan. The mayor and council members serve at-large, representing all residents of the town.

Town council members serve staggered four-year terms. The mayor is elected every four years for a four-year term.

There are no term limits in Queen Creek, so there is no limit to the number of times an incumbent may run for re-election.

Incumbents who have filed statements of organization to form a candidate committee are: Ms. Oliphant, filed Nov. 21, 2017; Ms. Turley, filed April 15, 2017; and Ms. Wheatley, filed Sept. 13, 2017, according to the town’s website.

Councilman Hoffman, though not running in this fall’s election, also has a statement of organization on file. It was received Jan. 12, 2017.

Where to pick up candidate packets

Candidate packets are available from the Town Clerk’s Office, 22358 S. Ellsworth Road in the Municipal Services Building, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Appointments are recommended, but not required. Candidates should plan on approximately 30 minutes to review the packet contents with town staff, according to the website.

Nomination papers for this year’s election may be filed with the Town Clerk’s Office beginning Monday, April 30, and no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 30.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call Ms. Robinson at 480-358-3210 or Joy Maglione, town clerk assistant, at 480-358-3211.

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