Democratic strife in Tucson Ward One primary

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Bickering and pointing fingers is nothing new in politics. But in one of this year's city council races it's not Republicans versus Democrats, but rather Dems battling each other.

The recent rancor in Washington involved Democrats and Republicans not getting along.

Wednesday in front of the Pima County Democratic headquarters, it was Democrats against Democrats.

"I'm very glad to have the crowd here today and the support we have for my candidacy," said Joe Flores.

Flores is running as a Democrat against incumbent Regina Romero for the Ward One seat on the city council.

He says the Pima County Democratic party chair Jeff Rogers is throwing the party's support and money behind Romero.  Something he claims they are not allowed to do in a primary.

"Jeff Rogers and the executive committee members, who have become dictators, need to let the Democratic voters decide who to vote for," said Flores.

But party staffers don't agree. They claim no rules have been violated.

"Clearly we were in compliance with our bylaws, and there's nothing in the Arizona revised statute that says we can't endorse in the primary," said Pima County Democratic Party staffer Adam Kinsey.


But then the story takes a weird twist.

"He is not sure Democrats see eye to eye on whether I am a bona fide Democrat or a wolf in the sheep's clothing," said Flores during his news conference.

Flores says he's been a Democrat since the 70's and there's no way he's playing for the other team. Still local Democratic leaders believe Flores just has a beef with them.

"What we've got here, honestly, is someone with an axe to grind.  And he absolutely has the right to grind that axe, but we don't have to sit here and take it," said Kinsey.

Primary ballots started being sent out Wednesday.  How this mess gets cleaned up, it looks like the voters will decide.

The executive director of the party says it takes a 75% vote of the committee to endorse a certain candidate. He says the decision to endorse Romero was practically unanimous.