County Races Tighten Early Voting Starts


Mail-in voting has already begun for Gila County elections. Voters have until Aug. 4 to register, and until Aug. 22 to request an absentee ballot.

Today's Roundup features profiles of the three Democrats running for Gila County Supervisor District 2 and the two candidates for Sheriff.

Current District 2 Supervisor Jose Sanchez, a Democrat, is not running again. Vying to replace him are Globe residents Danny Michels and Mike Pastor, and Payson resident Bill Backes.

District 2 is heavily Democratic -- nearly 4,900 registered Democrats compared to about 2,800 Republicans. The inverse is true for District 1, with about 5,500 Republicans compared to roughly 2,700 Democrats.

Candidates all spoke at length regarding the need for economic thrift, and each said they had the fiscal experience necessary to bridge these monetarily tight times.

Michels is a Globe convenience store manager who says his business dealings have left him fiscally conservative.

Pastor, also from Globe, works works at a local mine, in the inventory warehouse. He sits on the Gila Community College board, and used to sit on the Globe school board. Both positions required him to manage budgets -- $10 million and $4 million respectively.

Backes is a Payson investment adviser who helps people manage their life savings.

Since no Republican challenger exists in District 2, the primary winner will likely take charge of District 2.

Write-in candidates of any party are permitted to file until Sept. 25 -- 40 days prior to the general election.

District 2 in Payson draws from west of Beeline Highway and south of Frontier Street.

The two Sheriff's candidates are also both Democrats -- incumbent John Armer and challenger Darrell Stubbs.

Armer said that levels of serious crime have declined under his watch.

To solve jail overcrowding, he proposes housing female inmates in modular units adjacent to the existing jail. He says drugs and public safety are among the areas he wants to continue the fight.

Stubbs, who was an employee of Armer's until he retired in May, disputes that crime has declined. He says that people aren't reporting crime and aren't getting caught. Stubbs said he wants to improve overall service.

On primary election day, Sept. 2, whoever wins the most votes wins the primary, as opposed to needing over 50 percent.

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