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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Both sides of the aisle are running as slates in Tucson City Council election

This election season, Republicans and Democrats have taken a new approach to campaigning for the Tucson City Council election.

As election day inches closer, more campaign signs seemingly pop up overnight on the side of the road and at popular intersections. However, this election season is different. Democrats and Republicans have drawn a partisinal line in the sand—teaming up and running as slates.

Four Democrats are up for reelection, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild who is running unopposed, along with three city council members; Paul Cunningham, Shirley Scott and Regina Romero, all of whom share huge campaign signs that read, “Keep Tucson Moving Forward.”

Three Republicans are also campaigning to take back the City Council seats: Kelly Lawton, Margaret Burkholder and Bill Hunt. While the Republican candidates do have their own signs, they are clustered together and share a sign that has each of the candidate’s names.

William Burns IV, the Pima County Democratic Party chair, thinks the Democrat candidates running as a slate is the best option.

“It really seems to be impacting voters in a positive way,” Burns said.

In previous Tucson city elections, there has always been more than one Democrat running, he added.

“The four that are running for reelection have all worked together and as a team for the past several years, so they’ve been able to contribute to the messaging that we’re using when we’re doing our phone banking, knocking on doors and mailers,” Burns said.

With the Democrat candidates running as a slate, Burns said he believes it has strengthened grassroots campaigning.

“Each campaign has its own group of volunteers, and then when you combine those efforts into one strategic effort for all the candidates, it just strengthens everybody,” Burns said.

Pima County GOP Chairman Bill Beard said the way the three Republican candidates are running as a team gives voters “a clear choice between years of stagnation and bad performance from the City Council, that has brought about some of the worst roads in the Southwest and one in four in poverty—which is getting worse every day.”

Beard said he thinks that the current City Council is at fault for many of the city’s issues.

“You don’t have to be a Republican or Democrat to see that, the numbers speak for themselves,” he said.

The Republican slate gives voters an alternative to the status quo that has become the Tucson City Council, according to Beard.

“From a strategy standpoint, it was probably the best way Republicans [can get] candidates elected because when you hear one speaking, you’re hearing all of them speaking,” Beard said.

Miranda Mann, an eSociety sophomore and member of the UA Young Democrats, thinks the Democrats running as a slate is a great idea.

“They have similar values and similar goals they’re working towards,” Mann said.

Like Burns, Mann agrees that the Democrats teaming up is smart since all the candidates already work together. However, Mann said she thinks that the Democrats and Republicans each running as a slate can create a divide, especially for Independent voters.


Follow Amanda Oien on Twitter.


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