Joe Arpaio Foe Rebecca Jimenez Leads in Guadalupe Mayoral Race (w/Update: Jimenez the Winner)
Rebecca Jimenez, the night she confronted Sheriff Joe
Please see update below.
Former Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez's camp is partying tonight, celebrating what they believe may be a win over incumbent town Mayor Yolanda Solarez.
-Guadalupe made it clear that Joe Arpaio's attacking anyone with brown skin
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-Joe Arpaio's Nemesis Rebecca Jimenez Leads in Guadalupe Mayoral Race, Run-Off Certain for May 21 (w/Update)
The tabulation is not final, and Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne says she will not know how many provisional and early ballots remain to be counted till tomorrow.
"Everyone here is elated," Jimenez said this evening when I called for comment. "But you know me, I still want to see the final results."
A prudent answer, seeing that the town's March primary initially had Jimenez up by 21 votes, but after the provisionals were counted the next day, Solarez led by five votes.
Nor was Mayor Solarez in any mood to concede.
"I'd say it's like the last time," she stated, referring to the initial primary results. "You never know."
The contest has been intense, like only small town politics can be, with each side accusing the other of shenanigans. Signs blanketed the town's main stretch of Avenida del Yaqui when I visited last week.
Jimenez's purple and yellow placards seemed to dominate. The mayor's large signs featured herself and Councilwoman Gloria Cota, as the two were running as a team.
The vote in the council race is still tight, though Cota and Faustino Valenzuela, Jr. were the top vote-getters in a four person race, where voters could pick two candidates.
If Jimenez becomes mayor-elect, her win would be a major upset. Solarez was backed by members of the local political establishment, including Congressman Ed Pastor and state Representative Catherine Miranda.
Solarez has been seen as willing to work with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose department is paid by Guadalupe to provide law enforcement services.
That's unlike Jimenez, who butted heads with Arpaio in 2008, when the MCSO did an anti-immigration sweep of the town, setting up its command center at the town's center.