Pima County 2012 Candidates Survey



The Tucson Pima Arts Council Advocacy Network requested that candidates running in the 2012 Pima County elections respond to a survey in order to make better known the degree to which they (1) support the arts; and (2) recognize the arts’ contribution to the regional economy, children’s education and quality of life.

While only three of nine candidates polled have responded so far, their answers indicate bipartisan support for the role of the arts in our communities and especially in our children’s educational lives, bearing in mind current budgetary limits.


The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Tucson and Pima County generates $87.7 million annually, according to a recently released report by Americans for the Arts. That figure translates into the equivalent of 2,602 full‐time jobs, $3.83 million in local government revenue and $4.29 million in state government revenue.1

Even during times of economic duress, the non‐profit arts and culture industry helps to drive our regional economy. Pima County funding not only stimulates arts‐sector revenue, it ensures access to the arts and arts education for everyone, including the young and the under served.  In this way, it boosts quality of life, rendering Pima County attractive to 21st century industry, talent and tourism.

Arts and culture also shore up Pima County’s important tourism industry: of the $44.9 million that is generated by nearly 2 million arts and culture attendees (excluding the cost of admission), $36.4 million derives from out‐of‐town tourists a majority of whom (64%) travel to Tucson for a specific cultural event.

That said, significant reductions in public spending at the local and state levels threaten the sustainability of our nonprofit arts sector. Many nonprofits have in fact cut back programming at the same time that a population surge has created more demand for arts and culture opportunities.

To help redress this imbalance, the Tucson Pima Arts Council has over the past four years successfully leveraged public funds to encourage private contributions from premiere entities, such as the Kresge, Nathan Cummings and Open Society Foundations. A nearly unprecedented accomplishment for a mid‐sized regional arts council, this has resulted in an additional $500,000 in support of our local economy. Renewed foundation support, however, depends on strong evidence of reliable and dedicated public support and a strong local arts council.

Pima County’s commitment to the arts and culture industry and its leadership is more critical than ever. The Tucson Pima Arts Council Advocacy Committee appreciates your willingness to serve your community and to provide insight to voters as to how we might expect you to support our arts and culture industry, if elected.

1 Americans for the Arts, Arts and Economic Prosperity IV (2012). Please note that these figures do not include data from the University of Arizona.


Richard Elias (D), incumbent candidate for Pima County District 5 Supervisor

Ally Miller (R), candidate for Pima County District 1 Supervisor

Nancy Young Wright (D), candidate for Pima County District 1 Supervisor

(More names/responses will be added as received.)


Supervisor District 1
Mike Hellon (R)
Stuart McDaniel (R)
Vic Williams (R)

Supervisor District 2
James Kelley (R)
Ramon Valadez (D), incumbent

Supervisor District 3
Tanner Bell (R)
Sharon Bronson (D), incumbent

Supervisor District 4
Ray Carroll (R), incumbent
Sean Collins (R)

Supervisor District 5
Fernando Gonzales (R)