AZ: Now Three-Way Race for Mayor in Tucson

From yesterday's column at AZIVN:

Following the city's August 30th primary election, a three-way race for mayor is taking shape in Tucson.  Democrat Jonathan Rothchild, Republican Rick Grinnell, and Green Mary Decamp will face off in the mayoral general election this November.

In June, as I reported here at AZIVN, Democratic party activists purged Rothchild's Republican and Independent rivals from the ballot with a wave of petition signature challenges, creating the potential for a two-party race between the Democratic candidate and the winner of the Green Party's primary.  However, with his successful Republican party write-in campaign in the primary election, Grinnell has assured his place on the ballot and ensured a three-way race for mayor.

In the primary, Grinnell received 7,770 write-in votes, according to the city's current tally, far exceeding the 1,060 he needed to secure his place on the ballot.  Without much in the way of competition, Jonathan Rothchild easy cruised to the nomination of the Democratic party, receiving 26,918 votes, 96% of the total cast in the Democratic Party.  In the Green party's historic primary, Mary Decamp defeated rival Dave Croteau, 71% to 24%, with 369 votes.

Though KOLD News 13 reported a record turnout in the contest, over 83% of Tucson voters did not bother to cast a ballot.  Voter turnout stood at just 16.65%.  Only 44,356 of the municipality's 266,448 registered voters participated in the election.

Jobs and the economy figure prominently in each of the three candidates' visions for the future of Tucson.  Democrat Jonathan Rothchild proposes the streamlining of business codes and procedures, and the creation of a "small business ombudsman" to act as a liason between small business owners and the city government.  Republican Rick Grinnell seeks to establish a business commission consisting of business and community representatives to "build a strong economy," and promises to lobby the governor to open an office for the newly-established Arizona Commerce Commission in the city.  Green Mary Decamp proposes the creation of "Community Conservation Centers" throughout the city which could house everything from local health clinics, to non-profit organizations and information centers for local entrepreneurs.

Decamp is the only candidate who explicitly addresses Independent voters, the fastest-growing constituency throughout the state.  She argues that voters should not have to "hold your nose" and cast a ballot for the lesser evil between the Democrats and Republicans.  To that end, she proposes the implementation of ranked choice voting to encourage higher voter turnout as well as third party and Independent candidacies for local office.

Though Pima County leans Democratic in terms of registration, registered Independents now outnumber Democrats statewide.  In the secretary of state's most recent registration tally from July, 35% of Arizonans were registered Republican, 33% Independent or third party and 31% Democratic.
Tucson is the only city in Arizona that still has partisan elections.  The state legislature passed a law in 2009 instituting non-partisan elections for municipal offices throughout the state.  Tucson challenged the law in court and won.  The state government's appeal is pending.

1 comment:

TiradeFaction said...

So, what's the media coverage like for the Green candidate? Is she been allowed in any official debates, or just media blackout?