Rex Scott, a public school teacher and principal for 27 years, is a fresh, new Democratic face who has entered the race for Pima County Supervisor in District 1 to challenge failed incumbent Ally Miller.
A towering, friendly figure at 6-foot-5, Scott plans to be a supervisor who is openly available to residents, talks to the media, and attends public forums. “I commit to having frequent public meetings and town halls, and will make myself available to any group about what’s going on in county government,” he said.
This is in stark contrast to Miller, who is a bitter, isolated figure who refuses to speak to news reporters, goes on right-wing fringe radio to insult her colleagues, and has waged a pointless war with the county administrator.
District 1 encompasses Marana, Oro Valley and The Foothills north of River Road. It is a Republican-leaning district with 54,000 Republicans, 46,000 Democrats and importantly — 41,000 independents. Scott plans a grass-roots, door-to-door campaign focusing on independent voters and “persuadable Republicans.” To this end, Scott has a hidden asset.
Scott, age 56, has been a registered voter for 38 years. However the first 19 of those years he was a moderate Republican in Ohio, and served as such on the Athens, OH, city council. “When I was a city councilman, I sponsored an ordinance protecting sexual orientation in public housing. I was always very green, we started curbside recycling service. I was always pro-choice and pro-public education,” he says.
He moved to Pima County in 1991 and quit the Republican party in 2000 as it was veering to the right. Scott registered as a Democrat in 2004 in Arizona. “I’m going after persuadable Republicans. I’m not going to leave any voter off the table,” he says. “I have name recognition in those Republican areas. As a person who had an “R” after their name, I can appeal to people who want a supervisor who represents Republicanism as they remember it.”
A former teacher, Scott has held the following school leadership positions from 2000-2019:
- Assistant Principal at Doolen Middle School in TUSD from 2000-2002
- Principal of Howenstine High School in TUSD from 2002-2004
- Assistant Principal at Ironwood Ridge High School in Amphi from 2004-2009
- Principal of Catalina High School in TUSD from 2009-2014
- Principal of Tortolita Middle School in Marana from 2014-2019
Both Ironwood Ridge and Tortolita are schools within District 1. Now retired, Scott volunteers as a counselor in Mountain View High School.
Service and results
“Being a school leader has prepared me well to be a county supervisor. Supervisors are supposed to set policy and provide direction for the Pima County government, comparable what we expect of principals. Principals are supposed to be responsive to the needs of constituents — that is, the students — crafting and executing policy,” he says.
Scott says his two big themes are service and results. “You have a right to expect that a public official will give selfless service and produce results for the people you represent, responding to their needs, whether it’s helping an individual navigate the bureaucracy or serving the overall needs of the community with law enforcement, roads, and parks.”
Scott will be a breath of fresh air compared to incumbent Ally Miller, who serves only zealots in the Pima County Tea Party, which she founded. Her public campaign consists of road signs featuring a 20-year old photo of herself. Miller has accomplished nothing in office, regularly voting against the county budget and pursuing a plan to fix county roads that has garnered little support. She is best known for saying, “I am WHITE – and proud of it! No apologies necessary” after a Nazi used a car to murder a protestor at a rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017.
In other news, substitute teacher Jeff Farrell also filed as a Democratic candidate for the District 1 seat.