Possible challenge for Tucson mayor

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- There's a new name in the race for Tucson mayor. After weeks of speculation that Democrat Jonathan Rothschild would run virtually unopposed, businessman Rick Grinnell announced his candidacy as a republican write-in candidate Tuesday.

Grinnell promises to tell it like it is.

"I think people really wanted a choice," said Grinnell.

Not shy to discuss how he thunks he's changed the race for mayor. He says this election, voters care about one thing.

"Second issue's the economy.  Third issue's the economy.  If we don't have the money we don't have the resources," said Grinnell.

As a write-in candidate, Grinnell will need 1,060 write-in votes in the August primary, to secure the GOP nomination.

And with the switch to an all vote-by-mail election, one political expert says.  He expects Grinnell to hit that magic number and more.

"It should be a piece of cake if there's any degree of organization in the Republican party."

But with the Pima County GOP busy trying to control infighting within the party, how organized they can get by August could be a cause for concern.

Tucson's only republican council member, Steve Kozachik, hopes Grinnell makes it on the ballot.

"These two guys now need to get in he ring, get the gloves on and see who's the last man standing," said Kozachik.

Before Tuesday, it had largely been a one man race.

"Well there hasn't been a race this has been a presumed coronation of Jonathan Rothschild," said Grinnell.

But now voters get to watch a political battle play out for the right to replace Mayor Bob Walkup.

"We need a contest.  The people deserve a contest," said Kozachik.

At Rothschild headquarters the perceived front runner has no problem with a tough race.

"Assuming this guy gets on the ballot, I welcome a good debate," said Rothschild.

And Rick Grinnell says he's ready for a debate.

"I spent the last twenty years in the trenches if you will," said Grinnell.

Voters get their chance to vote in the primaries on August 30. And this year, the elections will be all vote-by-mail, except for several polling places open on election day.