by Jim Nintzel
The big takeaway: We live in a divided city.
As we suspected, Republican Steve Kozachik pulled off his upset of Democrat Nina Trasoff by driving up turnout on the east side, while Democrats failed to get their voters out on the west and south sides.
That’s been the formula for GOP success in city elections for more than a decade.
Republicans clobbered Democrats in east side Ward 2 and Ward 4, while Democrats whipped Republicans in wards 1, 3, 5 and 6.
Kozachik, who beat incumbent Democratic Councilwoman Nina Trasoff by 1,756 votes citywide, lost his own ward. Kozahick picked up just 40 percent of the vote in midtown Ward 6.
While the final margin that separated Kozachik and Trasoff citywide was close, the margins within the individual wards are big in the Ward 6 race.
In addition to losing Ward 6, Kozachik didn’t fare well in Ward 1 (40 percent), Ward 3 (42 percent) or Ward 5 (38 percent). But in Ward 2, Kozachick captured 61 percent of the vote. In Ward 4, he got 65 percent.
In those two eastside wards, more than 35,700 voters cast ballots, accounting for about 48 percent of the roughly 74,000 votes that were cast in the election.
Citywide turnout was 33 percent, but it was higher
in the east side wards: 35 percent in Ward 4 and 43 percent in Ward 2.
On the south and west sides, turnout was low, which is typical in city elections. In Ward 5, it was a dismal 21 percent. In Ward 1, it was 26 percent.
In Ward 3, 30 percent of voters cast a ballot, while in Ward 6, 39 percent of voters turned out.
The Ward 3 race followed a similar dynamic as the Ward 6 contest. Democratic Councilwoman Uhlich won Ward 1 (58 percent), Ward 3 (55 percent), Ward 5 (59 percent) and Ward 6 (56 percent). It’s interesting to note that Uhlich performed the worst within her own ward, which suggests weakness on the constituent-service front.
Republican Ben Buehler-Garcia won Ward 2 (57 percent) and Ward 4 (60 percent).
Democrat Richard Fimbres, a newcomer to the council, outperformed the incumbent Democrats in every ward, which isn’t surprising, given that he didn’t carry any of the baggage of an incumbent.
Fimbres got 67 percent in Ward 1, 43 percent in Ward 3, 61 percent in Ward 3, 39 percent in Ward 4, 67 percent in Ward 5 and 64 percent in Ward 6.
A full canvass should appear on the city of Tucson’s Web site soon. Here’s the summary of the ward results for those of you who want it: WardCanvass09.pdf