Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels announced her immediate resignation from office at Tuesday’s Council meeting with just four months remaining on her term.
Daniels gave no reason for her departure and read from a prepared letter that included how she loved serving the town for the past 11 years and thanked her family and those who supported her.
But Sen. Martha McSally announced today, Aug. 12, that she has named Daniel as one of four Maricopa County campaign chairs as she battles to complete the last two years of the late Sen. John McCain.
In announcing the appointment of a total of 33 county campaign chairs across the state, McSally made no specific mention of Daniels except to list her as one of the new campaign leaders. Some of those people hold public office and it remains unclear if Daniels' resignation is related to the McSally campaign..
"I have spent the last two years fighting for Arizonans in the Senate and standing up against liberals whose radical agenda is out of step with our state and would take our country down the wrong path. We have delivered results for our state and our country, but the work is just getting started. We need all hands on deck, and with support across all 15 counties we have the team in place to win in November," McSally said in a release that listed the new county campaign chairs.
Daniels' vacancy will be filled by appointment for the remainder of her term, which ends January 2021.
Vice Mayor Scott Anderson said Town Council may meet next Tuesday to make that appointment, which will be one of the current members of the council.
“I have the utmost confidence in the Council to continue the work we’ve done,” Daniels said after reading her letter. “Again I want to reiterate to all our staff members how incredibly grateful I am for my interactions with each of you. So, congratulation on an amazing community and it’s time to pass the torch.”
Daniels in February abruptly announced she would not seek a second term after filing intentions to run for re-election. In March, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Daniels to serve a six-year term on the State Transportation Board.
A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation said Wednesday she has not given up her seat on the board, which decides funding for state highway projects.
Daniels has served as mayor since 2016 and has been on Town Council since 2009, when she led the election for three seats on Council.
She appeared to be a rising political star both in the county and Arizona.
She chaired the Maricopa Association of Government’s Transportation Policy Committee last year and was picked by Gov. Doug Ducey to sit with him for a “fireside chat” before municipal officials at the annual meeting of the Arizona League of Cities last year.
She championed Gilbert and its “Kindness USA” moniker that the Town Council adopted, beginning in 2017 to declare an annual “Gilbert Kindness Week.”
“Gilbert is already a compassionate and giving community and this campaign is focused on celebrating all of the amazing acts of kindness, big and small, that our residents do for each other on a daily basis,” she said when she started that annual celebration in 2017. “It’s our hope that this initiative will encourage others to do something kind for someone, making Gilbert an even better and kinder place.”
She also dubbed last November as “Be Kind America Month.”
During the town’s centennial celebration July 6 – which was curbed by social distancing guidelines – she led an online recognition of the anniversary.
In her resignation letter, Daniels wrote, “I have loved serving the Town of Gilbert for more than 11 years. I have worked alongside amazing people – staff and council members, regional and school leaders, business owners, volunteers, faith groups and friends and neighbors - all working to make our community a better place to live, work and play.
“Effective immediately following the adjournment of tonight’s council meeting, I am resigning from the office of Mayor of the Town of Gilbert. I'd like to thank my family and all those who have supported me – especially my four favorite Gilbert residents, Ethan, Drew, Ty and Kate Daniels.
“Thank you to those who put their trust me in me to lead. You have been patient and generous, and I will always be grateful for this remarkable experience.”