TUCSON, Ariz. - Tucson voters choose a new mayor in November but a lot of the action happens in August when Democrats choose among three candidates. KGUN9 interviewed all three of the Democratic candidates, Randi Dorman, Steve Farley, and Regina Romero.
Steve Farley has not held city office but points to a long record of service to Tucson and Pima County as an activist on transportation issues like the streetcar and the Regional Transportation Authority and with twelve years service in the State House and Senate.
He says, “I think we need to do a better job at getting on top of potholes, we need to do a better job at reducing response times for first responders, which means more commissioned officers on the street and more firefighters on the street. We have to make sure that people know not only will the potholes get filled when you call them in, but their entire neighborhood is going to get resurfaced on a regular basis."
Farley thinks one way to collect more tax revenue to pay for pavement and police is to annex unincorporated areas like the Foothills and Northwest side.
"Because we have so much unincorporated area, we are losing about $70 million a year that otherwise is going to Phoenix that we could be using to invest in in our public safety in our roads."
As big box stores go vacant, Farley wants to transform the space into sites for new business, housing and jobs.
Farley does not support the referendum that asks voters to declare Tucson a sanctuary city for immigrants. He's concerned about the risk of penalties from the state and Federal Governments but says he does support the rights of asylum seekers and immigrants.
‘I don't want to make them into a target in a big political battle, the way that this would turn out to be. I think our Tucson Police Department is doing a pretty good job right already making people feel safe, whether or not they're documented in order to be able to serve as witnesses to crimes or report things that have happened to them. I think when you have a big battle over it, and you declare something, all of a sudden, you create a conflict where there should not be a conflict, and the people who we says we want to help might end up getting hurt."