D1 supervisor

Democratic District 1 county supervisor candidates Robert Rojas, left, and Manuel Ruiz.

Incumbent County Supervisor Manuel Ruiz easily fended off a challenge from Democratic primary contender Robert Rojas on Tuesday.

Tallies from the County Elections Office released on Thursday gave Ruiz 1,263 votes (63.2 percent) to 718 for Rojas (36 percent).

Ruiz will next face Republican Mike Melendez in the Nov. 3 general election. Melendez ran unopposed in his party’s primary on Tuesday.

Ruiz and Melendez also squared off in the 2016 election, when Ruiz was re-elected with 77 percent of the votes.

Ruiz, 64, is seeking his sixth term as the District 1 representative on the three-member board of supervisors. District 1 includes much of Nogales, as well as areas immediately to the east and northeast of the city.

In an interview with the NI last month, he touted a new bridge in the Kino Springs area and a water retention basin in the Nogalitos neighborhood of Nogales as two significant accomplishments of his current term.

He also praised the board’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, saying: “We’ve done everything that we can.”

Rojas, 67, resigned his seat on the Nogales City Council in order to run against Ruiz. He previously served as county supervisor prior to Ruiz’s tenure.

Rojas promised to establish a better working relationship between the county and city, and said the community was ready for change.

In his interview last month, Melendez, a 57-year-old downtown merchant, also complained about the city-county relationship, saying the two entities aren’t doing enough to help local business.

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