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Dorman adds name to Democratic mayoral primary list

After several months of dipping her toe in the water, developer Randi Dorman has jumped into the Democratic primary race as Tucson looks to choose a new mayor in 2019.

Dorman, who owns R+R Develop with her husband, Rob Paulus, filed campaign paperwork on Friday to run against already-declared candidates Steve Farley and Regina Romero.

No serious Republican has yet entered the mayoral race, but advertising exec Ed Ackerley has filed to run as an independent.

Dorman, a New York native who moved to Tucson in 2001, has been behind such projects as the Ice House Lofts adaptive reuse project, Barrio Metalico, and the redevelopment of part of the Trinity Presbyterian Church property at 4th Avenue and University Boulevard.

"Nearly two decades ago I made the life-changing decision to leave a successful career in New York City to join my husband in downtown Tucson. I fell in love with the natural beauty, the culture and especially the people of Tucson and knew that this was the right place to settle and start a family," she said in a news release Tuesday.

Dorman, a singer and booster of the arts, has been the chair of the Downtown Tucson Partnership business district, and was president of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson.

Dorman is set to announce her campaign at an event next Tuesday evening downtown.

Already in the race are two experienced Democrats, Councilwoman Regina Romero — who will not seek re-election to her West Side ward seat — and former state legislator Steve Farley — who lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary last year. Sam Nagy, a mental health care worker, has filed to run in the primary. North Side Councilman Paul Durham floated his name as a potential candidate as well, but has indicated he won't be running. Advertising agency owner Ed Ackerley has filed to run as an independent candidate, bypassing the primary if he can collect enough nominating signatures. A handful of perennial and fringe candidates have also filed to run.

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Chairing Dorman's campaign is Catherene Morton, mover and shaker and owner of Homestyle Galleries. Her treasurer is David Cohen, a CPA with BeachFleischman.

"In 2002 we and our partners found an old ice factory on the edge of downtown and converted it into Tucson’s first residential loft development. People told us we were crazy, that no one would live downtown. But we could see it so clearly," Dorman said in her campaign announcement. "And at the end, we saw our vision become reality - giving a piece of Tucson’s rich history new life for the next generation. That philosophy has guided me in everything I’ve done in business, downtown and the arts."

"Just like our vision for the ice factory, we must work together to create a vision for Tucson," she said. "A vision that includes jobs that provide Tucsonans with the opportunities we all need; that encourages our children to stay and raise their families, that empowers small businesses to grow and new businesses to come here so that we can build the vibrant, thriving economy we deserve and a better quality of life."

Saying "It's time we create a vision for what Tucson can be for the next 20 years and beyond," Dorman wound up her campaign email with a call that echoed a phrase used frequently by one of her opponents in the race.

"Let's do it together," she said.

One of Farley's standard exhortations is to encourage his audiences to recite with him, "We did it, together."

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