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Durham wins Ward 3 primary by double-digit margin

With all nearly all ballots tallied, Paul Durham had a solid lead in the three-way Ward 3 Democratic primary, up by double digits over Felicia Chew and Tom Tronsdale.

Durham had 46 percent of the vote, with Chew at 32 percent and Tronsdale at 22 percent.

"I campaigned on a plan to make Tucson a leader in sustainability and stand up to the Trump administration. From tonight's results, it's clear that the residents of Ward 3 share that vision," Durham said of his primary win.

Tronsdal and Chew "ran great campaigns and deeply care about the issues confronting Tucson. Councilmember Karin Uhlich leaves behind big shoes to fill, but I hope to earn the respect of Tucsonans that she has earned," Durham said.

Election results

Ward 3 Democratic Votes %
Felicia Chew 1,785 32
Paul Durham 2,582 46
Tom Tronsdal 1,220 22
Ward 6 Green Votes %
Mike Cease 55 64
Michael Oatman 27 32

Kozachik racks up votes, despite no primary opponent

While they did not have a head-to-head matchup, incumbent Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik showed strength over his coming Republican opponent in the November vote, garnering 5,484 votes in the primary to Mariano Rodriguez's 1,574. The pair will face off in the city-wide general election.

Despite pledging to not accept contributions for his campaign, the Midtown Democrat nearly pulled in more votes in his uncontested primary than the total number of ballots cast in the three-way Ward 3 contest to see which Democrat will go up against independent Gary Watson to take the seat now held by Karin Uhlich. Kozachik topped the trio's combined total in early returns.

With just two contested races in Tuesday's primary election for Tucson City Council candidates, overall turnout was expected to be light, but the candidates — especially the trio of Democratic contenders in Ward 3 — were hoping that their supporters cast their ballots by 7 p.m.

With just less than 80,000 city voters eligible to participate, about 16,424 cast ballots in the primaries — just more than 20 percent turnout.

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A handful of ballots remained to be counted Tuesday night, with about 469 ballots left to be tallied; some already in the hands of city officials along with some provisional ballots yet to be verified by the Pima County Recorder's Office.

Preliminary voting results were released at 8 p.m. Final totals were released Friday.

While there will be dueling candidates in two out of three wards come November's general election, it's voters in wards 3 and 6 who faced a choice in the primary.

The contested races were:

  • Ward 3 Democrats: Felicia Chew, Paul Durham, Tom Tronsdal, and write-in candidate Dan Linhart
  • Ward 6 Greens: Mike Cease, Michael Oatman

While the Democrats pulled in thousands of primary voters, the winning Green — Cease — garnered 55 votes, to Ward 6 opponent Oatman's 27.

Preliminary results from early ballots showed Linhart garnered no write-in votes.

Also on primary ballots, but guaranteed to move on to the city-wide general election, were:

  • Incumbent Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik, a Democrat, and GOP challenger Mariano Rodriguez.
  • Incumbent Ward 5 Councilman Richard Fimbres, a Democrat, who faces no opponent in November. Fimbres got 2,583 votes in the Tuesday's early tally.

Also appearing on the general election ballot will be Watson, an independent in Ward 3, who will face Durham.

With the city conducting what's described as an "all mail-in" election, anyone who didn't return their ballot last week must have handed it in at one of just four locations around the city on Tuesday.

  • Tucson City Clerk elections center, 800 E. 12th St.
  • El Pueblo Senior Center, 101 W. Irvington Rd.
  • Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave.
  • Randolph Park administration building, 900 S. Randolph Way

Registered voters in each of the three wards who expressed a party preference were mailed ballots earlier in the month.

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Election results

Preliminary results, released just after 8 p.m. Tuesday:

Ward 3 Democratic Votes %
Felicia Chew 1,703 32
Paul Durham 2,416 45
Tom Tronsdal 1,177 22
Ward 6 Green Votes %
Mike Cease 51 63
Michael Oatman 26 32

Final results, released Friday:

Ward 3 Democratic Votes %
Felicia Chew 1,785 32
Paul Durham 2,582 46
Tom Tronsdal 1,220 22
Ward 6 Green Votes %
Mike Cease 55 64
Michael Oatman 27 32