The Independent interview: Mary Hamway

Mary Hamway

Mary Hamway

Paradise Valley Councilwoman Mary Hamway offers insights into her newest political endeavor while giving Independent readers a glimpse into her public life and personality.

Through a running question-and-answer series the Independent seeks to better understand those the product covers and the decision makers that shape the news that is reported.

Ms. Hamway, who is running for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28, which includes the Town of Paradise Valley and portions of Phoenix, has an extensive background in public service.

“I have served on the Paradise Valley Town Council since 2004, and, I was elected vice mayor twice,” she June 2.

“During my time on the council, I served as chairman of the town’s water committee and continue to represent the town on the Scottsdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Over the past 12 years, we have seen the building of new resorts and renovation of several of our iconic resorts, providing the town with financial stability without a property tax. We focused on improving public safety by entering into a mutually-beneficial agreement with the Phoenix Fire Department and working with the Paradise Valley Police Department to upgrade necessary technology and support the change to community policing.”

The mother of a journalist and wife of 31 years to Geoff, Mrs. Hamways she is a conduit for limited government.

“I am a fiscal conservative and support the town’s limited government model,” she said. “My service to Paradise Valley is a great foundation to represent the voters of Legislative District 28 at the state capitol.”

Ms. Hamway agreed to respond to a series of questions to better understand the person rather than the public figure. This is what she had to say:

What inherent beliefs do you have that help guide you through your life and its challenges?

My husband and I belong to St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, and I believe in the worth and dignity of every person. I try to find the positive in every experience and treat everyone with kindness.

When faced with a difficult task or problem, how do you motivate yourself to overcome?

The first thing I do is to determine the goal or result I want to achieve.  After that, I break the task down into smaller segments and start moving forward, checking things off the list.  Each task I accomplish motivates me to tackle the next thing, until the problem has a resolution or the goal is reached.

What do you think is your worst quality?

My campaign manager says that I am not very good at shameless self-promotion. As a candidate for election, this is probably something I should be better at.

Being a public figure how do you and your husband deal with the pressures and commitment of public life?

Fortunately, I can walk down the street without being recognized so our life has not changed that much.  We are both retired, and I have plenty of time to serve our community and enjoy quality time with my family.

What kind of impact do you think your public life has had on your family?

Very little. Being a public servant is a job I Iove. My husband and son are very supportive and we all know what the job involves.

In your entire life what accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

I have been fortunate to have had three successful careers that I am proud of. My first career was working in the information technology field for about 20 years. My second career was as a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer. My son has grown into a fine young adult and I could not be prouder.  The third and current career is as a public servant/politician. I have had a rich and full working life, and continue to enjoy serving our community and state.

What has the biggest mistake you ever made and how did that experience help shape the person you are today?

Working in the information technology industry field from the 70s to the 90s, I’m sure there are some questionable fashion and hair choices that I made of which I hope no one has photos of. I try to dress a little better these days.

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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