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
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
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.