November 5, 2019 / Modified nov 5, 2019 10:43 p.m.

Democrats sweep Tucson City Council elections

Early results show the Democrats with 20,000-vote leads over their Republican and Green rivals.

City Hall Tucson City Hall
Nick O'Gara/AZPM

Three City Council seats were up for grabs on election night, and the Democrats took them all. The party has had complete control over Tucson for four years, and on Tuesday it won two more years.

Ward 1 candidate Lane Santa Cruz was elected to succeed Democrat Regina Romero, who won the race for mayor. Santa Cruz campaigned on battling gentrification in Tucson's historically Latino neighborhoods. She defeated Republican Sam Nagy and Green Party candidate Matthew Smith.

Incumbent Paul Cunningham was elected to a third term. He’s been on the council representing Ward 2 since being appointed in 2010. He defeated Republican Ewart Williams and Green Party candidate William Peterson.

Democrat Nikki Lee was elected to succeed Democrat Shirley Scott in Ward 4. Lee defeated Republican Michael Hicks and Green Party candidate Cara Bissell. Lee campaigned on sustainability, pledging to invest in water conservation and renewable energy.

Tucson council elections are citywide, meaning all voters can choose candidates in each ward. Early vote counts show all the Democrats with around a 20,000-vote lead over their Republican rivals.

Pima County Republicans chair David Eppihimer said the party, which is outnumbered by Democrats 2-1 in Tucson, will work to build on gains it made last night.

“We made some bigger vote totals in some wards than we’ve ever gotten before. And that shows that you can move the needle. And if you’re moving the needle you can maybe get it eventually over on your side.”

Ward 1Updated Nov 12, 2019   2:51 P.M.

Candidate % Votes
Sam NagySam Nagy REP 37.24% 36,836
Lane Santa CruzLane Santa Cruz DEM 57.76% 57,124
Matthew SmithMatthew Smith GRN 4.87% 4,819

Ward 2Updated Nov 12, 2019   2:51 P.M.

Candidate % Votes
Paul CunninghamPaul Cunningham DEM 59.98% 59,513
   William PetersonWilliam Peterson GRN 5.38% 5,337
Ewart Williams Jr.Ewart Williams Jr. REP 34.52% 34,251

Ward 4Updated Nov 12, 2019   2:51 P.M.

Candidate % Votes
Cara BissellCara Bissell GRN 4.83% 4,790
Michael HicksMichael Hicks REP 37.57% 37,254
Nikki LeeNikki Lee DEM 57.50% 57,013
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