Know your candidates: Safford City Council

Contributed Photo: Luke Arbizo would like your vote on Aug. 2 for the Safford City Council.

This is the seventh installment of the Gila Herald’s candidate series for the council races for Safford, Thatcher, and Pima, and features Luke Arbizo, candidate for the Safford City Council. Early voting for the Aug. 2 primary has begun.  

Second in our series is the city of Safford, which has four candidates vying for three council seats up for election. The candidates include incumbents Gene Seale, Arnold Lopez, and Steve McGaughey, as well as Luke Arbizo looking to make the cut. Each candidate was given the opportunity to provide their own editorial and picture. This is the first installment of the Safford series and features Luke Arbizo.

Safford City Council – Luke Arbizo

My name is Luke Arbizo. I am 46 years old and have lived in Safford all my life except for a few years. I grew up north of the highway in Safford and am the son of the late Marcello and Leonarda Rios-Arbizo. I am the youngest of 13 siblings and went to school at Safford High School and graduated in 1994.

Shortly after high school, I married Marie Siltala Arbizo and we both continued our education at Eastern Arizona College, where I received my two-year degree in Administration of Justice. I attended the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy in Phoenix and began my duties as a police officer in Douglas.

In January 2000, I was offered a position to come back home and joined Safford Police Department as a police officer. It has been an honor to follow in my father’s footsteps as he worked for Safford Police Department as a police officer and retired in 1990. When I came to Safford, it was a great opportunity for me to grow, learn, and mentor others throughout my career.

My wife and I have two daughters, Kirsty Arbizo-Cochran and Lexi Arbizo. It has been and continues to be a great experience for me to reside in my home community and help support those that I grew up with as well as meet the new generation.

Contributed Photo: Luke Arbizo is running for the Safford City Council.

I continued my education and gained my Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice through Bellevue University in Nebraska. I worked for Safford until December 2020 (retired) and during my tenure, I gained many certifications including General Instructor, School Resource Officer, Fingerprint Comparison, and attended Supervisory School. I was honored to be a School Resource Officer in Safford for seven years and to work with the youth of our community. I taught students how to be good citizens in their communities and participate in programs to increase education and accountability. I have coached basketball, football, and baseball and enjoy watching the youth grow as students and also as athletes. I have experienced lasting friendships with the students as a result of the interactions I had with them.

I am running for Safford City Council because I am passionate about this community and the continued potential the Gila Valley has for both the residents and visitors. This community needs and deserves new ideas that I can bring to the table. I have strong roots in the Gila Valley with an even stronger desire to serve and give back my knowledge and support to the community,  I am a strong advocate for the city employees as I was an employee alongside them until I retired in 2020. I am focused on economic stability and growth and will work to continue to advocate for fiscal accountability. Lastly, I want to empower the city of Safford residents by listening and implementing ideas in order to make Safford an area people want to live in and bring their families to.