Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
Yesterday’s re-election campaign kickoff for Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik was a Democratic Party love fest for the feisty Republican turned Democrat.
There were nearly as many Pima County Democratic Party faithful in attendance at Borderlands Brewery as there were at the traditional St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser a few days earlier.
Kozachik told the crowd of Dems, Greens, Occupiers, Progressives, and, I believe, a few closet Republicans that his campaign has hit the ground running with 800 signatures in just a few weeks. The Pima County Republican Party has not announced a challenger to the iconoclastic Kozachik, who proved to be too independent minded for them, after he bucked a loyality pledge to Governor Jan Brewer, spoke out against the Arizona Legislature’s multiple attempts to hurt Tucson and Pima County, endorsed Democrats Richard Carmona for US Senate and Ron Barber for Congress, partied with Pima Dems on Election Night 2012, and– the last straw– spearheaded a campaign for universal background checks at gun shows.
More photos and video after the jump.
You can watch Koz’s speech below, but the laugh line of the night went to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild who said [paraphrasing here], “You know when you are a family and one of your relatives comes out, uou all already ‘knew’? That is how it was with Steve K. when he told us [referring to the City Council] he was switching from Rebpublican to Democrat.”
Former Mayor Tom Volgy told the audience that he didn’t vote for Koz the first time around because of that R after his name. I must admit I was in that same boat. In fact, I was pissed off that my true-blue Ward 6 got stuck with the only Republican on the City Council.
Early on, I met with Koz privately to discuss neighborhood slumlords and stalled downtown development.
Over the years, I have not always agreed with him, but in many cases I backed him– while calling out the Democrats on the Council, generally for lack of action. Remember thedowntown hotel? The pothole fight? The petition? The Broadway Coalition vs the RTA? Thecorporate personhood vote? And, of course, gun control?
Ironically, many of the stallwart Democrats who disapproved of my stances when I dared to agree with the sole Republican on the City Council were there last night to sing kumbaya with Koz.