Paul Diaz

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

An attempt to recall South Tucson Mayor Paul Diaz has succeeded.

Robert Larribas defeated Diaz by 59 votes with a total of 342 votes cast in the 1.2-square-mile city.

Larribas, 54, is a lifelong South Tucson resident who works at Raytheon Missile Systems.

"It is an honor to serve," Larribas said on Tuesday night. "I want to thank the community for their support, for believing in me and giving me this chance." 

He said he hoped to come into the South Tucson City Council as a neutral party who will be able to work with everyone.

"That way the council can move forward and work with the community," Larribas said.

Diaz did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday night.

Diaz was targeted by political opponents who accused him of supporting an attempt for the Pasadera Behavioral Health Network to open a residential drug-treatment facility across the street from Mission View Elementary School.

The Diaz recall petition, circulated last year, stated: "He failed to uphold his campaign promises of transparency and public safety and is taking actions that are detrimental to South Tucson."

Previously, Diaz said the town does not have the legal authority to get involved in a private business transaction outside of making sure all laws are followed related to permits.

"My position as an elected official must adhere to all legal judgment in matters brought before the council. As such, we had no legal right to stop the private land sale between Pasadera and the Arizona Children's Home Association," Diaz wrote in election paperwork.

Diaz was elected to the City Council in 2011 and moved up to the mayor's seat in 2013, when former mayor Jennifer Eckstrom resigned.

Contact Joe Ferguson at 573-4197 or

On Twitter: @JoeFerguson

Contact Joe Ferguson at 573-4197 or

On Twitter: @JoeFerguson