E. S. “Bud” Walker

Bud WalkerFormer Pima County Supervisor Bud Walker has died.  Walker also served in the state legislature in the 50’s and 60’s.

He was an old school county pol, first elected when Pima County had a fraction of the residents it does now and the then clubby three member Board of Supervisors reigned supreme. He was also very builder friendly. This became a problem for him as the community became more concerned about conservation issues in the 1980’s. His views on development didn’t prevent him from making friends even with the environmentalist David Yetman when he was elected to the board in 1976. That was how things worked in county politics in those days, you argued during the day, and then went to Cushing Street or the Shanty that night.

Walker’s old school ways couldn’t weather changes in the community and in the Democratic party.  He lost his primary in 1984 to Ed Moore, who ran as a conservationist candidate against the “cementhead” Walker. If you don’t know why this is ironic, check the Weekly’s archives sometime.

One of my early political memories was the Democratic gathering primary night in 1984. After results the results showed that not even votes from Walker’s hometown of Ajo would save him, Mary Jo Walker, his wife, said to the gathered Democrats, many of whom supported Moore, “You all are going to be sorry you did this!”

It took us a few years, but she was right.