Log in


11 candidates set for Fountain Hills council race

To vie in July primary


The field has been set for the 2024 Fountain Hills Town Council race with three candidates vying for the office of mayor and eight seeking one of three seats available on the council.

Three incumbents are running for re-election, Mayor Ginny Dickey, Councilwoman Peggy McMahon and Councilman Gerry Friedel is looking to move up into the mayor’s seat.

Mayoral candidates

Joe Arpaio (Submitted photo)
Joe Arpaio (Submitted photo)

Joe Arpaio

Joe Arpaio, 91, former Maricopa County Sheriff and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official is making his second try for the mayor’s office. He was defeated by Dickey in 2022 by 213 votes.

Saying he is unyielding in his commitment, he refuses to concede that election and is determined to continue his campaign into the 2024 election.

Arpaio describes himself as a seasoned public servant building on his legacy of service. He says he wants a dynamic vision to address key issues facing the community and drive positive change.

His said his key areas of focus will be: Public safety with a plan to revive the Fountain Hills Sheriff’s posse with a renewed focus on proactive crime prevention. Comprised of volunteers, Arpaio says this auxiliary law enforcement unit would collaborate with the community to ensure that public safety remains a top priority.

He cites his pro-business agenda for economic growth recognizing the need for economic revitalization, Arpaio said he aims to transform Fountain Hills into a pro-business haven. Drawing on his experience as an owner of several businesses and properties in Fountain Hills, which he continues to own, he envisions a town characterized by sound management, favorable policies, and elected officials who champion entrepreneurship.

Ginny Dickey (Submitted photo)
Ginny Dickey (Submitted photo)

Ginny Dickey

Ginny Russo Dickey, 68, was elected mayor in 2018 following eight years as a Councilwoman. A resident since 1983, Dickey is married to retired teacher and transportation executive Jim Dickey. Together they have five children and nine grandkids. 

“I believe we are at a crossroads. The path we follow will affect whether our hometown remains welcoming and thriving. I bring a measured, informed leadership style, and stand by my record as a decision-maker. With me, you make the choice to move forward together in good faith.”

An 8-year veteran of the FHUSD Board, she serves on MAG Regional Council and the Executive Committee of the League. See ginnydickeyformayor.com for full bio and experience.

Goals include: Completing the transition of the fire department and implementing the MCSO contract, keeping Fountain Hills one of the safest towns in the nation; building on significant economic development progress –  enhancing the downtown area, keeping up creative events, and attracting residents of all ages to support businesses, schools and overall vitality; finalizing a long-term strategy to reach acceptable streets standards; welcoming the International Dark Sky Discovery Center; addressing infrastructure needs and advocating for unity and predictable, fair governance.

Gerry Friedel (Submitted photo)
Gerry Friedel (Submitted photo)

Gerry Friedel

Councilman Gerry Friedel, 66, completing his first term as a council member now seeks to move up to the mayor’s seat. He has been a full-time Fountain Hills resident for 10 years and a property owner for 34 years. His professional qualifications include 39 years in the banking industry with 22 years as a loan officer and 17 years as a financial planner.  He has a BA in Bank Management/Finance from North Central College in Naperville, Ill., and a Certificate in Financial Planning from Loyola Business School in Chicago. He has worked with clients from all walks of life and primarily with small businesses, helping them to achieve their financial goals. 

Friedel is originally from Glen Ellyn, Ill., where he served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA. He served on the Strategic Planning Commission for the Town of Fountain Hills and is currently serving as a council member and on the Regional Domestic Violence Council. He is a member of the Fountain Hills Sons of the American Legion, VP of the Fountain Hills Republican Club and Precinct Committeeman for LD3.

He and his wife, Barb enjoy participating in the town’s community events, shopping and dining locally. He believes in fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency and looks forward to serving at the next level. Visit gerryfriedel.com.

Council candidates

Clayton Corey (Submitted photo)
Clayton Corey (Submitted photo)

Clayton Corey

Clayton Corey, 39, a Fountain Hills resident for over eight years, has dedicated himself to serving the community and now seeks to extend his contribution as a member of the Town Council. His vision includes enhancing the town’s infrastructure, promoting economic growth and community vitality and balancing responsible development with preservation. He aims to welcome new residents, thereby enriching the cultural, economic and educational fabric of the community.

His involvement with the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association and the International Dark Sky Discovery Center has deepened his appreciation for the town’s unique dark skies. Serving as secretary of Fountain Hills Sister Cities has broadened his student perspective, while his experience with the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy has provided him with valuable insights into local governance and public services.

Corey has also contributed to the community through non-profit organizations such as Sunset Kiwanis, Vision Fountain Hills and the Fountain Hills Community Foundation. He was recognized in 2018 as the Community Volunteer of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.

He serves as a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Board of Directors of the Fountain Hills Sanitary District.

Professionally, Corey has more than a decade of experience at CVS Health in managing IT Support Operations and Infrastructure Platform Engineering.

Corey invites the community to engage with him and learn more at ClaytonCorey.com.

Matthew Corrigan (Submitted photo)
Matthew Corrigan (Submitted photo)

Mathew Corrigan

Mathew Corrigan (age not provided) has a degree in journalism and had a brief career in media outlets but he found a sales career much more rewarding and even owned and operated his own small business.

“I have absolute respect and admiration for small business owners,” Corrigan said, “There is no tougher job than being your own boss.”

Working as a district sales manager for Fortune 500 companies allowed him an opportunity to travel.

“The most valuable lesson I learned in sales was that listening to my customers and offering them solutions to their problems brought them success and as a result, I became successful,  too,” he said. “I know I will provide solutions for the residents of Fountain Hills.”

Corrigan says he and his wife, Kathy fell in love with Arizona and returned to buy their home in their desert dream town of Fountain Hills.

“But I am concerned that a minority in the Town Council has lost the dream of Fountain Hills and is headed down the wrong path.”

Corrigan became active in Fountain Hills speaking out on local issues. He was encouraged to become a candidate for Town Council.

“I want to be an activist for the residents of Fountain Hills and provide solutions.” says Corrigan.

Gayle Earle (Submitted photo)
Gayle Earle (Submitted photo)

Gayle Earle

Gayle Earle, 65, has been a Fountain Hills resident for 17 years and operates a pool service business with her son, Chris. By virtue of her business of 32 years she describes herself as a chemist, electrician, plumber, accountant, office manager, business marketer and customer service professional. She believes this background will give her insight as a member of the Fountain Hills Town Council.

Earle said she loves living in Fountain Hills but in recent years she has become concerned about the direction of the country in general. It was suggested to her that she get involved locally. She became a precinct committeewoman two years ago and was a poll observer and worker during the 2022 election.

Earle has been doing research and is encouraged about the town’s financial position after a meeting with Finance Director David Pock, but she is concerned that revenue numbers may be skewed by inflation as sales tax is a primary revenue source for the town.

Key issues for Earle include a waning sense to shop locally, property crime and vagrancy and homelessness and deterioration of roads and infrastructure.

“Unfortunately, the attraction of living in our small-town desert oasis is moving in the wrong direction,” Earle said.

Earle has been talking with business owners, meeting with town staff,  and she participated in the town’s Leadership Academy. Visit gayleforfountainhills.com.

Henry Male (Submitted photo)
Henry Male (Submitted photo)

Henry Male

Henry Male, 67, a Fountain Hills resident since 2003 is a candidate for Town Council in the 2024 election.

Male is currently employed with Penske Automotive Scottsdale BMW after moving to Arizona from Maine. Born and raised in New Jersey and northeast Pennsylvania, Male attended Penn State University earning a degree in speech communication. He began a career in radio and television in Scranton and State College, Pa.

Male also worked for Domino’s Pizza and in automotive sales in Maine. The job opportunity with Penske group prompted him to leave Maine for Arizona.

Male’s wife, Donna, was a teacher at Fountain Hills Middle School before retiring. His daughter is a FHHS graduate and attended Arizona State University. The family has been involved in the Fountain Hills Theater for about 15 years and he is currently president of the theater’s board of directors.

Male said he has envisioned himself in some political arena. He said politics has become so bitter and acrimonious and that is being transferred to the Town Council level.

Listening to a former council member, Male said town politics should be about the town, not about a party.

“I owe allegiance to no one except the people of Fountain Hills,” Male said. “Politics is about inclusiveness, not exclusivity.

“You can’t complain if you are not willing to be part of the solution.” Visit henrymalefortowncouncil.com.

Peggy McMahon (Submitted photo)
Peggy McMahon (Submitted photo)

Peggy McMahon

Peggy McMahon (age not provided) was elected to council in 2020 and brings experience and knowledge to the council.  She has resided in Fountain Hills for 23 years and is active in the community—serving on various boards, committees, local clubs and volunteer positions. McMahon believes her tenure on council has demonstrated she is a voice of reason on the council and is a strong and steady leader who listens to all residents.

McMahon said her priorities will focus on funding, repairing and maintaining infrastructure, supporting the new fire department, working with MCSO to carry out its safety contract working to make the town a safer place to live, work and play. McMahon supports the International Dark Sky Discovery Center, fosters business sustainability and innovative growth and has worked to make the downtown area welcoming and dynamic.

McMahon will continue to address the town’s capital improvement projects. She believes in creating diverse housing, enhancing the downtown area, maintaining the iconic fountain and lake, optimizing economic and business growth opportunities, finding creative ways to improve on commercial areas, and refining parks and recreation properties to remain a national award-winning community services town.

“I look forward to continuing to contribute to Fountain Hills with strong and consistent leadership.  I am proud of my accomplishments and want to continue to build a better and stronger town,” McMahon said. Visit keeppeggymcmahon.com.

Art Tolis
Art Tolis

Art Tolis

Art Tolis, 53, is a seasoned town council candidate for Fountain Hills, boasting prior council experience in 2016 and 2020, Board leadership roles with the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce, River of Time Museum, past two-time Four Peaks Rotary president and current board member and president of Arizona Association of Mortgage Professionals.

His cites his leadership on the council as pivotal in shaping the town’s business, development and community amenities and enhancements.

Additionally, Tolis supported approval of the local emergency room and championed road enhancements downtown.

With a pro-business stance, Tolis said he aims to further downtown development to bolster sales tax and state-shared revenues vital for continued growth and infrastructure maintenance which he believes is a priority for the community. 

Tolis holds a Masters Certificate in Banking from the University of Washington, Pacific Coast Banking School, and an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University. Tolis said he brings a wealth of financial acumen to the table.

Beyond politics, Tolis and his wife Heather, parents of six children, are ingrained in the Fountain Hills community through their real estate and mortgage endeavors. Owner of Tolis Mortgage Financial Group and the local Snap Fitness, embodying a commitment to both economic prosperity and community well-being. Tolis said he stands poised to navigate Fountain Hills toward a prosperous future, grounded in business savvy and community dedication.

Robert Wallace (Submitted photo)
Robert Wallace (Submitted photo)

Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace, 38, is driven by a deep commitment to safeguard Fountain Hills’ dignity and independence as he vies for the position of town councilman.

His passion is evident in his declaration that the challenges facing Fountain Hills and the nation demand a comprehensive strategy to combat threats to liberty, justice and security. Saying he is undeterred by the failures of current federal border policies, Wallace is particularly concerned about illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

In opposing the World Economic Forum’s vision of a New World Order, implemented by compromised actors in the federal government, his release states, Wallace emphasizes the need to protect the Constitutional Republic. America, and thereby, Fountain Hills, he asserts, is not a mere democracy but a Constitutional Republic, and he pledges to resist and defeat any attempts to undermine it at the town council level.

Wallace brings advocacy experience to the table, serving as the Arizona State Chapter Lead for Gays Against Groomers and as Secretary for the Log Cabin Republicans of Phoenix, the nation’s largest chapter.

He said he fully intends to unite the town council, prioritizing residents, small businesses, and community concerns, fostering bipartisan collaboration as an apolitical advocate for all. Visit robert4you.com.

Rick Watts (Submitted photo)
Rick Watts (Submitted photo)

Rick Watts

Rick Watts, 73, has been a resident of the Fountain Hills for more than 35 years. His background includes being a business owner, contractor for more than 40 years and a strong advocate of servant leadership.

“I have an extensive background in HVAC, energy, construction and facility management.  But most importantly I have an in-depth understanding of finances including planning, forecasting and budgets ranging from small to large publicly traded organizations,” Watts said. 

Upon retirement he started to attend council meetings and believes his experience, starting, growing, managing and ultimately selling several businesses, could benefit the town and help bring a deeper understanding of finances which will help focus the council on the task of representing and supporting town residents based on facts and data and not emotions.

“I serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission where you can see firsthand how I consider each issue, my approach, demeanor and underlying logic regarding various issues and concerns,” Watts said. “Research, hard work, probing questions and input has had a significant impact on issues….”

Watts serves on the NPOA/COA committee.  He volunteers with the Sonoran Conservancy as a trail host to fill a need for the outdoors and scenic beauty surrounding Fountain Hills.

“Fountain Hills is pretty darn nice but does have a few challenges,” Watts said. “I’d like to help address those challenges without compromising any of the beauty, charm and small town feeling that best describes Fountain Hills.” Visit rickwattsfh.com.