Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Regina Romero likely to become the first Latina and the first woman to serve as Tucson’s mayor

Regina Romero, a councilwoman in Tucson, Arizona, beat back two Democratic challengers to become the party’s mayoral candidate and be in position to potentially become the first Latina and the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor.

Romero, 44, who was also the first Latina elected to the city council, will face an independent candidate in the Nov. 5 election. On Tuesday, she won almost 49.5 percent of the votes, while her main challenger Steve Farley got 37.7 percent and Randi Dorman finished with 12 percent.

While Arizona has historically been dominated by Republicans, Tucson is known as a relatively safe Democratic stronghold. Tucson has had a Latino mayor before; in 1875 Mexican American businessman Estevan Ochoa was elected mayor of the city when Arizona was still a territory.

Romero, according to her city of Tucson biography, is the youngest of six children and the first in her family to vote. She is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and is an Arizona native.

She most recently has been working as the director of Latino engagement at the Tucson-based Center of Biological Diversity, an environmental and wildlife conservation organization. On her campaign site, she states that she is running because “we all deserve a safe, clean, just, and sustainable city that provides economic opportunity to all working families.”

CHISPA’s Vianey Olivarria said the group’s PAC backed Romero’s mayoral bid and worked on her behalf to improve her name recognition and spread word about her experience in community service and her work on the city council. “We support a candidate that puts community and environment first,” the PAC said in a July endorsement.