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The city of Tucson is mailing ballots to all registered voters starting today. (If you need more information about who's running for mayor or the three city council seats up this year, check out our city elections page online.)

Like the primary election in Aug., Tucson's Nov. 8 general election will be conducted entirely by mail. Watch the mail for your ballot in the coming days.

Tucson isn't the only jurisdiction with a question for voters this fall. Several school districts have board elections or budget override requests.

North of the Gila River there's a recall election Nov. 8 for Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce. He faces opponent, and fellow Republican, Jerry Lewis. A third candidate dropped out of that race earlier this month.


Mark Kelly, retired astronaut and husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is in the running for the Mustached American of the Year award. The American Mustache Institute is putting Kelly in the running for the top mustache of the year.

Some of the others in the race for the Goulet Award include Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin.

According to the American Mustache Institute, the award is not for the best mustache, but instead, “recognizes the person best contributing to the Mustached American lifestyle over the past year.”

The winner of the online vote will be announced October 28th in Chicago.


Democrat Jonathan Rothschild leads Republican Rick Grinnell in the race for Tucson Mayor, according to a poll the Pima County Democratic Party recently conducted.

The results peg Rothschild at 49 percent of the voters surveyed, to Grinnell's 32 percent. Green Mary DeCamp got 4 percent of the votes in the poll.

The party hired Global Strategy Group to do the poll, which has done work for a number of Democrats and Democrat committees, including U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva.

The firm surveyed 400 city residents who are likely to vote in the election. The results were taken Oct. 10 through Oct. 12, and the margin of error is 4.9 percent. The wording of the questions was not included in a news release from the Pima County Democratic Party.

The results showing Rothschild ahead are indicative of the city's voter registration trends. Recent city voter registration numbers show 44 percent of registered voters in Tucson are Democrats, and 25 percent of registered voters in the city are Republicans. The Green Party has less than one percent of the registered voters in Tucson.

Jonathan Rothschild Mary DeCamp Rick Grinnell Tucson mayor,


(Editor's note: This blog posting duplicates an Arizona Week Notebook blog posting of this same date.)

Republicans say the Arizona Constitution relegates competitiveness to a subordinate position as a factor in how congressional and legislative district boundaries are drawn.

Democrats say the constitution makes competitiveness equal to other requirements in redistricting.

A 2009 Arizona Supreme Court ruling supports the Democratic position.

In a case called Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the court ruled that competitiveness in redistricting is not "less mandatory than the other goals" nor can it "be relegated to a secondary role."

The court said it is equal to three other goals -- that districts be geographically compact and contiguous, that they respect communities of interest and that district lines use visible geographic features, city, town and county boundaries and undivided census tracts.

In all four instances, the court said, those goals are both mandatory and conditional, dependent upon one another and the judgments of the five members of the redistricting commission.

What is required is that they all be considered and applied in the drawing of district boundaries.

The commission's draft maps for nine congressional and 30 legislative districts are now in the public comment phase, which runs through Nov. 5.

Officials of both major political parties are having their say on the maps, mostly criticizing the commission's work as missing the mark on one point or another. Watch Arizona Week Episode 40 here for the gist of each party's argument.

Arizona Democratic Party Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting Arizona Republican Party Arizona Supreme Court,


This week we had all three candidates for Tucson Mayor into our studios for a special edition of Arizona Illustrated. While we spent a half hour on air with the candidates, it is amazing is how much more there is to talk about in this race.

While Green Mary DeCamp, Republican Rick Grinnell and Democrat Jonathan Rothschild answered our questions about the city budget, the search for a new city manager, and the future of Rio Nuevo, we planned to ask them about an assortment of other issues.

We thought you'd also like to know what they thought about the new rules for audience members addressing the city council, or what they think is the city's role -- and responsibility -- for local economic development. We wanted to ask them to weigh in on privatizing city services, and funding for outside agencies.

That just goes to show a Mayoral race is worth more than a half-hour of your attention. If you missed the forum, watch it here.

Your ballot will arrive in the mail sometime next week, and if you didn't do your homework yet, you can check out all the candidates for Mayor and three city council seats on our AZPM city elections website.

Jonathan Rothschild Mary DeCamp Rick Grinnell Tucson mayor,


Congresswoman Michelle Bachman is heading to the state Capitol on Monday to meet with members of the state Senate as well as Congressman Trent Franks, and Sheriff Larry Dever.

An official with the state Senate says Bachman asked for the meeting so she could learn more about border enforcement.

About Political Buzz

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