Stephens drops out of Pima County Board of Supes race

Republican Beatrice Cory Stephens has dropped out of the race for Pima County supervisor.

Stephens had hoped to unseat Supervisor Matt Heinz, a Democrat seeking a second term.

“It is my firm belief that while all my efforts and the efforts of my team and supporters have made a significant difference in the fight to save Pima County, I do not see a path to winning a seat for myself or any candidate in this district with an R behind their name,” Stephens wrote Monday in statement on social media.

District 2, which stretches from Midtown Tucson through South Tucson to Sahuarita, is a tough battleground for Republicans, as 41 percent of voters are registered Democrats, 22 percent are registered Republicans and 37 percent are not registered with either major party.

Two other Republicans have taken out paperwork to run in District 2. If both make the ballot after filing nominating petitions ahead of the April 1 deadline, they would battle in the July 30 primary for the chance to challenge Heinz in the Nov. 5 general election.

John D. Backer previously ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Board of Supervisors in 2016 and 2020 in GOP primaries against District 4 incumbent Steve Christy, but redistricting put him in District 2, so the Air Force veteran now wants to challenge Heinz.

Backer said he was still confident he had a shot in November.

“I wish (Stephens) and her family well and would like to reach out to all of those who were supporting her in her race to support my campaign,” Backer said. “I’m in it to the end and in it to win it!”

Rafael De La Rosa Jr., who has not set up a campaign website or established a presence on social media, has not responded to Tucson Sentinel inquiries regarding the status of his campaign.

Read more about the District 2 race here.