Romero & Tucson Council Dems coast to wins; Vail incorporation fails

Romero & Tucson Council Dems coast to wins; Vail incorporation fails


Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and her fellow Council Democrats simply gained re-election Tuesday, with blow-out victories over GOP challengers. In Vail, a transfer to include was rejected 60-40.

Romero bested three opponents, successful greater than 60% of the votes as the primary returns have been launched.

“Thanks for re-electing me as Tucson’s mayor,” she advised a bunch of supporters gathered at Brother John’s barbecue restaurant on North Stone Avenue.

As the primary election outcomes embody the mail-in ballots returned up via Monday, many of the votes within the election have been counted.

Romero led with greater than 47,000 votes, whereas Republican challenger Janet Wittenbraker had 24,000. Impartial candidate Ed Ackerley had 5,300 in a repeat try on the mayor’s chair. Libertarian candidate Arthur Kerschen trailed with simply greater than 1,000 votes.

“So who knew again in 2019 once we made historical past within the metropolis of Tucson by electing the primary lady, the primary Latina and making historical past in our group, 100 days later, we have been going to face a world pandemic,” Romero advised a crowd of about 200 supporters.

“These 4 years that we spent in workplace have been historic in so some ways,” Romero stated. She thanked her supporters and colleagues on the Council, for making “leaps and bounds as a group creating the packages and providers that by no means earlier than existed.”

“Altering methods and construction to maneuver ahead as a group has been a tough street, however it has been a street filled with gratitude for the alternatives that we have created collectively,” the Democratic mayor stated. “I thank each one in all you which were current and by my aspect, having the ability to work collectively for the place we’re at present.”

“2019 was about making historical past, and 2023 is about us and the way we work collectively, however we nonetheless want to perform extra,” she stated.

Regardless of trailing effectively behind, Wittenbraker refused to concede the race Tuesday night time.

“I do know demographically that the Republican vote is a vote that exhibits up on Election Day,” she advised the Sentinel.” They’ve by no means actually purchased into this mail-in solely idea. So though there’s not a polling place there, they’re dropping off their ballots. And people are the votes that haven’t been counted.”

There have been about 110,000 ballots forged within the metropolis election, officers stated Tuesday night time, with 78,500 already counted. Wittenbraker would want greater than 23,300 of the 32,000 remaining to tally, however she’s nonetheless holding out hope, she advised the Sentinel. There could also be extra votes added to the ultimate rely as provisional ballots are reviewed within the subsequent few days, together with common ballots dropped off on Election Day that also must have signatures verified.

Democrats maintain a 2-1 voter registration edge over Republicans inside the metropolis; there are simply 60,000 GOP voters in Tucson, together with about 90,000 non-party registrants. There are 127,000 Democratic Tucsonans. The Democratic candidates pulled in practically 10 occasions as a lot in marketing campaign donations because the GOP slate.

“We have put the present incumbent mayor and Council on discover,” the Republican mayoral candidate stated. “No extra of this malarkey, no extra of permitting for this lawlessness, no extra and under-staffing our public security officers. And by the best way, that features our 911 operators in addition to our firefighters and law enforcement officials. No extra permitting for these dilapidated roads. And the failure of our infrastructure. We would like change and in case you do not change, guess what, there are some elections in two years. And there are three extra Council members that might be up for re-election.”

Neither Wittenbraker nor the GOP Council candidates spoke to the group of about 80 Republican supporters at Firetruck Brewing on East Grant Street after the election outcomes have been launched. The gathering dwindled after the vote rely was made public.

The three members of the Metropolis Council who have been on the poll this yr every additionally simply gained over the GOP challengers: Councilwoman Lane Santa Cruz had a 62-37 edge over Victoria Lem, Councilmember Paul Cunningham had a 64-32 margin over Ernie Shack (Libertarian Pendleton Spicer had 3.7%), and Councilmember Nikki Lee led with 66% to Ross Kaplowitch’s 34%.

Santa Cruz was hit by a automobile earlier this yr whereas strolling Downtown, and wanted assist getting onto the stage at Brother John’s.

“Mayor, we actually have set to work on accessibility across the metropolis,” Santa Cruz joked. The Ward 1 Democrat turned to the viewers and advised them “ya’ll look lovely from this vantage level.”

Santa Cruz stated the final 4 years had been lengthy, however the incumbent was “consistently humbled and feels gratitude for all of the assist from individuals who consider within the work we’re doing. ”

“And, one of many issues I’ve to say out loud with this viewers, I am so grateful in your management,” Santa Cruz stated to Romero. “As a result of as a lot as we get criticized, you get shit achieved.”

Cunningham thanked his marketing campaign workers and stated that after Tuesday night time, Democrats want to begin one other yr. “We begin tomorrow to flip LD17. We begin tomorrow to verify Democrats retain the White Home. That is the very best gathering we have had in 5 years.”

“That is our time. We will make the state of Arizona nice and we’ll make america of America nice,” the Ward 2 Democrat stated.

Councilmember Lee stated she relied on a village to get her marketing campaign throughout the end line.

“I am wanting ahead to all this momentum into 2024,” she advised the group. “As Paul Cunningham stated, let’s flip these important seats.”

Romero additionally took a shot at U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Social gathering, telling the viewers “we’ll flip the Home and preserve the Senate and governor. We’re preventing, we’ll elect an actual Democrat to the U.S. Senate,” the mayor stated.

Whereas Vail-area voters dumped a push to include as a city, with 60% saying “no,” different poll measures have been main.

Too near name primarily based on the primary vote tallies to be launched was Prop. 413, a measure to extend the salaries of Tucson’s mayor and Council members. That had 50.36% voting in favor, with 49.64% opposed, and a margin of simply 557 votes out of practically 77,000 forged.


Balloting has ended within the Nov. 7 native elections which have voters
selecting amongst Tucson mayor and Metropolis Council candidates, and figuring out
faculty district bond measures and the proposed incorporation of the
city of Vail.

To be counted, ballots needed to be obtained by
election officers by 7 p.m. Tuesday. The primary outcomes are anticipated
simply after 8 p.m.

County election officers mailed
ballots to all registered voters within the metropolis of Tucson in addition to to all voters within the
Tucson Unified Faculty District, Sunnyside Unified Faculty District,
Flowing Wells Unified Faculty District, Sahuarita Unified Faculty District
and Altar Valley Elementary Faculty District.

Voters on the Lively
Early Voter Checklist who stay inside the proposed boundaries of the city of
Vail additionally obtained mail-in ballots, however state legislation prohibits an
incorporation effort from being an all-mail election.

Simply greater than 396,000 ballots have been despatched out in the entire elections happening in Pima County, officers stated.

Turnout within the Tucson election hit practically 27% by Monday, as Democratic early voters swamped Republican and impartial voters.

Democrats holding a considerable voter registration edge within the metropolis,
greater than 40,000 Democratic ballots have been returned by Monday. Republicans
had returned fewer than 20,000 ballots, whereas all different voters —
together with impartial non-party voters — had returned simply greater than

The primary outcomes — which is able to embody the entire early
ballots returned by Monday night, and thus the vast majority of votes being
forged within the metropolis — might be launched proper after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, a
Democrat who’s looking for a second time period, has drawn three opponents:
Impartial candidate Ed Ackerley, a longtime native advertising and marketing
skilled who captured roughly 39 p.c of the vote in a 2019
marketing campaign in opposition to Romero; Republican Janet Wittenbraker, who has labored
in quite a lot of administrative positions, together with a stint as an
government assistant within the Metropolis Supervisor’s Workplace; and Libertarian
candidate Arthur Kerschen, a chemistry professor at Pima Neighborhood

Ward 1 Tucson Metropolis Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz, a
Democrat who was first elected in 2019, is dealing with Republican Victoria
Lem, a real-estate agent making her first run for public workplace.

2 Councilmember Paul Cunningham, a Democrat who was appointed to his
seat in 2010 and gained re-election since, is dealing with Republican Ernie
Shack, who retired to Tucson after a profession within the images and
digicam enterprise, and Libertarian M. Pendleton Spicer, who has had a
profession in counseling and working a small home-repair enterprise.

4 Councilmember Nikki Lee, a Democrat who’s looking for a second time period, is
dealing with Republican challenger Ross Kaplowitch, who owns a small trucking

Tucson voters can even resolve Prop. 413, which might
hyperlink the pay of the mayor and Council members to the salaries of the
Pima County Board of Supervisors. Council members’ pay would match the
wage of supervisors, whereas the mayor would obtain a wage equal to
125 p.c of a county supervisor.

Pima County supervisors now
earn $76,600 a yr, however are set to see a pay bump to $96,600 on Jan. 1,
2025. The salaries of county supervisors are set by the state

Tucson Metropolis Council members now earn $24,000 a yr, whereas the mayor earns $42,000.

raises for mayor and Council have to be authorized by voters in an modification
to the Metropolis Constitution. They’ve rejected each proposal to extend
salaries since 1999.

Voters in 5 native faculty districts will resolve the destiny of bonds and price range propositions.

The Tucson Unified Faculty District is asking voters to approve Prop. 496, a $480 million bond election.

Sunnyside Unified Faculty District is asking voters to approve Prop.
498, an 8 p.c upkeep and operations price range override, and Prop
499, a district further help override.

The Flowing Wells Unified Faculty District is asking voters to approve a 13 p.c upkeep and operations price range override.

The Sahuarita Unified Faculty District is asking voters to approve a $50 million bond.

The Altar Valley Elementary Faculty District is asking voters to approve a ten p.c upkeep and operations price range override.

facilities have been arrange on Election Day inside the metropolis of Tucson and
the college districts so voters can drop off a accomplished poll or get a
substitute poll in the event that they misplaced the one they obtained within the mail. Vote facilities have been additionally open for Vail balloting.

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