Scottsdale Councilmember Who Said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ at Anti-Mask Rally To Be on November Ballot

By Alicia Barrón

August 6, 2020

Voters have spoken in this primary election, and Guy  Phillips will not hold on to his Scottsdale city council seat. 

CORRECTION: The Copper Courier incorrectly called the primary election for Scottsdale City Council, stating that Guy Phillips had lost his reelection.  Despite early projections, Phillips received enough votes after our story posted to get him back in the race. The Scottsdale City Council candidates in the general election will be as follows: Tammy Caputi, Tom Durham, Betty Janik, Becca Linnig, John Little, and Guy Phillips. We regret the error.

The Scottsdale city council member who rejected calls to resign in June after he invoked George Floyd’s dying words of “I can’t breathe” during an anti-mask protest has lost his bid for reelection.

Guy Phillips’ made the controversial comments at a rally he hosted in Scottsdale, where residents rallied against public safety guidelines intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, such as requirements that face coverings be worn in certain public spaces.

The City of Scottsdale held its primary election Tuesday to elect a new mayor, as well as three councilmembers. Phillips garnered only about 9% of the vote, with 14,427 ballots cast in his favor. 

Scottsdale Councilmember Who Said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ at Anti-Mask Rally To Be on November Ballot
Results courtesy of City of Scottsdale

Following his controversial remarks in late June, Philips announced he would not resign his seat following serious backlash to his comments that appeared to mock the words said by George Floyd on May 25 moments before he died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.

Floyd’s death led to nationwide protests calling for racial justice and law enforcement reform. 

Several elected officials including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane issued statements condemning Phillips’ comments. 

Although Phillips later said in a press conference that he did not regret hosting the anti-mask rally, he did say he had no intention of mocking anybody.  He also issued a statement apologizing to the Floyd family for what he claimed was a misunderstanding. 

He said, “It was the first time I held a rally. I was very nervous and excitable. The adrenaline gets going…obviously you’ve gotta be careful about what you say around here.”

At the time, Mayor Lane said in a statement, “Scottsdale City Council has no authority to forcibly remove him from office, but if he truly cared about Scottsdale he would resign his Council position.”

The general election will be held on Nov. 3 to fill any seats that remain open. 

Continue Reading: Pretty Much Everyone Is Calling for Guy Phillips’ Resignation


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