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Mapping out Ramon Valadez's surprising primary defeat

Many were taken by surprise by Matt Heinz's primary election victory over incumbent Ramón Valadez in Pima County's Supervisor District Two.

Heinz, a former state representative and three-time congressional candidate, defeated Valadez by 3,101 votes, a margin of about 19 percent of the total votes cast, according to unofficial results. A third candidate, Richard Hernandez, was also on the ballot in the August 3 primary.

Heinz received the highest number of votes in all but seven of the district's 35 voting precincts. He did especially well in precincts along the district's northern boundary of Broadway, as well as those on and around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. He also received the most votes in the district's three precincts that encompass the Sahuarita area.

Support for Valadez — a supervisor who's been in office since 2003 and who ran unopposed in the 2016 primary — was strongest in and around the city of South Tucson. He also did well in the general area bordered by 22nd Street, South Palo Verde Road, Irvington Road, and South 12th Avenue.

But winning in some voting areas didn't do much to pad the incumbent's total. In the 7 precincts in which Valadez tallied more votes than Heinz, he led by only an aggregate of 311 votes.

A total of 16,299 votes were cast in the D2 Democratic primary, about 23 percent of the registered voters (Democrats and non-party "indepdendent" voters) who were eligible to participate.

It's worth noting that the size of a particular precinct on the map, and even depth of color indicating a greater percentage of support, doesn't necessarily indicate a relative number of votes compared to another.

The largest dark green area, indicating a Heinz win in the precinct, is for Precinct 196, which encompasses Tucson International Airport. A single Democratic ballot was recorded in that precinct, cast for the winning challenger.

In the smallest-sized precinct he lost, Precinct 51 just to the northwest, Heinz pulled in 107 votes.

The district is about 46 percent Democrats, 21 percent Republicans, and about 32 percent others, according to data from the Pima County Recorder's Office.

Heinz will face Republican Anthony Sizer in the upcoming general election on November 3.

Sizer garnered 6,433 votes while running unopposed in his primary.

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1 comment on this story

Aug 9, 2020, 7:32 pm
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Thank you for this article and the information provided, which is certainly more than the public seems to get anywhere else.  But where is the analysis as to why this incumbant lost, what potential changes we might see with the new Supervisor, and how these changes impact Pima County residents and taxpayers?  Likewise the earthsaking victory in the County Attorney’s office with the defeat of Barbara LaWall’s reign. Sacred cows would already be roasting on an open pit if the likes of Limberis or Franzi were still around. Hopefully we will get some more perspective soon from the always insightful Blake Morloch.

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2020 primary results

Pima County Board of Supervisors, District 2 (Dem)

Matt Heinz 8,580 53%
Ramón Valadez 5,479 34%
Richard Hernandez 2,193 13%

Pima County Board of Supervisors, District 2 (Rep)

Anthony Sizer 6,433 100%