Regardless of the outcome, Pima County District 5 race will be historic

Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 07:58:37-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — For Adelita Grijalva it's a chance to take the County seat once occupied by her father.

For Fernando Gonzales, it's the pursuit of a position he's come just short of, in past elections.

KGUN9 asked both candidates: why them for the Pima County Board of Supervisors, District 5 seat?

"I've worked for federal government, I've worked for County government, I've worked for private industry. I've actually worked for a non-profit organization. My experiences far out-weight my opponent's experience," Gonzales said.

"I want to make sure that we preserve those areas, while encouraging the business community to reinvest in our infrastructure, in our existing neighborhoods. This voice, in District 5, has always been the voice for protecting our environment, our employees and I want to continue that legacy," Grijalva said.

The Board of Supervisors has had an active role in regulating businesses during the pandemic.

Both candidates appeared to agree, the County arrived at the right position on the issue.

"They have taken the Governor's executive order and put it on steroids. What they're doing now, they should have done in the very beginning and I believe they shouldn't have completely shut these businesses down," Gonzales said.

"Eventually what the County was able to do in working with our small business community was really important. We should have a 'small business hotline' that goes directly to someone who is responding on behalf of the Pima County Health Department and opening up as we can," Grijalva said.

One of them will fill the seat long held by Richard Elias, who passed away in March.

Gonzales reflected on the longtime County leader, while proposing a change to governing style in the wake of his passing.

"We were friends, we weren't enemies, we had a good relationship. We need to approach this position in a way different. We need to, number one, we need to view it and approach it from a business perspective," Gonzales said.

Grijalva, meanwhile, said if she is elected, she hopes to continue his prioritizing of the natural resources in the District, part of it located in the Saguaro National Forest.

"He advocated for small businesses, for home ownership and those are all things that are really passions of mine. Regardless of political ideology, every member that served with Richard was visibly moved by his loss," Grijalva said.

Either victory will change the history books in Pima County.

The seat has long been in the hands of Democrats and a Latina woman has never been elected to a County Supervisor position before.