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Retired Navy Capt. and astronaut Mark Kelly says he has been approached about running for Congress.

For now, Kelly says, he won't spend much time thinking about that possibility, because he is focused on helping his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, recover from the gunshot wound she took to the head on Jan. 8.

When we interviewed Kelly in the suburban Houston home where he and Giffords are living during her rehabilitation, he was insistent on his priority -- "motivator in chief" for his wife, as he put it.

Yet, he spoke with intelligence and clarity about issues near and dear to Giffords and said he has sat in on some of her congressional office briefings and is following the issues along with her.

He declined to absolutely rule out a run for political office.

In the interview, Kelly said there's a need for more balance in politics.

"It would be nice to move back towards more moderate politics and, to be honest, more moderate politicians, more people in the middle," Kelly said in the interview. "But civility in politics and being able to listen to your opponent and try to understand where they 're coming from is really important.

"I think you see a lot of people that don't want to have a discussion. They just want to be on transmit and not the receive mode."

Is that a hint that Kelly wants to have a discussion, perhaps as a candidate?

Gabrielle Giffords Mark Kelly political civility,


Most of the incumbent Pima County supervisors are running for reelection in 2012, according to county election records. But Republican Ann Day announced this year she's not seeking another term in her northwest side District 1.

The open seat has attracted interest from members of both parties, with three official candidates so far, and two considering a run.

Republican Matt Caldwell is running for the seat. Ally Miller is also in the race as a Republican, she may be recognizable to some Pima residents as the person who started a recall campaign against Democrat Supervisor Sharon Bronson. Republican Stuart McDaniel is filed as a candidate, he worked on Jesse Kelly's congressional campaign in 2010.

State Rep. Vic Williams, the Republican representing Legislative District 26, is considering running for the seat. He already represents many of the same voters, as the legislative district overlaps significantly with the county supervisor district.

Former State Rep. Nancy Young Wright is also exploring a run in the district, though she's the only Democrat so far showing interest. Like Williams, she represented Legislative District 26 before she lost her bid for reelection last year.

Incumbent Republican Ray Carroll is running for reelection in District 4, as are incumbent Democrats Sharon Bronson in District 3, and Richard Elias in District 5. Though he has not yet filed paperwork to become a candidate, Democrat Ramón Valadez said he plans to seek reelection in his District 2.

Ally Miller Ann Day Matt Caldwell Nancy Young Wright Stuart McDaniel Vic Williams,


Voter turnout was higher this year in the city of Tucson election than two years ago, but voters didn't turnout in consistently higher numbers throughout the city.

Here's the voter turnout difference from 2009 to 2011, according to a newsletter Councilman Richard Fimbres sent his constituents:

Ward 1: 26.9 percent increase Ward 2: 8.9 percent increase Ward 3: 17.2 percent increase Ward 4: 16 percent increase Ward 5: 34.7 percent increase Ward 6: 6.4 percent increase

The largest increase came in a ward that didn't have its councilmember up for reelection, Ward 5, as did the smallest increase, in Ward 6.

Tucson election voter turnout,


A press release sent from the Carmona campaign announcing the endorsements quotes all six members of the Tucson City Council, including lone Republican Steve Kozachik.

Kozachik, wrote, “I know Dr. Carmona as a man of integrity, a high achiever, a man of compassion for the underserved and a man who has been giving back to the Tucson and Pima County for decades. Since he is running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, from a political standpoint, I don't have a dog in that fight. 
 And yet, from the standpoint of wanting to see a person emerge from that primary who I believe would best represent us with a set of values that very much mirror my own, I most certainly have a dog in that fight. Dr. Carmona is Southern Arizona's own local hero. I'm honored to be associated with a person of his caliber.”

In recent weeks, Carmona has received plenty of national attention as he jumped into the race. Some of those stories include rumors that President Obama was involved in the courting of Carmona.

The field of candidates trying to replace retiring US Senator Jon Kyl (R) is becoming crowded. The race marks the first time in nearly two decades that Arizona voters have faced an open Senate seat.

Carmona Senate Tucson,


Gould is exploring a run for Congress but some have questioned whether or not that action violates Arizona’s resign to run law. The issue arose after Gould filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. Others, including state Senator Frank Antenori (R-Pima County) are also exploring congressional runs but instead filed their paperwork with the IRS.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s office oversees elections. Officials with Secretary of State’s office say Gould has in fact not violated the law by filing with the FEC. They say Arizona election law even lets a candidate collect petitions and not be forced to resign from their current office.

Arizona’s resign to run law does not apply to elected officials who are in the final year of their term.

Arizona Congress elections,


State lawmakers say fund sweeps and a decrease in state shared revenue is a thing of the past. But Kelly Gottschalk, the City of Tucson’s Chief Financial Officer says the budget situation in Tucson is still far from rosy.

Gottschalk says City revenues are stable and she also believes that revenue drops have bottomed out. However, she says the next fiscal year will still see budget cuts. The reason for that is increasing costs on things like pensions and medical insurance are outpacing the increases in revenue.

City of Tucson officials are encouraging people to shop locally this holiday season as a way of increasing sales tax revenue in local coffers.

Tucson budget,

About Political Buzz

News, commentary, analysis from the AZPM political team: Christopher Conover, Andrea Kelly, Michael Chihak.