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Ex-Tempe mayor Giuliano decides against congressional run

Cross former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano’s name from the list of potential Democratic candidates in Arizona’s new 9th Congressional District, which was finalized Tuesday by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The district, which was designed not to give an inherent advantage to either Republicans or Democrats, includes central Phoenix, Ahwautukee and Tempe.

Giuliano told Arizona Capitol Times that he wasn’t in a position to abandon his job as CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation to run for Congress.

“The timing’s not right for me. I would have to swiftly alter my obligations to begin a campaign in January,” he said.

Among those obligations is a book tour scheduled to begin in March. Giuliano, who acknowledged his homosexuality in 1996 during his second term as mayor of Tempe, has authored a memoir of his political career and subsequent fight for LGBT equality.

The book, “The Campaign Within: My Private Journey to Public Leadership,” will be released March 6.

Giuliano, 55, said he would leave the congressional race to a handful of younger Democrats who have expressed interest. Senate Minority Leader David Schapira has formed an exploratory committee, and Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are both considering runs.

“I’m going to let the thirty-somethings battle this one out,” he said.

Though he said he doesn’t plan to endorse anyone in the contest, Giuliano said he believes Cherny will have the natural advantage. Though the party chairman ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer last year, he raised more than $1 million for his campaign.

He also is the only rumored candidate who has appeared on a ballot in every party of the district, as the legislative districts for Schapira and Sinema are limited to Tempe and central Phoenix, respectively.

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