This November, Tucson, Arizona has the opportunity to make history by electing its first Latina — and, actually, its first woman — into office as mayor. Arizona-born Regina Romero, the daughter of Mexican migrant farmworkers, has just clinched the Democratic nomination with nearly 50 percent of the vote, handily beating out two other candidates. Romero describes herself as “pro-child, pro-environment, pro-education, and pro-choice” candidate who will be a champion for working families. She has eschewed corporate funding, instead relying on the power of the people to advance her inspiring campaign.
Announcing her run this past January, she laid out her main goals: “I am prepared to fight for what is right for working families, provide a safe, clean and environmentally sustainable city with access to economic opportunity for everyone.” That means fighting for higher wages, implementing a climate resiliency plan, and supporting the growth of small businesses.
Having served as the city’s first Latina councilmember — a position she has held for over a decade — Romero has plenty of experience under her belt. She helped to guide Tucson through a period of economic growth; in her role as mayor, she hopes to continue this trajectory by collaborating with the local community as a way to preserve the city’s rich heritage. Despite having been a historically bicultural community, the city has only had one Latino in mayoral office: Estevan Ochoa, back in 1875, prior to Arizona’s statehood.
“So we have the possibility of, besides electing the first woman mayor, electing the second Mexican-American mayor in the city of Tucson in 150 years,” she told the Arizona Daily Star. But despite the historic precedent her election will set, Romero is very matter-of-fact about what her being mayor means. “Those facts are just frosting on the cake. The cake is my experience, my qualifications, the vision, the issues that I care about and I stand for. That’s the cake. The frosting is the fact that we’ve never elected a woman mayor in the city of Tucson.”
Romero will be up against her opponent Ed Ackerley, who is running as an Independent. With the strong engagement and support of groups like Chispa AZ and Mi Familia Vota — and the fact that Tucson usually is a Democratic town — you can expect to see Romero pulling through for a win without too much trouble.