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Political Notebook: Democrat Romero's campaign co-chair donated to Trump in 2016

Political Notebook: Democrat Romero's campaign co-chair donated to Trump in 2016

Democratic mayoral hopeful Regina Romero is defending her decision to make a Republican who gave Donald Trump thousands of dollars her campaign co-chair.

Romero, a three-term Tucson City Council member, isn’t backing away from the decision, calling Cody Ritchie a friend.

Ritchie donated $2,700 to Trump’s 2016 campaign. A deeper dive into Federal Election Commission records finds Ritchie also gave thousands to other Republicans including Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.

In an editorial board meeting earlier this week with the Arizona Daily Star, Romero defended him.

“Cody Ritchie is a Republican. We disagree on almost everything, but what we do agree on is that we both want to see the quality of life in Tucson better for the betterment of our citizens. We both want to see a good, clean city, good roads and good parks,” Romero said.

Romero noted that on the City Council, she pushed hard recently for a resolution barring the city from doing business with companies building Trump’s wall.

Deflecting further discussion about her co-chair, Romero pointed out that Republican auto dealer Jim Click gave $500 to one of her rivals in the Aug. 27 Democratic primary for mayor, former state Sen. Steve Farley.

“Cody Ritchie is nowhere in comparison to the power that Mr. Click and his friends, the car dealers, (have),” Romero said.

Farley brushed off the donation as one of 1,800 donations he has received and said Click’s $500 donation wouldn’t influence him. He said he never considered returning the check.

“Five-hundred-dollars doesn’t buy my vote,” Farley told the editorial board. Click “does good things,” he said. “And I disagree with him about a lot of things.

“But one of the things I’ve done in the Legislature is I work with people I disagree with and anyone who wants this to be a great town is somebody I want to work with no matter what,” Farley said.

Limbaugh donation helps Tucson family

A $2 million donation by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh earlier this month has helped pay off the mortgage for the family of fallen Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White.

White was shot and killed last November while serving a felony warrant at a home on Tucson’s north side. He was the first deputy U.S. marshal killed in the line of duty in Tucson in 66 years.

The New York-based nonprofit Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced the donation from Limbaugh on Tuesday.

Limbaugh told Fox News that the proceeds of his Betsy Ross T-shirt sales fueled the donation that paid the mortgage on White’s home and five other homes of law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.

Limbaugh launched the shirt sales earlier this month, telling listeners that it was a reaction to Nike’s decision to shelve the sales of a sneaker that featured a 13-star American flag associated with Betsy Ross.

Satanic Temple not coming to Sahuarita

Locals will probably not hear “Hail Satan” anytime soon at a Sahuarita Town Council meeting after all.

Town officials confirm that a planned invocation in front of the Sahuarita Town Council by a Tucson-based group called the Satanic Temple was canceled and has not been rescheduled.

The Arizona Chapter of The Satanic Temple —founded in early 2016 by Michelle Shortt and Stu de Haan — has been lobbying various cities and towns for more than three years for the chance to speak as other groups do, usually in the form of short speech or prayer before public meetings.

De Haan said the group has no plans to appeal the decision by Sahuarita.

The Satanic Temple is headed to court with Scottsdale over that city’s similar decision to bar the group from performing an invocation.

Ballots to be mailed next week

The City Clerk’s Office will send out ballots for Tucson’s Democratic primary on Aug. 2 to registered Democrats and independents who have asked for one. (There is no Republican primary because no GOP candidates are competing against each other.)

The city also will have several voting locations open on Election Day Aug. 27, despite advertising this as a vote-by-mail election.

Voters can also drop off their ballot on any weekday at the Tucson City Clerk Elections Center, 800 E. 12th St.

The last day to drop your ballot in the mail and to ensure it is received by the 7 p.m. deadline on Election Day is Aug. 21 for the primary.

For questions, call (520) 791-3221.

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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