Former City Council candidate Shaun McClusky is seeking the GOP nomination for mayor.
McClusky, a 38-year-old businessman who ran an unsuccessful bid for the council in 2009, was the first candidate to formally file a statement of organization Wednesday in what could be a crowded race.
“Nothing has changed since 2009,” McClusky said. While he has nice things to say about Republican Councilman Steve Kozachik and the council’s newest member, Paul Cunningham, he said the city still doesn’t have an effective council. “And at the end of the day, we have a rubber stamp for a mayor.”
McClusky said his No. 1 priorities will be preserving funding for public safety and addressing Tucson’s budget problems.
McClusky, who was heavily involved in the political campaigns for more public safety funding and against the city’s sales tax increase, and has been active in GOP circles, said he’s the only one “who has put in the energy, time or effort to win in a Democratic city.”
Why will Democrats vote for him? “Because I’m the everyday, normal guy. I’m a small business owner. I care about the City of Tucson, and at the end of the day, I can do the job better than anyone else.”
On the Democratic side, attorney Jonathan Rothschild has filed an exploratory campaign, although he said he doesn't anticipate a decision before the end of the month. And commercial broker Pat Darcy, who lost the Democratic mayoral primary in 1999, said he’s considering running.
Former supervisor Ron Asta said he's "seriously mulling" a bid, but isn't likely to make a decision before the end of the month.
Bill Holmes, community relations manager for Wells Fargo Bank, said Wednesday he won’t run for mayor, although he’s still looking for ways to be involved.
Republican Mayor Bob Walkup said in an interview he still plans to hold off on any announcement until the spring. “I’m waiting to see how some of these things unfold,” he said, saying while he was pleased to get funding secured on the light rail, he’s still wanting to see the convention hotel come together.