Category Archives: Debates

Jennifer Samuels looks to Ride the Red For Ed Wave to a State House Seat in LD 15

LD 15 Democratic State House Candidate Jennifer Samuels

After sorting out which Starbucks to meet at on Tatum Road in Northern Phoenix, Jennifer Samuels enthusiastically relayed why she wants to become one of the Democratic nominees for one of the LD 15 State House Seats in August and ride the Red for Ed Wave to victory in November where she can promote a forward-looking agenda.

LD 15 includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley. A Democrat has not recently won in this district and Mrs. Samuels is hoping, with her ideas and supporters, to change that and win this November after winning a slot in the Democratic primary this August.

If she wins in the August primary, her two likely Republican opponents will be conservative advocates State Senator Nancy Barto and House Majority Leader John Allen, two reactionaries who, according to Mrs. Samuels, have lost touch with the people in their district, and who feel it is appropriate to sell firearms without background checks, to intrude on a woman’s privacy if she is exercising her right to choose, and to hinder the democratic process by making it harder to put ballot initiatives up for a vote.

Mrs. Samuels feels she can be a better advocate for the people in LD 15 and is running on a pragmatic problem-solving agenda that emphasizes education, school safety, and the economy.

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LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland sees 2018 as a Referendum on Public Education.

Educator and Democratic LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland

Democrat Eric Kurland described his reasons and goals for seeking one of the LD 23 State House seats from orthodox conservatives John Kavanagh and Jay Lawrence.

Over breakfast at the Scottsdale restaurant Randy’s (very good food and service) at Chaparral and Hayden, he said he was motivated by his advocacy for children and the misdirection of our Dark-Money-serving Republican state leaders in promoting private school vouchers rather than fully funding public education, Kurland, an educator with the Scottsdale Unified School District, has launched a campaign, fueled by his army of education supporters, emphasizing education, campaign finance reform, and reforming the private prison system.

A legislative district that encompasses all or parts of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, and Rio Verde, there has not been a Democratic representative from LD 23 in recent years. Eager to break that trend, Kurland will be running for one of two state house seats against incumbent State Representative Jay Lawrence and Senate Pro Tempore John Kavanagh.

Kurland feels that both Lawrence and Kavanagh are on the “opposite end” of what the people who elected them want, living in “an ivory tower who do not feel the pulse of what a community requires.” If elected, Kurland states, that unlike his opponents, “it will not be the last time they (the people) will hear from him.”

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A Better Future for Phoenix Drives Daniel Valenzuela in his Quest to Be Mayor

Phoenix Councilmember and Mayoral Candidate Daniel Valenzuela

With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office to run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Ninth Congressional House Seat, a special non-partisan election will be held this November to elect his successor who will preside over the fifth largest city in the country.

There are two Phoenix Council Member Democrats vying to succeed him. They are Kate Gallego (who represents Phoenix District Eight) and Daniel Valenzuela (who represents Phoenix District Five). The Blog For Arizona is profiling both candidates and interviewed both on their positions on the issues and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. This piece describes Councilmember Valenzuela’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.

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As Mayor, Kate Gallego will Make “Make Phoenix a City that Will Work for Everyone.”

Phoenix Council Member Kate Gallego.

Phoenix Council Member Kate Gallego.

With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office to run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Ninth Congressional House Seat, a special non-partisan election will be held this November to elect his successor who will preside over the fifth largest city in the country.

There are two Phoenix Council Member Democrats vying to succeed him. They are Kate Gallego (who represents Phoenix District Eight) and Daniel Valenzuela (who represents Phoenix District Five). The Blog For Arizona is profiling both candidates and interviewed both on their positions and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. This piece describes Councilmember Gallego’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.

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Democratic Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction Blast Ducey, Douglas

Kathy Hoffman is An advocate for special needs children, mainstreaming ELL students in order to achieve immersion, and protecting the safety and rights of students in the LGBTQ community.

Kathy Hoffman, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

United on the issues, Democratic candidates for Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira relayed why they would be the best nominee to face four Republican challengers, including current Superintendent Diane Douglas.

Meeting at a special Clean Elections-sponsored edition of the PBS news show Horizon, both Hoffman and Schapira blasted Governor Ducey, Superintendent Douglas, and the Republican-led state legislature for failing Arizona’s children and schools. Hoffman also added the elevation of Betsy Devos to Secretary of Education as a cause for concern for Arizona’s educational community. Both candidates want to make sure every child in the state receives a “first-rate education.”

The future starts in school

David Schapira, Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

David Schapira, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Saying, “Arizona’s future starts in our schools,” Hoffman relayed that she is running primarily to ensure that all children, including English-language learners (ELL) and special education students, are well educated. The woman’s movement following the election of President Trump and DeVos in the Education Department also motivated her run.

Schapira, a fourth generation Arizonan, commented that, of the two candidates, he is the most experienced having been a teacher, school administrator, school board member, and legislator to become the “first educator in 24 years” to become Superintendent.

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Pawlik and Weichert Offer a Progressive Problem Solving Vision for LD 17

AZ LD 17 State House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik

Over iced tea and ice water at the Starbucks in Chandler, LD 17 Democratic House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik and LD 17 Democratic Senate Candidate Steve Weichert enthusiastically discussed their united vision for taking care of children in poverty, who have been largely forgotten by the current Republican LD state representatives and senator.

The LD 17 District in Arizona contains parts of Gilbert, Chandler, and Sun Lakes. No Democrat has ever claimed victory in this district. Two Republicans in the State House currently represent it. This includes the current House Speaker J.D. Mesnard who has decided to run against Weichert for the State Senate Seat being vacated by State Senate President Steven Yarbrough. Pawlik is the only Democrat running for a seat in the State House.

Arizona Legislative District 17

Arizona Legislative District 17

Pawlik and Weichert are not newcomers to the political arena in Legislative District 17. They ran for the same state legislative seats in 2016 that they are running for today. While the results did not turn out as they hoped in 2016, they feel that three trends will propel them to victory in 2018:

  • The marked increase in voter enthusiasm, ignited by the election of Donald Trump.
  • The insensitivity of the Ducey Governorship and his allies in the state legislature.
  • The spark of the Red for Ed Movement.

Like neighboring LD 18, the Democratic candidates and District Chair Jacob Schmitt see their electoral prospects improving with an increasingly bluer (or purple) population receptive to the centrist problem solving progressive ideas and vision that they offer. Both Pawlik and Weichert have united as a team, tailoring their message to all the people in LD 17, especially those ignored and forgotten by the current Republican leadership in the district who has fallen under the influence of anti-democratic, tax cutting, special and Dark Money interests.

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