Durham Cruises To Win in Ward 3 City Council Primary

Democrat Paul Durham won 45 percent of the vote in today's Ward 3 three-way primary in the race to replace Tucson City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich, who is stepping down after three terms.

Durham easily outpaced his Democratic rivals, teacher Felicia Chew (who got 32 percent) and small business owner Tom Tronsdal (who got 22 percent).

Turnout was light across Ward 3, where 5,307 votes had been counted as of 7:51 p.m. Tuesday.

Durham had raised more money and done more mailers than the other candidates, but he won the north-central ward the old-fashioned way: He walked door to door for months and personally asked for votes.

Durham thanked Ward 3 voters in a prepared statement.

"I campaigned on a plan to make Tucson a leader in sustainability and stand up to the Trump administration," he said. "From tonight’s results, it’s clear that the residents of Ward 3 share that vision."

He also thanked Tronsdal and Chew, saying that they "ran great campaigns and deeply care about the issues confronting Tucson. Councilmember Karin Uhlich leaves behind big shoes to fill, but I hope to earn the respect of Tucsonans that she has earned. I look forward to running city-wide this November alongside Councilmembers Richard Fimbres and Steve Kozachik and meeting even more people from every corner of Tucson."

Durham will face independent candidate Gary Watson in the November general election, where both candidates will vie for the support of voters citywide.

The only other primary contest pitted Mike Cease against Michael Oatman in the Ward 6 Green Party race. Cease cruised past Oatman with 64 percent by capturing 51 votes.

Democrat Steve Kozachik is seeking a third term representing the central-city Ward 6 against Cease and Republican Mariano Rodriguez.

Ward 5 Councilman Richard Fimbres will face no opposition as he seeks a third term.