New state law could extend terms of mayor, city council members by one year

City of Tucson Inauguration: Under a new state law, Mayor Regina Romero and the other three Democrats elected to the city council last month would serve an extra year, until the end of 2024. She is shown with outgoing Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
/Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

Joe Ferguson | Arizona Daily Star 

A relatively new state law is likely going to extend the terms of the mayor of Tucson and the rest of the City Council by another year, going from four-year terms to five years.

The city-run, mail-in general election in November didn’t get enough voter participation, failing to meet the stringent requirements of a new state law that would require cities like Tucson to hold their elections for mayor and council members on even-numbered years.

The city appears to be preparing to challenge the law in court, but a change would affect the mayor’s and council members’ terms.

For example, newly elected Mayor Regina Romero would, under the current election system, serve until December 2023. But under the new state law, Romero and the other three Democrats elected to the City Council last month would serve an extra year, to the end of 2024. The three members of the City Council elected in 2017 would also be asked to served an additional year, ending their terms in 2022 rather than 2021.

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