by Jim Nintzel
Today is the first day that candidates for this year’s city election can file their nominating petitions with the city—and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild plans to celebrate by dropping of the maximum number of signatures as well as all the paperwork to max out the city’s matching-funds program.
The signature part demonstrates solid campaign organization, but the fact that the mayor has already raised enough money—$115,838.65—to qualify for the maximum amount of public dollars is unprecedented in city politics.
That means Rothschild—a Democrat who first won the mayor’s office four years ago—doesn’t have to do any more fundraising for his campaign as the amount he’s already raised (provided he passes an audit) will be doubled by Tucson taxpayers. And because he signed a contract to participate in the city’s matching-funds program, he can’t spend any more than $231,677.30. (At least of right now; city officials will determine the final limit in July.)
The question remains as to whether he’ll have to spend very much at all. With the clock ticking—nominating petitions are due by May 27—the Republican Party has yet to field a candidate.