The PRT hosted a candidates forum for the District 3 County Supervisors candidates: incumbent Bruce Bracker (D), Donna Federici (I), and Justin Luna (I). The forum was moderated by Tom Beal, retired journalist from the Tucson Star and PRT Board member.
When asked about South32’s Cross Creek connector road proposal (read more on pages 1 & 4 of this issue) Bracker said that they are working with the mining company to consider another route and pushing use of electric vehicles. Federici said, while the county is limited in its legal capacity to stop the road, it has a “right to demand air quality…disrupting rural neighborhoods is appalling.” Luna admitted that he did not know much about this particular route, adding, “I would deter the route, let’s find a more feasible route.”
The candidates were asked what three things they would do if the pandemic worsened in 2021. Bracker touted his leadership role in pressuring Gov. Ducey to implement local mask ordinances and testing for the county. Luna suggested that more should be done to help those suffering financially by providing assistance from the funds the county received. Both Luna and Federici pointed out that there was no public health board at the county level. Federici said that one of the main flaws in the pandemic response was not controlling what was happening at the US-Mexico border. Hilary Felix, Facebook commenter, wrote that, in fact, Sonora closed the border before the U.S. did.
The candidates were asked how they would reassure voters of the integrity of the election. Bracker responded, “there will be five locations for early voting, or you can take your early ballot and turn it in at one of the centers. Ballot drop boxes are coming from Sect. of State to be placed throughout the county. The vote will be very secure, I’m very confident in that.” Federici said, “I wish I had as much confidence. The entire mail-in vote situation is very shaky. I don’t want to direct anything to our county. If anyone can do it, it would be us, a rural county. But to have absolute confidence in mail-in voting is…you can’t.” Luna said, “Register for early voting and drop it off it yourself…our county manager…she’s doing a great job in my opinion.”
Watch the recording: patagoniaregionaltimes.org/elections-2020