Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath: "For me, life goes on. Actually, my life gets better."
Four incumbents in Oro Valley were swept out of office in favor of a new mayor and three new council members.
Challenger Joe Winfield defeated Mayor Satish Hiremath. With some votes still outstanding, Winfield was leading Hiremath by roughly 1,800 votes.
Winfield says he always knew he would walk away with a victory, though he was surprised at the margin.
“It’s six months of canvassing and going door-to-door, talking with the community,” he said. “I never came away from the canvassing thinking that the community wasn’t looking for a change.”
Over the course of that six months, Winfield said he found residents looking for a new direction for its Town Council, and said he is excited to lead the charge in that new direction.
“The community spoke,” Hiremath said. “They wanted a new direction, and it will be interesting to see what that direction is.”
Hiremath said that he sent an email to the Winfield campaign to congratulate him and wish all the new members of council well on their upcoming time in office.
Though he was disappointed in the election results, Hiremath expressed optimism for his own circumstances.
“It is what it is,” he said.” For me, life goes on. Actually, my life gets better.”
Though several thousand voters did not cast ballots in his favor, Winfield said he would be a mayor for all town residents.
Incumbent council members Mary Snider, Lou Waters and Joe Hornat were also trailing challengers Melanie Barrett, Josh Nicolson and Joyce Jones-Ivey—all of whom are running for the first time.
Each of the challenging candidates holds a lead.
• Melanie Barrett: 6,208 votes (20.04 percent)
• Joyce Jones-Ivey: 5,927 votes (19.13 percent)
• Josh Nicolson: 5,707 (18.42 percent)
• Mary Snider: 4,776 (15.41 percent)
• Lou Waters: 4,270 votes (13.78 percent)
• Joe Hornat: 4,095 votes (13.22 percent)
Winfield also expressed happiness in seeing challenging Town Council candidates Melanie Barrett, Josh Nicolson and Joyce Jones-Ivey win seats on the dais.
“I am just so pleased, I’m thrilled,” he said. “I think—not to overstate it—I think it’s such a good direction for the town.”
Americans for Prosperity – AZ is a non-profit that encourages local officials to hold the line against budget and tax hikes, and to avoid growing government budgets and property tax levies faster than the rate of growth of the private economy.
Each year, they prepare a scorecard to grade local officials on overall budgets, property tax levies and major sales tax changes. They also have a cumulative version that includes yearly scores for current officials going back to the 2007 calendar year, as well as cumulative averages.