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Councilwoman Karen Watts running for mayor of Yuma

Watts has served on City Council for the past four years, but now wants to go after the mayoral seat up grabs in August - 13 On Your Side's Luis Lopez reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA,KECY) - As primary elections approach quickly, new candidates for the mayor of Yuma are entering the race, including Councilwoman Karen Watts.

“You know I think it’s time we had a female mayor,” Watts said.

Watts would be Yuma’s first female mayor since Marilyn Young back in 1994.

A nurse practitioner, and councilwoman since 2018, Watts says she feels it’s time for a change in Yuma.

One of her biggest goals if elected would be to focus on climate change.

“We need to focus on our natural resources, we’re living in a hotter, drier climate, it’s getting more arid we’re getting less water down the Colorado, Lake Mead is reducing and I just want to do things for sustainability,” Watts said.

Another issue for any new mayor will be the border, which Watts says she plans on handling as a team effort with surrounding communities.

“I believe in just kind of getting everyone together that’s involved like San Luis, Somerton, it’s not just a Yuma problem is what I’m trying to say, it’s a whole community here," Watts said.

Watts also feels there needs to be more housing locally.

If elected, she wants to incentivize for more of it to be built.

“Actually just getting the experts and the stakeholders together and like, how can we encourage people to build more you know? Because we don’t build, but we can get people, we can use incentives, we can get more multi-housing that’s what we really need,” Watts said.

Primary elections for mayor will take place on Aug. 2.

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Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez covers sports and weather for KYMA.

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