Voters in Tucson can shift their attention to the general election in November now that the city has tallied ballots for its all-mail primary. The three-way race between Democratic candidates for mayor topped the ticket, and City Councilwoman Regina Romero easily won with about 50% of the vote.
Arizona 360 turned to the Arizona Daily Star’s Sarah Garrecht Gassen, the Tucson Sentinel’s Dylan Smith and Tucson Local Media’s Jim Nintzel to unpack the results in a journalists’ roundtable.
“Number one, I think Democrats are leaning toward women and people of color. All things being equal, there wasn’t a lot of difference between where these candidates stood on a lot of issues. So I think people were looking at secondary characteristics,” Nintzel said.
Romero’s opponent in the general election is independent Ed Ackerley, a longtime advertising executive and instructor at the University of Arizona.
“I think he’s going to pick up a little bit of support from especially some folks in the business community, Republicans who are adamantly opposed to Regina Romero being mayor. I don’t know if that’s going to be anywhere near enough support,” Smith said.
The conversation also covered another big item on November’s ballot: the sanctuary city initiative. Many government leaders have voiced opposition to the measure, including Romero.
“I have no doubt that the Republicans will mount a huge campaign about this because it is such a good ‘red meat’ talking point for the GOP. And I think it probably will fail, but I also can see it winning with people voting for it on the idea of it without really getting into understanding why this particular initiative is not a good idea,” Gassen said.