Regina Romero

Regina Romero

Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero officially jumped into the mayoral race Wednesday, telling supporters she is excited to lead the city in a new direction.

The announcement by the Tucson Democrat ends rumors swirling inside political circles that the three-term councilwoman would formally enter the race, spurred by the surprise announcement last month that Mayor Jonathan Rothschild would not run for a third term.

Romero, who has represented the west-side Ward 1 for the last 11 years, said her campaign would focus on strengthening the Tucson economy as well as advocating for sustainable environmental practices.

“I was first elected to the Tucson City Council just as the Great Recession was beginning to affect our city. Since then, we have seen unprecedented economic growth because of the many incentives and continued work that I and my colleagues on the mayor and council have done,” she said.

In her campaign kick-off, Romero highlighted her accomplishments on the council, helping to draft the City’s Primary Jobs Incentive Program and the creation of an Economic Initiatives office.

Romero has also not been afraid to fight politically, clashing with state officials and helping to lead the fight locally to overturn SB1070. The state law required police officers to call immigration authorities if they suspected someone they stopped was in the country illegally.

Romero said she will participate in the city’s Clean Elections program, which will use public funds to finance her campaign. To qualify, Romero will need to collect donations of $10 or more from 300 individuals.

Roughly 10 months before the November election, Romero will likely face at least one other well-known challenger for the Democratic nomination this fall.

Former state Sen. Steve Farley and Tucson Councilman Paul Durham have indicated that they are considering running for mayor as well.

At this time, no Republican has announced they are running for mayor, Pima County Republican Party Chairman David Eppihimer confirmed.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson

Reporter

Joe has been with the Star for six years. He covers politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona. He graduated from the UA and previously worked for the Arizona Daily Sun.