Council Race Picks and Predictions

Tomorrow is the big day for our intrepid candidates for City Council, as their fates will be decided by the people of Tucson.

There are only two real races since Councilman-for-Life Steve Leal’s opponent, Vernon Walker, self destructed early in the game. They are the Ward III race in which Democrat Karin Uhlich is challenging incumbent Republican Kathleen Dunbar, and the Ward VI race in which Democrat Nina Trasoff is challenging incumbent Republican Fred Ronstadt.

So who ought to win, and why? From my perspective, both races provide the opportunity to pick a Hardshell Socialist or a Softshell Socialist. No wonder people stay away from the polls in droves during local contests. So, if you have been paying attention, and feel duty-bound to participate, you might consider the Softshells as they are not hell-bent on depriving you of your assets and your rights. Are there no other criteria you ask? Well, yes there are. Both Softshells have records of excellent on-the-job performance that are free of huge blunders and scandals – this has made the jobs of the challengers extremely difficult, and is no doubt a factor in the contentious nature of the campaigns. The Hardshells, while dynamic women of accomplishment, have no experience in elective office, or government in general – unknown entities as far as the councilman job is concerned. These other criteria support the Softshell choice. Consider voting for Dunbar and Ronstadt.

So who will win, and why? The real question is: How did the Republicans get to be incumbents in the first place? Given the overwhelmingly greater number of registered Democrats than registered Republicans, it’s astounding that a Republican has ever been elected to anything in this city. The plain truth is that most registered voters vote their party. The Republican victories were a result of favorable turnout and crossover. The crossover factor was, and will be, determined by the quality of the Republican candidates (you could argue that Fred’s family name helped him initially, but that does not reach past the first term). Turnout will be the deciding factor this time, and the Democrats know it. You can bet a case of Lake City Match Grade .308 ammunition that they’re devoting vast resources to getting fellow Democrats to the polls. The indefatigable Green Party activist Katie Bolger is heading the effort for Karin Uhlich, and advising the Trasoff campaign. Katie is a dedicated hard worker, and is certainly a heap big asset. I fear for the Softshells. I predict a victory for both Trasoff and Uhlich.

Oh yeah! The “Home Rule” proposition to raise the State imposed spending limit for the City of Tucson, you know, the limit that already increases automatically to accommodate inflation and population growth? Har-har-har, guffaw, guffaw. They’re kidding…right?

By the way, if you care to augment the election coverage offered by your humble sevant, check out the Tucson Weekly. Jim Nintzel has been providing the best in-depth coverage.