Dec. 21, 2005 - Oro Valley Mayor Paul Loomis will be challenged in his re-election bid next year by Amphitheater Public Schools Governing Board Member Nancy Young Wright, while three town council incumbents will face three challengers, according to council nominating paperwork filed last week.

In the council race, incumbents Paula Abbott, Conny Culver and Kenneth "KC" Carter will run in the nonpartisan election against Don Cox, Al Kunisch and Kathy Pastryk.

Abbott was elected to the council in 2002 and Culver and Carter were elected in 2004 as part of the council's expansion from five members to seven. Cox and Kunisch both ran for four-year terms in the 2004 election but lost, Kunisch in the primary election and Cox in the general.

Loomis is seeking a third term as mayor while Young Wright is running for Oro Valley office for the first time. Young Wright was heavily involved in Oro Valley politics in the 1990s. She was elected to the Amphi board in 1996 and re-elected in 2000 and 2004. She does not have to resign to run in the Oro Valley election because her Amphi service is unpaid.

The primary election will be decided March 14 and the general election decided May 16. However, Oro Valley elections are conducted by an all-mail ballot, meaning voters will begin receiving ballots around Feb. 9 for the primary and around April 13 for the general.

Also on the March ballot will be a question on the Oro Valley Marketplace tax incentive referendum and a question seeking reauthorization of the home rule financing option.

The referendum, unless stopped by the courts, will decide wether a tax incentive should be granted to Vestar, the developer of a planned shopping center at Oracle and Tangerine roads. The home rule question would allow the town to exceed state spending limits or cause it to revert back to spending standards set in the 1970s.

Editor's Note: The EXPLORER will publish extensive coverage of the Oro Valley council and mayoral election in the Feb. 1 and 8 issues.

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