July 18, 2019 / Modified jul 19, 2019 9:09 a.m.

Four Democrats running for open city council seat

The candidates will face off in the August primary for Ward 1, on the city's west side.

Ward 1 dem Tucson 2019 Ward 1 Democratic candidates. From left, Rob Elias, Sami Hamed, Miguel Ortega and Lane Santa Cruz.
Photos courtesy of candidates

The Buzz

Ward 1 Candidates

NPR

For the first time in more than a decade, Tucson’s Ward 1 City Council seat is up for grabs. Four Democrats are running to fill the seat left open by Regina Romero, who is running for mayor. Ward 1 encompasses the city’s west side.

They’ll face off in the August primary. The Buzz asked all of them similar questions to give voters the best look at who will represent them.

Map of Tucson city wards

Ward boundaries from City of Tucson open data.

Hear from the candidates

Lane Santa Cruz

Lane Santa Cruz is a community activist who spent time working in the Ward 1 office as an aide to Regina Romero.

Miguel Ortega

Miguel Ortega is a media consultant and aide to former city councilwoman Karin Ulich.

Rob Elias

Rob Elias is a former banker and professional baseball player who now works for the Tucson Botanical Garden.

Sami Hamed

Sami Hamed is a former staffer for Congressman Raúl Grijalva.

The winner of the August primary will move on to the November election. Sam Nagy is running as a Republican write-in candidate. If he gets 84 primary votes, he'll face the Democratic winner in November. Otherwise, the primary-winning Democrat will be uncontested in the general election.

In Tucson city elections, primaries are ward-only, but all voters can vote for representatives in all wards in the general election.

The Buzz
The Buzz airs Fridays at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. on NPR 89.1. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and NPR One. See more from The Buzz.
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