Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Robert Robuck of Sahuarita has completed the trifecta of candidates readying to run against incumbents on the Pima County Board of Supervisors in the Democratic primary.
Robuck announced his candidacy today to run against Ramon Valadez of District 2. He joins former Pima County Democratic Party Chair Donna Branch-Gilby, who announced her intention to run against Supervisor Sharon Bronson in January (along with Republican Barney Brenner, who lost to Bronson in 2000), and former two-term Tucson City Councilman and legislator Bruce Wheeler, who announced in March that he was giving serious consideration of running against Supervisor Richard Elias.
While Branch-Gilby and Wheeler say their platforms focus on election-integrity issues and bad fiscal policy, Robuck says his platform hits closer to home.
He's been a Sahuarita resident since 2003 and has become an active opponent of the proposed Rosemont Mine, especially after he and several neighbors discovered their water wells were temporarily depleted after the proposed mine's parent company, Augusta Resource Corporation, began drilling for water on nearby property.
Robuck plans to be at the Forest Service open house regarding Rosemont tonight at 6 p.m. at the Sahuarita High School Cafeteria, 350 W. Sahuarita Road, to pass out information on the water problems Rosemont will cause in his community, and to get the word out on his campaign.
What fuels his campaign is the fact that Pima County requested Augusta to do a hydrology study on the mine property--but no hydrology study at any of the residential properties where Augusta will drill for water.
The day after he and neighbors complained, Augusta received a 6,000-acre-feet water permit for 20 years from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. When he called the county, he says he was told that, basically, Sahuarita is a low-income area with little resources or voice.
"One of the wells they have off Santa Rita Road is 1,300 feet deep," Robuck says, adding that when it was pumped, the water table went down more than 22 feet. "Most people have wells here that are only 200 feet deep."
When asked if he understood the history of the District 2 office--and the South Tucson political machine often referred to as Eckstrom Democrats--Robuck says he understands what he's up against.
"I realize I'm the underdog, but I still want to run," Robuck says. "Someone has to run against him. Someone with some common sense. ... (The supervisors) are asleep at the wheel."