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Democrats sweep Tucson Council races, Strong Start losing 2-1

The trio of Democrats seeking election to the Tucson City Council were handily ahead in the early returns, and the Prop. 204 Strong Start Tucson measure was losing 2-1.

Incumbent Ward 6 Democrat Steve Kozachik easily led Republican challenger Mariano Rodriguez, while in Ward 3, Democrat Paul Durham led independent Gary Watson in a race for an open seat. Ward 5's Richard Fimbres faced no opponent.

The Strong Start Tucson initiative was losing, with about 66 percent voting "no" on the half-cent sales tax for early childhood education.

A group of about 100 Democrats cheered their party's victories at the Doubletree hotel.

Kozachik, cruising to an easy win, said his campaign was based on an idea: "Let's see what happens when you take the money out of politics."

"We raised $161, and we've got about $60 left in the coffers," the re-elected Democrat said. Rodriguez raised about $30,000 for his challenge, according to the Republican's most recent campaign filings.

Fimbres said, "When I came aboard (the Council), we had some very tough times."

"Working together, we fixed it — and we kept the city moving forward," Fimbres said, asking for a round of applause for outgoing Councilwoman Karin Uhlich.

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"I will work hard every day to try to fill the shoes you leave behind," Durham told Uhlich.

The Council newcomer said he'll work to "keep Tucson the progessive place we love, while helping it to thrive."

"If there's anyone left in this entire country who thinks elections don't matter, this past year has proved them long," said Durham, running down a list of Democratic wins across the United States.

Election results

Tucson

Ward 3

Candidate Party Votes %
Paul Durham D 39,963
Gary Watson I 27,373
write-in

Ward 5

Candidate Party Votes %
Richard Fimbres D 49,882
write-in

Ward 6

Candidate Party Votes %
Steve Kozachik D 42,799
Mariano Rodriguez R 23,233
Mike Cease G 4,867
write-in

Prop. 202

Votes %
Yes 35,959
No 32,777

Prop. 203

Votes %
Yes 35,866
No 36,216

Prop. 204

Votes %
Yes 24,223
No 47,515

Prop. 406

Votes %
Yes 20,457
No 51,366

Oro Valley

Prop. 454

Votes %
Yes 4,050
No 10,209

Flowing Wells Unified School District

Prop. 455

Votes %
Yes 2,302
No 1,470

Marana Unified School District

Prop. 456

Votes %
Yes 6,932
No 11,104

Sunnyside Unified School District

Prop. 457

Votes %
Yes 1,816
No 3,168

Tucson Unified School District

Prop. 458

Votes %
Yes 30,674
No 43,835

Drexel Heights Fire District

Prop. 459

Votes %
Yes 4,215
No 1,983

Picture Rocks Fire District

Prop. 460

Votes %
Yes 619
No 852

Avra Valley Fire District

Prop. 461

Votes %
Yes 609
No 578

Check back for updates.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Incoming Ward 3 Councilman Paul Durham, speaking Tuesday night.