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Political Notebook: Iowa Democratic caucuses to have satellite sites in Tucson, Green Valley
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Political Notebook: Iowa Democratic caucuses to have satellite sites in Tucson, Green Valley

Political junkies from Iowa who live in Southern Arizona will be able to vote in their state’s presidential caucuses on Feb. 3 without having to set foot in the Hawkeye State.

However, you have to be a registered Democrat in Iowa.

The Iowa Democratic Party announced this week they will operate a satellite site in Green Valley — at the Sunrise Pointe Clubhouse — for the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. The Green Valley site is one of 25 out-of-state sites where Iowa Democrats can vote for the choice for president. In addition to Green Valley there will be two satellite caucus sites in Tucson, a private home and the Flowing Wells Library.

The party said the remote sites offer access to Iowans who have traditionally been unable to attend their in-person precinct caucuses.

Snowbirds from Iowa who plan on using the out-of-state satellite sites must be registered Democrats and complete the online satellite caucus preregistration by Jan. 17 in order to participate.

Nanos enters sheriff’s race

Former Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos has thrown his hat into the ring in the 2020 race for sheriff.

Nanos made his announcement on Facebook earlier this week, confirming rumors that he wanted his old job back. Nanos was appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to the position in July 2015 to finish then-Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s term.

In November 2016, Nanos lost to his Republican opponent, Mark Napier.

Nanos jumps into the race after a mysterious billboard popped up near the sheriff’s headquarters, urging him to run.

“After Sheriff Napier was given the employees Vote of No Confidence I started receiving numerous calls. I have heard from several Department employees … from civilians to Corrections Officers, from Deputies to Command staff … and they all want the same thing … they just want their Department back,” Nanos wrote in his announcement.

But Nanos isn’t alone in his bid to replace Napier as Pima County’s top lawman.

Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Kubitskey, the former vice president and past-president of the Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association is also seeking the Democratic nomination.

A third candidate, Trista DiGenova Chang, filed paperwork to run for sheriff but has also announced she is running for seat on the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

County Republicans continue to press for ballot reform

Members of the Pima Country Republican Party are continuing to push for the city of Tucson to make changes to how it designs its ballots.

On Tuesday, the Pima County GOP, including Chairman David Eppihimer, asked the Pima County Board of Supervisors to weigh in on the issue, noting that by disclosing party affiliations on the ballot mailings the city sends out is opening the door to fraud.

They argue that by making the party affiliation visible on the address window of the ballot envelope, it could lead to tampering by either postal workers or county employees who process ballots when they are returned.

City Clerk Roger Randolph said he doesn’t believe there is any reason to believe there has been any ballot tampering, but said he will review the issue before the next city election.

However, this fight over the city’s ballots could soon be a moot point with the city possibly having to move its elections to even-numbered years in order to conform with a new state law.

If that happens, it is highly unlikely the city would operate its own elections, instead contracting with Pima County to handle city elections as part of a larger, countywide ballot.

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

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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.

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