It’s hard; don’t think for a second that it’s easy.
By Joycelyn Cabrera
It’s hard; don’t think for a second that it’s easy.
Christian Price goes beyond balancing his personal and political life – he melds the two together.
Maricopa’s incumbent mayor began to pursue politics out of college and continued on the path for the next 20 years. While most full-time workers can put on two different faces for work and for home, many Maricopa residents say Price presents himself the same way both in and out of the office.
He is currently running unopposed for a fourth term.
“I can come in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in 2012, but you’re not going to get to make the overpass happen and see completion in one year or two years or sometimes in four years. It takes a long time to make these long-term processes happen,” Price said. “The other side to that is, developers like continuity.”
Price has been a Maricopa resident since 2004. He was involved in community-planning for his subdivision of Maricopa Meadows as president of the homeowners association board of directors for six years beginning in 2005. Meanwhile, he climbed positions in the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, landing as treasurer in 2016 and president of the executive committee in 2018.
Price first ran for mayor in 2012 and has been reelected for each term since then.
He networks with city and state officials all around Arizona. His social media can be seen with plenty of pictures from state conferences with Republican Sen. Martha McSally and Gov. Doug Ducey. Although he does not donate funds or have personal connections with state officials, Price stressed the importance of networking for the City of Maricopa.
“What people don’t realize is we have problems here in this city that are federal problems,” Price said. “We spend a lot of time in D.C. I had one moment with Jeff Flake when he was still a sitting senator; he came out of the door and he said, ‘Mayor Price, what are you doing here? I think you’re here more than I am.’”
Price is not a stranger to disagreements on social media from his constituents, on state government, or from within the city council. In 2014, former Councilmember Leon Potter resigned from his position to run for mayor against Price as a statement on a disagreement between the two about another councilmember receiving a DUI.
“I decided to run at the time, but I didn’t get the signatures for it,” Potter said. “So, nothing came of it in that regard, but I just wanted to make a statement that the fact even our leader of our city didn’t speak against it, was disappointing.”
Potter said he pulled a packet to run for city council in 2020 and the event from four and a half years ago is “water under the bridge.”
Price agreed with Potter in response.
“From the beginning of being the mayor and being on city council, he was in the mix,” Potter said. “I can’t say enough about how he had his mind set on what he wanted to do and then he just went out and did it.”
Henry Wade has served on the City Council for five years and the Planning and Zoning Commission for eight years previous. He is the current vice mayor on the council.
“Our responsibility to the city is public safety, transportation and economic development. There are no Republican police departments, there are no Democratic street-fixers, there is no independent economic development organizer,” Wade said.
Wade has served the city with Price for the past five and a half years and said he does not see a difference between Price the official and Price the neighbor.
“He is a politician, you know?” Wade said. “A lot of what he does goes around what he’s doing as a mayor. He knows how to let his hair down sometimes and relax, but there really is not much of a difference.”
Price’s neighbors see him more as a friendly face down the street instead of a city official.
Brian Petersheim, a local Realtor, has been a resident of Maricopa since 2006. His wife Suzanne has been a resident since 2011 and works in the public-school system.
“He is a very regular guy; you see him out there with his kids. They’re all running around, and whenever we’re driving by, he just automatically waves, not recognizing it’s us,” Suzanne said.
While they may see Price as just one of their neighbors, they also don’t hesitate to ask questions in regards to city affairs.
“He is his family’s designated mail-checker,” Petersheim said. “One day, Suzanne was out there working in the yard, and I saw him walking by and I said, ‘Oh lord,’ and I just smiled to myself. Sure enough, like an hour later I look out the window and she’s still talking to him about traffic and the state of the city.”
Since his reelection announcement on social media, Price has seen a trend of overwhelming popularity among his constituents. Wade said he still has work to do.
“He loves this city. I mean, we all do,” Wade said.
Price began his life in government affairs during college as a legislative assistant for the Arizona House of Representatives.
Price completed one year of law school in Houston but dropped out to return to Arizona while his mother was dying of cancer.
While studying to become a financial advisor, Price learned about the legislative process in the state of Arizona and later turned to local government and politics. He continues his second job as a financial advisor in partnership with Sierra Wealth Group.
Price finds himself traveling out of state frequently to meet networking goals and adhere to his duties as mayor and league president. Price said he works an average of 60–70 hours a week with leadership positions alongside his partnership with Sierra Wealth Group.
Price also has four children aged 4-13, with his wife, Cindy Price.
“I knew I was going to be married to somebody that was in the political sphere,” Cindy said. “When I first met him, his email address was Price4Prez, so that was never a question. He’s always loved politics.”
For his daughters, having a dad in the civic spotlight is all they know. His oldest child, son Cooper, only experienced his dad outside of a city position before he reached age 6.
“I’m able to balance it, but I will tell you, my job and my family suffer because I put in 70 hours a week [as mayor]. I don’t say that for sympathy; I say that because I chose to run for this position,” Price said. “It’s hard; don’t think for a second that it’s easy.”
Price was faced with immediate support from many Maricopa residents on social media when he announced his running for reelection in 2020. In his last two elections for mayor, he ran unopposed.
“Now, it’s entirely up to the people,” Price said. “If the people want me, then I’ll stick around. If they don’t want me, then they can choose somebody else.”
Cindy Price uses wholistic and natural methods to encourage wellness as a life coach after experiencing mental health strains early in her marriage.
She has been married to Mayor Christian Price for 17 years. Originally from Florida, Price traveled to Utah to attend Brigham Young University to study photography. She had already known Christian at this point in her life because of a family connection – he was best friends with her cousin and the best man at her cousin’s wedding.
They married after reuniting in Mesa in their mid-20s and later moved to Maricopa in 2004. After having their first daughter, Cassidy, Price lived with post-partum depression, saying she relied on her husband’s support.
“My 8-year-old was 6 months old when Christian was sworn in, and her first year of life was pretty high stress, she had some medical issues, and I had post-partum depression. It was really hard for me to go out and do city events; I just felt like a mess. I felt like I was drowning all the time.”
Price said the experience led her to using essential oils and pursuing wholistic life coaching. She is the owner of WaveMaker Essentials, an essential-oil business she mixes in with her wholistic life coaching, encouraging personal growth among her consumers.
“It started from my own health issues, mainly around mental health,” Price said. “I teach people natural ways to be really healthy and vibrant.”
She also owns Lily P. Studio, a photography business that specializes in portraits.
“Christian and I have things split up in different ways than a lot of families do,” Cindy Price said. “I travel internationally for work, as well as him traveling, so we kind of trade off. We have a balance that we’ve come to over the years.
“We have a babysitter that we consider like a daughter and that helps us quite a bit. We get a lot of help from family, and we just make it work.”