Both incumbents on the Oro Valley Town Council have been defeated in their bids for re-election.

Mayor Paul Loomis and Councilman K.C. Carter did not advance to the general election ballot from the March 9 primary election, according to results posted on the Pima County Elections Department Web site.

One candidate for council, Mary Snider, was elected outright in the primary after receiving votes on more than 50 percent of the ballots cast.

Loomis received the fewest votes, 2,988, in the three-way race for mayor, leaving top vote-getters Mike Zinkin (4,094 votes) and Satish Hiremath (3,531 votes) to compete for the mayor's post in May.

"The results were interesting," Loomis said. "They certainly were disappointing."

Loomis would not say if he intended to endorse either of the remaining contestants, but did offer a commentary on the election results.

"They (the mayor candidates) offer a relatively clear choice as what I see as no-growth versus controlled growth," Loomis said.

Loomis plans to serve out his term, which expires on June 2. He noted that during his nearly 12 years as mayor, Oro Valley has undergone substantial change.

When Loomis took office in 1998, the town's population was about 25,000. Today, estimates put the town at nearly 45,000 people.

The town has grown in other ways as well.

"(In 1998) we had just approved the development plans for Target. We didn't have the retail that we have now," Loomis said.

In the intervening years, Loomis notes, the town has made a transition from one dependent upon construction-related taxes to fund government services, to one that today more relies upon retail activities and sales taxes.

In cooperation with fellow council members and other regional governments, the town also has taken steps to preserve historical and environmental assets, the mayor noted.

"We protected Honey Bee Canyon all the way up to its source," Loomis said.

He also counted as a success a settlement reached with Tucson Water in 2000 that cleared the way the way for the town's reclaimed water projects, and its efforts at tapping into the Central Arizona Project water system.

Despite the voters' decision to move ahead without him, Loomis said he's optimistic about the future.

"We do have a great town and great employees," he said.

Loomis said he plans to remain active in the town and would extend his guidance to whoever wins the mayoral contest.

In the contest for three seats on the town council, two-term councilman Carter came in second to last, ahead of candidate Mark Finchem.

With Snider's election, that leaves candidates Lou Waters, Joe Hornat, Don Emmons and Matthew Rabb in the running for two open seats.

"I'm not feeling bad about it, I've done my job," Carter said.

In a bit of advice to incoming council members, Carter said they should be careful of what they promise voters while on the campaign trail.

"You can't promise anything when you're one vote," Carter said.

The councilman also told candidates that making the decisions that affect the community isn't always as easy as it seems when watching from the outside.

"Sometimes you have to vote on something you really don't want to but you have to for the betterment of the town," Carter said.

He also admonished incoming members to learn and understand the state's open meeting laws.

Candidate Snider received 6,683 votes on the 10,892 ballots counted.

"I'm humbled and surprised," Snider said. "I was of course hoping that all the effort would pay off and I'd be elected in the primary."

Snider said the biggest challenge would likely come early on, as the newly empaneled council would have to make decisions on the fiscal 2010-'11 budget.

As for the remaining candidates, Snider said she was glad to see candidates that she campaigned alongside on the May ballot.

"I'm very happy that the candidates I worked with, Joe Hornat and Lou Waters, are still in the race," Snider said.

She told a Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce luncheon audience on Thursday that "we need to get Satish, Lou and Joe on this council, to move forward in a very common-sense way. Thank you for the faith you have placed in me."

In an interview, Snider said Loomis should be commended for his years of service to the town.




Tale of the ballot




Candidate             votes             percent


Mike Zinkin             4,101             38.5

Satish Hiremath             3,545             33.2

Paul Loomis             3,005             28.2




Mary Snider             6,683             24.4

Lou Waters             4,708             17.2

Joe Hornat             4,096             14.9

Don Emmons             3,068             11.2

Matthew Rabb             2,965             10.8

K.C. Carter             2,945             10.8

Mark Finchem             2,830             10.4


Source: Pima County Elections Department




General election information


With the State Legislature calling a special election on a sales tax increase question for May 18, Oro Valley's general election will be conducted as a polling place election.

Oro Valley voters will not automatically receive their ballots in the mail unless they are on the Pima County permanent early voting list.

For information about voter registration or to request an early ballot, please contact the Pima County Recorder's Office at 740-4330 or by logging on to the Recorder's Website at

For more information, call the Oro Valley Town Clerk's Office at 229-4700.

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