Seven candidates are on the ballot for Marana Town Council elections this August, running for four seats. Longtime incumbents Patti Comerford, Herb Kai and Vice Mayor Jon Post along with recently appointed John Officer will run against three challengers: Jack Neubeck, Jeff Gray and Mace Bravin.
Neubeck and Bravin, along with Officer, both applied for the town council seat, in April, left open by the death of Councilmember Carol McGorray. Neubeck has the endorsement of Councilmember Roxanne Ziegler, who is the chairperson for his campaign.
Although Neubeck’s lived in Marana for less than three years, his town involvement goes back three decades. He was president of the Marana Chamber of Commerce Board for six out of his 10 years on the board. He’s helped with town annexations, construction management for Marana’s first town hall and planning and zoning for a number of master-planned communities. He also helped secure $5 million from the Bureau of Reclamation for bank protection along the lower Santa Cruz River.
Officer was chosen to fill McGorray’s seat by a 5-1 vote, only Ziegler opposed. Officer first ran for town council in 2016 and lost to four incumbents.
Officer has been active in Marana for 25 years. Until being appointed to council, he was on the Marana Planning and Zoning Commission. He served on the Parks and Recreation Commission while Marana was establishing its general plan and was active on an early version of the Marana Citizens’ Forum.
Post has been on the town council since January 2008, after first being appointed to an open council seat vacated by the resignation of Tim Escobedo, and was elected vice mayor inJune 2013. Before being on the council, he served on the Marana Planning Commission and was involved with the chamber of commerce.
Comerford has served three terms on the town council and served as vice mayor from March 2011 to March 2013. Before that, she was on the Marana Planning and Zoning Commission for seven years. Comerford recently told Tucson Local Media that should she win, this will likely be her last term.
Kai has served on the council since 1993 and was vice mayor from June 2001 to March 2011. He has also served on the boards of the Cortaro Marana Irrigation District, the Southern Arizona Water Users Association and the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Kai’s family is one of the first influential farming families in Marana.
Bravin ran for public office in 2012 and lost his bid for Pima County School Superintendent. He’s been a public school teacher for 25 years and is currently a sixth-grade teacher at Valencia Middle School, teaching social studies, language arts and reading. He has two master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University, in English as a Second Language/Multicultural Education and Education Leadership.
Gray previously ran for Marana Town Council in 2011 and came in last with just under 1,000 votes against three other candidates including Ziegler and Councilmember Dave Bowen, for Bowen’s first term. Gray currently works for Prime Pest Control.
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