In June, Democratic party activists successfully purged all Republican party and Independent hopefuls from the ballot in this year’s mayoral election in Tucson, ensuring a two-party race between the Democrats and Greens, as reported here at AZIVN late last month. Following the Green Party’s first ever primary election for Tucson mayor in August, Democrat Jonathan Rothschild will square off against either Mary DeCamp or David Croteau in the election for the city’s highest office this coming November. The city’s current mayor, Republican Robert Walkup, is not seeking re-election.
Last Friday, the two Greens sat down for the first in a series of candidate interviews with Christopher Conover and Andrea Kelly from Arizona Public Media. The cordial discussion began with a consideration of what this primary means for the Green party. Mary DeCamp, a teacher and lifelong activist originally from Nebraska, stressed its historic character.
“This is historical. This is the first city-wide [primary] election that the Green party has run,” said DeCamp. “We have only been in Pima County for 20 years. So we’re as young as some of our youngest voters . . . to offer a new way of approaching politics is very exciting,” she continued. DeCamp stressed that she and her primary opponent David Croteau are good friends. “We’re bringing the message to the public that politics can be civil, respectful, engaging and fun,” she concluded.
David Croteau, a self-employed craftsman and also a longtime activist, stressed that voters are clearly looking for real alternatives to the Democrats and Republicans. “I believe that the two-party system is broken,” he said. “The largest voting increase seems to be in Independents, and that suggests to me that the two major parties aren’t giving choices that people are willing to stick with,” he continued.Read the rest. Independent voters now outnumber Democrats in Arizona. The Green party's primary in the Tucson mayoral election has the potential to significantly raise the party's profile throughout the state. If Greens and progressives nationally are looking for a local campaign to bolster in an off-year election, this one should be on the top of their list.