Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath: "For me, life goes on. Actually, my life gets better."
Four incumbents in Oro Valley were swept out of office in favor of a new mayor and three new council members.
Challenger Joe Winfield defeated Mayor Satish Hiremath. With some votes still outstanding, Winfield was leading Hiremath by roughly 1,800 votes.
Winfield says he always knew he would walk away with a victory, though he was surprised at the margin.
“It’s six months of canvassing and going door-to-door, talking with the community,” he said. “I never came away from the canvassing thinking that the community wasn’t looking for a change.”
Over the course of that six months, Winfield said he found residents looking for a new direction for its Town Council, and said he is excited to lead the charge in that new direction.
“The community spoke,” Hiremath said. “They wanted a new direction, and it will be interesting to see what that direction is.”
Hiremath said that he sent an email to the Winfield campaign to congratulate him and wish all the new members of council well on their upcoming time in office.
Though he was disappointed in the election results, Hiremath expressed optimism for his own circumstances.
“It is what it is,” he said.” For me, life goes on. Actually, my life gets better.”
Though several thousand voters did not cast ballots in his favor, Winfield said he would be a mayor for all town residents.
Incumbent council members Mary Snider, Lou Waters and Joe Hornat were also trailing challengers Melanie Barrett, Josh Nicolson and Joyce Jones-Ivey—all of whom are running for the first time.
Each of the challenging candidates holds a lead.
• Melanie Barrett: 6,208 votes (20.04 percent)
• Joyce Jones-Ivey: 5,927 votes (19.13 percent)
• Josh Nicolson: 5,707 (18.42 percent)
• Mary Snider: 4,776 (15.41 percent)
• Lou Waters: 4,270 votes (13.78 percent)
• Joe Hornat: 4,095 votes (13.22 percent)
Winfield also expressed happiness in seeing challenging Town Council candidates Melanie Barrett, Josh Nicolson and Joyce Jones-Ivey win seats on the dais.
“I am just so pleased, I’m thrilled,” he said. “I think—not to overstate it—I think it’s such a good direction for the town.”
Oro Valley residents were also asked to vote on Prop. 462, or “Home Rule.” The council placed the Local Alternative Expenditures Limitation on the ballot as a regular course of action. The limitation allows the town to set its own expenditure limit for the town budget. Prop. 462 appears to have passed: 6,513 "Yes" votes against 3,101 "No" votes.
Meanwhile, in Marana, the incumbents all appear to have hung onto their seats.
Town Council members Patti Comerford, Herb Kai, John Officer and Jon Post were holding leads against challengers Mace Bravin, Jeff Gray and Jack Neubeck.
• Patti Comerford: 4,080 votes (18.67 percent)
• Herb Kai: 3,937 votes (18.01 percent)
• Jon Post: 3,548 votes (16.23 percent)
• John Officer: 3,283 votes (15.02)
• Jack Neubeck: 3,004 votes (13.75 percent)
• Jeff Gray: 2,279 votes (10.43 percent)
• Mace Bravin: 1,724 votes (7.89 percent)
Kai and Post expressed optimism for the town’s future, speaking with Tucson Local Media on election night.
“I’m glad that the residents believe in me, and were going to continue to do a good job on the council going forward,” said Kai.
Post said he is still waiting for final results to be posted, but if appreciative of the support shown so far by residents.
“It really feels good that people seem to really agree with what we’re doing for the town,” Post said.
Comerford and Officer could not be immediately reached for comment.