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Ward 3 Democrats, Ward 6 Green Party only contested races in Tuesday primary

Ward 3 Democrats, Ward 6 Green Party only contested races in Tuesday primary

It looks like a fraction of Tucson voters will decide who the Democratic nominee in Ward 3 and which Green Party candidate in Ward 6 will be on the ballot in November.

The latest count by the city of Tucson shows voters have returned 13,540 of the 75,810 single-issue ballots mailed to Tucson households — roughly 18 percent.

The city did not have a count on how many of the ballots were from each of the two wards with a contested primary race; the Ward 5 race is uncontested.

Only registered Democrats and independents requesting a Democratic ballot can vote in the Ward 3 race. Similarly, Green Party members and independents asking for a Green Party ballot can vote in Ward 6 race.

The deadline to send back completed ballots in the mail has passed but voters can drop off their ballots Monday at the city’s election center, 800 E. 12th St., and at three sites Tuesday. (See box on Page C5)

Ward 3

In the district that spans the northwest city limits, there is a three-way race among Democrats to replace retiring Councilwoman Karin Uhlich.

  • Felicia Chew has been a teacher for more than 20 years and has worked as a victim’s advocate, advocates for local education issues with the Tucson Education Association and has served on the city’s Citizen Police Advisory Review Board.
  • Paul Durham worked for about a year as a chief of staff for then-Councilwoman Nina Trasoff and is well-known to many as the former treasurer of the county Democratic Party. Durham has a law degree from Stanford University and spent two decades as a small-business consultant.
  • Tom Tronsdal has lived nearly his entire life in Ward 3 and owns and runs Canyon Fence Co. In the few years he wasn’t living in town, Tronsdal got a law degree, worked with inmates in Leavenworth federal prison, spent time running a Planet Hollywood restaurant in New Orleans and worked as a Microsoft contractor.

The winner of the primary will face Gary Watson, an independent, in the November primary. Watson is a firefighter for the Northwest Fire District.

Ward 6

In the midtown ward, two candidates are vying for the Green Party nomination in the only other contested primary race Tuesday.

  • Consultant Mike Cease is a longtime activist with the Sierra Club who has a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Arizona.
  • Michael Oatman is well-known for his long-running public access show that was on Access Tucson called “Illegal Knowledge.”

The winner will face incumbent Councilman Steve Kozachik, a Democrat, and Republican candidate Mariano Rodriguez in November.

Ward 5

Incumbent Democratic Councilman Richard Fimbres is unopposed in the primary and general elections.

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

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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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