City Elections 2011: Romero vs. Ortega?

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Democrat Miguel Ortega, who lost his bid for Tucson Unified School Board two months ago, is now weighing a run against Ward 1 Councilwoman Regina Romero in this year’s primary election.

“I’m interested,” Ortega tells The Range. “I’m considering it. I’m talking to folks.”

Ortega is a familiar face around City Hall; he worked as chief of staff for Ward 3 Councilwoman Karin Uhlich before quitting last year before launching his school board bid.

Ortega was upset with Romero, who is wrapping her first term representing her westside ward, after she declined to endorse him in the TUSD race. Even though there were two seats up for grabs on the school board, Romero only endorsed one candidate: Adelita Grijalva, daughter of Congressman Raul Grijalva.

Romero is married to Ruben Reyes, an aide to Congressman Grijalva.

Ortega says he’s grown disenchanted with Grijalva, especially after the congressman called for a boycott of Arizona and endorsed former Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman in last year’s U.S. Senate race.

He says Democrats shouldn’t all be expected to walk “in lockstep” behind leadership.

“I wasn’t lockstep with (Uhlich), I was not lockstep with Regina, but I think they did good work in some areas,” Ortega says. “We just really need to have a serious discussion about our local democracy and our Democratic Party. It only helps your party when you have more fruitful discussions.”

Ortega says he'll make a decision about his campaign in the next few weeks.

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