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Pay bump for mayor & City Council fails as last Tucson ballots are tallied

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Pay bump for mayor & City Council fails as last Tucson ballots are tallied

  • Kevin Dahl, elected to the City Council on Tuesday, wrote the vote count for his race on a white board as it was released.
    Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.comKevin Dahl, elected to the City Council on Tuesday, wrote the vote count for his race on a white board as it was released.

While the results of Tucson's City Council election held up from the early numbers reported last week, and an initiative to raise the minimum wage easily passed, a proposition that would increase the salaries of the mayor and City Council fell short, after it was passing in the first count. City officials released the final tally Monday.

Democrats easily ran the table in last week's Tucson City Council elections, and an initiative to boost the minimum wage for workers in the city was approved by nearly 60 percent of voters.

But a measure to increase the salaries of Tucson's mayor and councilmembers was defeated at the polls, losing by 970 votes after it led by 153 in the preliminary tally released last Tuesday night.

The new member of the Council will be Kevin Dahl, in Ward 3. Incumbents Steve Kozachik and Richard Fimbres were easily elected.

In the race for the open seat in Ward 3, in the Northwest Side of the city, Dahl prevailed in a three-way race. The environmental activist drew on his longtime Democratic Party connections to win with 56 percent of the vote.

The Tucson Minimum Wage Act got nearly 58.7 percent yes votes, while the pay increases for the mayor and members of the Council was seeing 46.88 percent opposed, with 45.81 percent in favor.

About 16,500 ballots in Tucson's city election remained to be reviewed and tabulated after the initial results were released, officials said Wednesday evening. That included ballots dropped off Tuesday, and those that were received via mail on Election Day.

The updated final results were released just after 5 p.m. Monday, to allow time for signature verifications and other checks under Arizona's stringent election security procedures..

The additional ballots, on top of the 73,415 that were tallied by Tuesday night, mean that turnout in the election was about 32 percent.

Prop. 410, which would increase the salary of the mayor from $42,000 to $54,000 and the salary of each member of the Council from $24,000 to $36,000, had 33,893 votes in favor in the results released Tuesday night. Votes against the increase numbered 33,740.

But that shifted, and the measure lost by 970 votes in the final complete count.

Election results

Ward 3

Candidate Votes
Kevin Dahl (D) 50,058
Alan Harwell (R) 26,244
Lucy LiBosha (I) 11,217

Ward 5

Candidate Votes
Richard Fimbres (D) 62,245
Shelley Cross (R - write-in) 3,526

Ward 6

Candidate Votes
Steve Kozachik (D) 56,259
Val Romero (I) 28,446

Prop. 206: Tucson Minimum Wage Act

Yes No

Prop. 410: Mayor & Council Salary Increase

Yes No

Members of the Council are nominated in partisan primary elections by voters in each ward, and then run citywide in the general election.

Turnout in the election was light, with mostly older residents casting votes and about 25 percent of all registered city voters returning ballots before Tuesday in the all-mail election. The additional votes to be counted will increase that percentage to about 32 percent.

Each registered voter in the city was mailed a ballot last month.

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