City elections coming soon

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Now that the budget process is done, all eyes shift to upcoming city elections. Three council seats plus the mayor's office all up for grabs.

Let the campaigning begin.

"This campaign is going to be about economic recovery," said Tucson Councilwoman Regina Romero.

"No doubt it's going to be a tough race," said candidate Joe Flores.

The websites are up, the mailers are ready to go, and so are the candidates.

"She hasn't been doing the work that needs to be done," said Flores

"This go around I have 3 and half years of experience under my belt," said Romero.

Councilwoman Regina Romero is just one of three council members fighting to win over voters again.

Paul Cunningham and Shirley Scott are also vying to keep their seats around the table.

And Mayor Bob Walkup is calling it quits.

Despite all these openings, candidates have been slow to jump in the race.

"Anyone who's thinking about running for public office is waiting a while until things get better," said retired U of A professor Peter Goudinoff.

Political analyst Peter Goudinoff says it's all about the economy.

"It's tough to get good candidates to run in this type of environment," said Goudinoff.

But its exactly this type of environment that Romero says makes her the best choice for voters.

"Having that experience qualifies me even more to continue the job," said Romero.

Romero points to a list of accomplishments that have helped secure Tucson's future.

She says she has a history of hard work for families and neighborhoods.

But the man who wants her job, Joe Flores, says it's a history of failure.

"You can't just go wild with money you don't have," said Flores.

Despite taxpayer frustration, Goudinoff says this year's election will be relatively uneventful.

There's just not enough high profile names to change the makeup of the council.

"I don't see any incumbent council person being in jeopardy," said Goudinoff.

Nonetheless, Romero plans to fight for every vote.

"I'm not going to take anyone lightly.  I think it's important we get our message out there.  And we're well prepared to run a good campaign," said Flores.

And as for Flores' game plan.

"I'm going to be knocking on doors talking to people," said Flores.

The rest is up to the voters on Aug. 30.

And this year, elections will be conducted completely by mail after council members approved the change late last month.