Tucson City Council & Mayoral candidate forum at YWCA of Southern Arizona


City of Tucson Council Wards 1, 2, and 4 and the Mayor’s office are up for election on Nov. 5, 2019:


Meet the candidates at this upcoming forum on Sept. 26.


Independent Ed Ackerley, political newcomer

Green Mike Cease, ran for Ward 6 Council in 2017

Democrat Regina Romero, Ward 1 Councilmember (3 terms)

Ward 1:
Republican Sam Nagy, political newcomer

Democrat Lane Santa Cruz, political newcomer

Green Mathew Smith, political newcomer

Ward 2:
Democrat Councilmember Paul Cunningham, incumbent (2 terms)

Green William Peterson, political newcomer

Republican Ewart Williams, political newcomer

Ward 4:

Green Cara Bissell, political newcomer,

Republican Michael Hicks, former TUSD Board member

Democrat Nikki Lee, ran for LD 10 House in 2018

Vote wisely on or before Nov. 5, 2019.


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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. This forum tonight started off with the Council candidates, all 8 present except for Mathew Smith in Ward 1. Selected responses of 3 each were heard from the questions asked, so not representative of all the candidates. Prepared questions were what is unique about your ward, how find balance between economic development with sustainable Old Pueblo culture & environment, what are new ways to partner with local educators & organizations to support & improve workplace pipeline? Audience questions to the Council candidates were how reach out to youth in underserved populations, do you agree/disagree with ACLU of AZ statement in support of Prop. 205, that there is” deep seated problem with racial profiling”(including TPD), how address climate change in the community. Lane Santa Cruz said she was in support of Prop. 205.
    Then the 3 Mayoral candidates answered questions: same question about economic development and Old Pueblo culture, same question about workforce pipeline, do you support City’s relationship with Mexico? Questions from audience were if they supported last week’s youth in their climate march/strike, how to fix the City’s roads, how address homelessness and substance abuse.
    Candidate Ackerley’s nephew former LD 2 Rep. Chris Ackerley also present, along with 75 people.

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