LD9 Senate

District 9 senate candidates Steve Farley (left) and Tyler Mott. Photos courtesy of the candidates.

In the race for State Senate in District 9, Republican Tyler Mott is fond of calling his opponent, Democrat Steve Farley, by the nickname “Streetcar Steve.”

That's because Farley is a proponent of streetcar and light rail systems.

Mott said the streetcar project is wasteful spending and an “unneeded boondoggle” that has hurt businesses along the route.

“His priorities are different than mine,” Mott said. “If we had all the money in the world, maybe it would be good to spend on that. But $200 million on a 4-mile stretch of trolley to connect the end of fraternity row to the bars downtown? I don’t think that’s the proper use of money.”

Farley said he’s fine with the nickname.

“I don’t believe in calling people names, but if he wants to call me a name, I’m not sure why he’s choosing a name that has so many positives attached to it,” he said.

“The streetcar has already produced more than $500 million worth of direct private investment within three blocks of the four-mile route,” Farley said. “We’ve already seen a return on our investment of 500-600 percent. ... This is how jobs are created.”

Farley pointed to his time on the Regional Transportation Authority project as an example of his ability to bring people together, set aside differences and “get stuff done.”

While the candidates' differences on the streetcar are interesting, the State Senate doesn't have much of a say in the matter. The nearly $200 million project is funded by federal and local taxes.

Stay tuned to the Pueblo Politics blog throughout 2012 for news, updates and information about Arizona politics. You can follow Arizona Daily Star reporters Brady McCombs, Becky Pallack and Tim Steller on Twitter.