Democrat Gabriella Cázares-Kelly beat Republican Benny White for the seat of Pima County recorder.
“We had one of the most exciting campaigns in Southern Arizona,” Cázares-Kelly says. “We had a tremendous amount of energy. And it wasn’t just about getting me elected. We were doing the work of informing constituents about their voting rights.”
The office of recorder is responsible for voter registration, early voting and record-keeping of things like property transactions. It has been occupied since 1993 by Democrat F. Ann Rodriguez, who is retiring.
Cázares-Kelly campaigned on making voting more accessible and addressing systemic issues around voter access, suppression and disenfranchisement, especially in communities of color.
She says she wants the office to be a resource for the community, increasing accessibility and communication by making the website more user-friendly and implementing ballot drop boxes and ballot text message receipts for when ballots are received and sent.
Cázares-Kelly has worked in tribal institutions for 14 years, in higher education and at the high school level, as well as in grassroots community organizing and voter outreach to underserved communities.
She is the co-founder of the grassroots community organization Indivisible Tohono, which provides opportunities for education and civic engagement for tribal members. And she’s an active member of numerous local Democratic organizations.
“I’m fortunate enough to have been a part of these communities,” she said. “I am fortunate and have put in the work in the community, physically registering voters and being out in these rural locations, in these tribal locations, providing information. I’m so looking forward to all the conversations that are going to be coming from me taking this office.”
Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at email@example.com or 573-4223. On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara