Special to The Explorer
In what it calls "one of the most important elections in Oro Valley in several years for the business community, the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce has endorsed mayoral challenger Satish Hiremath, and town council candidates Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters.
"As one of the most important elections nears for Oro Valley businesses, the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce is proud to endorse the four candidates," said Ramon A. Gaanderse, president and chief executive officer of the chamber. "Our endorsement is a testament to the candidates' pro-business stands and their commitment to a stronger economic climate, and we believe they all have the ability to win."
Hiremath is challenging incumbent Mayor Paul Loomis, with Mike Zinkin also seeking the top elected post. Hornat, Snider and Waters are part of a field of seven candidates that includes incumbent K.C. Carter, Don Emmons, Mark Finchem and Matthew Rabb.
The primary election is March 9. Ballots for the all-mail election are being distributed next week.
The chamber represents more than 500 businesses, of which 60 percent are one to five employees.
In evaluating the candidates, the chamber asked for their positions on economic development, sign code and job growth, and evaluated their knowledge of business issues and leadership capabilities.
"Each endorsed candidate exemplified that sales tax is the number one revenue source in the town and it can only increase through a strong relationship with the business community, setting up a sustainable revenue source to fund economic development is necessary, immediate comprehensive review of Oro Valley codes that affect the business community need to be reviewed and amended, and public safety is an essential service in the town," the release continued.