From left, Democrats Felicia Chew, Thomas Tronsdal and Paul Durham.

More than $53,000 poured into campaign coffers in the last six weeks for the three Democrats vying to replace retiring City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich in Ward 3.

Teacher Felicia Chew, attorney Paul Durham, and small-business owner Tom Tronsdal relied heavily on the city’s campaign finance matching funds, taking in more than $36,400 during the last campaign cycle.

The voter-backed program allows qualified candidates to receive $1 in public matching funds for each dollar received in individual contributions.

In the last weeks before Tuesday’s primary, all three candidates dug deep into their campaign war chests to pay for mailers and ads.

Durham raised the most during the six-week pre-primary election cycle, reporting $20,805 in total contributions. Since becoming a candidate, he has received a total of $40,600 in public matching funds, $17,770 in the last campaign cycle.

During the same period, his campaign spent $36,582 during the six-week period with $32,610 going to a Phoenix-based firm, Radar Strategies.

A line item states the Durham campaign bought $9,240 in digital-based ads and spent $23,369 for the printing and postage of several campaign mailers.

The campaign sent out at least two print-based attack ads on Chew.

Chew took in $19,830 in total contributions. Since becoming a candidate, she has received a total of $13,774 in campaign public matching funds, and all of it came during the last six weeks of the most recent campaign cycle.

Chew spent nearly $10,000, with $5,868 going to the Tucson-based Gloo Factory for mailers, stickers and postage.

During the shortened election cycle between July 1 and Aug. 12, Tronsdal raised a total of $12,505.

Tronsdal received two donations from political action committees — $500 from the Arizona Multihousing Association and $1,000 from the Tucson Metro Chamber.

His campaign spent $22,749 during the six-week period, primarily on printing and mailing campaign material with three Tucson-based firms: AZ Jet Mail, J&R Graphics and Printing and Wholesale Litho.

A political consulting firm, SIMG, received $4,758 from Tronsdal, which included costs for graphic design and monitoring of social media in addition to political advice.

A fourth candidate, independent Gary Watson, reported $8,715 in contributions during the same period. Most of the contributions — $7,000 — came in from political action committees representing various firefighters across the state.

Watson works for Northwest Fire District and will face the winner of the Democratic primary in November.

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The only other contested primary Tuesday is in Ward 6, between Green Party candidates Michael Oatman and Mike Cease.

During the six-week cycle, Oatman raised about $4 and spent the same — leaving his campaign with $3.68 in its campaign war chest.

Cease raised $451, but chipped in $410 of his own money to pay for various campaign related costs. His campaign fund has $42 at the end of the reporting period.

How to vote

The election is by mail-in ballot for city voters in Wards 3, 5 and 6. It’s past the deadline to send back completed ballots in the mail, but the city will have several locations open Tuesday until 7 p.m. to drop off ballots.

  • Liggins Recreation Center at 2160 N. Sixth Ave.;
  • Randolph Park administration building, 900 S. Randolph Way;
  • El Pueblo Senior Center, 101 W. Irvington Road.

For information, call 791-3221.

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