Closing The Gap

Regina Romero becomes first Latina mayor of Tucson, Arizona — and the only Latina mayor in the 50 largest cities in the US

Regina Romero, newly elected mayor of Tucson, Arizona.
Photo Credit: Regina Romero

Tucson, Arizona's former city council member, Regina Romero, made history Tuesday night by becoming the first Latina to be elected mayor of the city.

Romero, a Democrat, beat Independent Ed Ackerley and Green Party candidate Mike Cease by roughly 87,000 ballots, reports Tucson.com. When she steps into her new role next month, she will succeed current Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

"At a time when our national politics have been sown with division, Tucsonans remain united by our shared desire to promote a safe, just and sustainable city that provides economic opportunity for our families and future generations," Tucson.com reports the former councilwoman saying after her victory. "This movement is open to everyone — whatever your background, whatever your party, whoever you voted for — let's work together! We will always be one Tucson — somos uno."

The wife and mom of two also took to Twitter Tuesday to thank her supporters for leading her to victory.

Romero, who is the youngest of six children, was raised by immigrant farm workers in Somerton, Arizona, according to her campaign website. In addition to being the first person in her family to vote and graduate from college, Romero also became the first woman to represent Tucson's Ward 1 as a city council member in 2007. In that role, she says she "championed issues such as equal pay for equal work and spearheaded the effort to pass universal earned sick and parental leave for City of Tucson families."

The University of Arizona graduate, who also earned a post-graduate certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, ran her campaign with a focus on climate change, local infrastructure solutions, job opportunities, education, homelessness and neighborhood safety.

In addition to focusing on these issues, Romero also places a significant emphasis on "delivering equality, inclusion and opportunity for all" as mayor. This includes, according to her website, a race and social justice initiative that contains an advancement agenda for immigrants, a criminal justice reform plan and a $15 minimum wage plan for city employees. Right now, minimum wage workers in Tucson earn $11 per hour.

Romero's historic victory also makes her the only Latina mayor in the 50 largest cities in the country, reports Tucson.com.

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