Political reporter Christopher Conover at AZ Public Media had a good report (see above link) about the recent AZ Supreme Court ruling in favor of the City of Tucson’s city-wide, partisan elections (the only city left in the state with this system). In 2009 then – LD 30 State Senator Jonathan Paton (R) pushed through legislation which the Governor signed, to stop this practice, which has been in place via Tucson’s City Charter (and duly voted upon by the City voters). The City of Tucson appealed that legislation. It was a matter of local control by a City vs. whether the State Legislature could overrule the choice by City voters.
Consequently, with this ruling that 2009 law will not go into effect after all, and the next City election in Nov. 2013 will remain partisan (Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, etc.) and the Councilmembers will run city-wide, though they have to live in their respective wards.
One argument against city-wide elections is the case of when a Councilmember can be elected by a majority of the voters of the City of Tucson, but lose in his/her own respective ward. But the argument for city-wide elections is that the 6 Councilmembers vote on issues affecting the entire City of Tucson.
Who’s up for election in 2013: Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich (D), Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres (D), and Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik (R).
Karin was first elected in 2005, and both Richard and Steve were elected in 2009.