Uhlich: Democrats 'won big' in Tucson election
Mayor: Tucson 'decided to keep its team in play'
With the Democratic incumbents sweeping in Tuesday's election results, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said "The city has decided to keep its team in play."
In what was expected to be the most competitive contest, a rematch versus Republican Ben Buehler-Garcia, Councilwoman Karin Uhlich led the challenger with 58 percent of the vote.
"It shows we're on the right track," she told a crowd of about 150 Democrats at the Riverpark Inn near Downtown. "We won and we won big."
"They targeted us from the get-go. There was a lot of money spent," she said.
"Richard and I were able to point to what we were able to accomplish," Uhlich said in an interview. "People are done beating up Tucson ... they know what makes Tucson special. People are ready to get up and move this community forward."
Despite being down 10,000 votes, the two Republican challengers wouldn't concede Tuesday night, saying they wanted to wait for a tally of the ballots turned in on Election Day.
"It isn't over until it's over. Many ballots were turned in today, so we need to wait for those to be counted," Buehler-Garcia told a group of about 50 Republicans gathered at Sir Veza's on Wetmore Road.
City officials said there were about 6,000 ballots remained to be counted Tuesday night. Just under 27 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the election.
The Republican said he was surprised he "lost 10,000 votes from last election," and that he thinks the city's mail-in ballot has failed in its objective to expand voter participation.
"We ran a heck of a campaign, but having talked to voters we think there's a problem with vote by mail," Buehler-Garcia said.
Councilman Richard Fimbres led Republican first-timer Mike Polak by nearly as wide a margin, while unchallenged incumbent Councilman Steve Kozachik garnered 93 percent of the vote.
Polak was also critical of mail-in ballots. "It looks like we need to go back to traditional voting. I also think that the change in the polling places that people are used to going to," he said.
Tucson City Council
|Karin Uhlich, Dem.||34708||58%|
|Ben Buehler-Garcia, Rep.||24589||41%|
|Richard Fimbres, Dem.||35464||60%|
|Mike Polak, Rep.||23206||40%|
|Steve Kozachik, Dem.||42398||93%|
|Prop. 401: Base Expenditure Increase||Yes||35186||No||21487|
|Prop. 402: Plan Tucson||Yes||36886||No||19147|
School district propositions
|Sunnyside Prop. 405||Yes||2260||No||2544|
|Catalina Foothills Prop. 406||Yes||3986||No||2420|
|Catalina Foothills Prop. 407||Yes||3827||No||2176|
|Altar Valley Prop 408||Yes||330||No||504|