Paul Durham, who won the Democratic Ward 3 City Council primary race, spent more than $86,000 in his bid to replace outgoing Councilwoman Karin Uhlich.

The attorney and consultant spent roughly $100 for every three votes he received in the three-way primary last month, with the majority of funds going to expensive mailers sent to residents in the ward.

At least two mailers attacked his rival Felicia Chew, suggesting her vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein helped get President Trump elected.

Nearly half of the funds Durham used — $43,633 — came from public funds from the city, according to reports filed with the City Clerk’s Office.

Chew, a teacher, raised more than $17,000 in individual contributions and received nearly $14,000 in city matching funds, giving her a total of nearly $31,200 raised by the end of August. Chew came in second in the primary, trailing Durham by 800 votes.

The third candidate, Tom Tronsdal, a small-business owner, raised about $55,300, with $30,500 coming from individual donations and nearly $25,000 from city matching funds. He came in third.

In terms of this year’s council races, the Ward 3 Democratic race and a Green Party race in Ward 6 were the only contested primary races.

The general election has two contested races, with Durham running against Gary Watson, a firefighter. Watson is running as an independent and has about $8,800 according to his last campaign finance filing with the city.

The Ward 6 race features two-term incumbent Democratic Councilman Steve Kozachik running against a political newcomer, Republican Mariano Rodriguez, and Green Party candidate Mike Cease in November.

Rodriguez, who recently applied for city matching funds, has raised about $13,750 from individuals.

Kozachik has opted not to accept any donations as part of his re-election campaign.

The general election, where the council races will be decided by a citywide vote, is Nov. 7.

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


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.