Category Archives: Debates

Democratic Candidates for Governor call for Full School Funding, Gun Safety and Solar Power

Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley are Democrats running for Governor in Arizona.

Kelly Fryer, David Garcia, and Steve Farley are Democrats running for Governor in Arizona.

Arizonans will have a governor who supports full public school funding, gun safety laws and electricity made from solar power if a Democrat is elected in November. Candidates Steve Farley, David Garcia and newcomer Kelly Fryer spoke at a candidate forum at the University of Arizona in Tucson on April 7.

The audience of 300 was energized by the “blue wave” sweeping the nation, electing Democrats in Alabama, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and perhaps Arizona. The public event was sponsored by the Young Democrats of Arizona and of the University of Arizona. (Compare a private GOP candidate forum that attracted only 40 people).

Each candidate pledged to support whoever wins the Democratic primary on August 28.

Ranking the candidates

Things could change but I rank state Senator Farley as the front-runner. He is the only one of the three to actually be elected — he’s been in the Legislature 12 years an has been elected 6 times — giving him a statewide network. Farley has been endorsed by more than 50 current and former elected officials.

More than 300 people attended the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Debate.

More than 300 people attended the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Debate.

Farley’s reports from the legislature are read by thousands every week. He leads in fundraising, which is essential to staffing an election campaign. The 2018 1st quarter report for campaign finance donations will be released between now and April 16.

I’ve been running against Doug Ducey since he first was elected,” Farley said. “I know exactly what needs to be fixed, how to fix it and being governing on day one.”


See the video of the candidates debate at https://www.facebook.com/dailywildcat/videos/10155402727248302/


I rank David Garcia, an ASU professor and former associate superintendent of education, in second place. Garcia has never been elected to public office.

He is pinning his campaign on bringing Latinos and young people out to vote. However, these demographics did not turn out for him in his unsuccessful 2014 bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction, where he lost by 16,034 votes to Diane Douglas, who did not campaign publicly. Skeptics don’t see a significant increase in Latino voter participation.

That said, he’s picked up endorsements from the Arizona Education Association, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Democracy for America, UFCW Local 99 and LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona).

“What is Arizona is most known for — immigration, the wall, Joe Arpaio, [ex-state senator] Russell Pierce. The common denominator is that our Latino community is under attack,” he said. “When we win it will be a national story. Because Arizona is known for anti-immigrant hate, we are going to elect a guy named Garcia to be Governor.”

Kelly Fryer

Kelly Fryer

Kelly Fryer of Bisbee is openly gay, a former teacher and pastor, and CEO of the nonprofit YWCA Southern Arizona. She has never been elected to public office and I rank her as a dark-horse in third place. Fryer decided to run after speaking at the Tucson Women’s March in January.
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Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Debate Today

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Profile in Courage: Rep. Randy Friese Stands Up for Gun Safety

Only one Arizona legislator had the courage to stand up against gun violence: Rep. Randy Friese, a Democrat from Tucson. Watch the 4-minute YouTube video or read the transcript below as he calls for his colleagues to act, just days after the Parkland, FL, mass murders.

Friese had introduced HB2023 to ban bump stocks, but he could not get it heard in the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee where it was assigned. He used procedural motion to bring the measure directly to the House floor for a vote. But Rep. John Allen, a Republican from Scottdale, used a second motion to stop it from being debated.

Every Republican member of the Arizona House voted against gun safety, refusing even to hear the bill against bump stocks.

The GOP legislators are intentionally out of touch with the electorate:

  • 72% of registered voters support a ban on bump stocks.
  • 88% of Americans support universal background checks.
  • 81% think that a person should be at least 21 to buy a gun.
  • 70% endorse a ban on high-capacity magazines.
  • 68% support a ban on assault weapons.

Rep. Friese’s speech on the Arizona House floor is truly a profile in courage.


We are facing an epidemic of gun violence. And this violence is everywhere, unfortunately, it’s in our schools. It’s touching the lives of children. We must act. The country is waiting for us to act. The time is now. We have an obligation to take action, we have a mandate to take action, we have the authority to take action. If we don’t recognize our authority to take action, we are failing. We are failing our country, we are failing our children, we are failing our students.

There are students in Florida today, since the last mass killings in schools, that have shown more leadership and courage than legislators across the country, than people who represent us in DC. I congratulate those young people. I ask us to be responsible to them and what they are asking us to do.

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#TaxCuts & Deregulation: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?

Arizona House

Speaker J.D. Mesnard visits the desks of Republican members who have not voted yet.

The volume of bills heard in the Arizona House this past week was down significantly from the crossover week flurry, but we still voted on some doozies.

Tax cuts, sales tax giveaways, deregulation on the edge of risky business, “efficiency savings,” and miscellaneous wacky bills abound.

The capital gains tax cut, which benefited only the wealthiest Arizonans, was a party line vote, with all of the Republicans voting for tax cuts for the 1%. Other than that, the tax giveaways have passed with bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition. Votes shift here and there depending upon the cost of the tax giveaway and the stated beneficiary, but the most consistent votes against giving away taxes are cast by Progressives and Libertarians– the same people who killed several tax giveaway bills in 2017. Several of these votes can be seen below the fold and in my Marijuana to Bump Stocks to Tax Giveaways: How did your #AZHouse Rep Vote? blog post from last week.

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Ann Kirkpatrick is Front Runner at Candidates Forum for Tucson’s Congressman

http://blogforarizona.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/candidates.jpg

Tucson congressional candidates Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, Ann Kirkpatrick and Bill Kovacs unanimously raise their hands in favor of supporting renewable energy.

Former Congressman Ann Kirkpatrick emerged as the Democratic candidate with the best chance to be elected to Congress in Tucson at a candidates forum watched by 400 people Sunday in Green Valley.

I’ve studied and met all the candidates and heard them three times at previous candidate forums. My conclusion is that Kirkpatrick has the Congressional experience, common-sense positions, and key political backing to beat the upcoming river of poisonous money from the Koch brothers during this year’s elections.

The Democrat who wins the August 28 primary will likely oppose Lea Márquez-Peterson, a Republican who is closely linked to Kochbot Gov. Doug Ducey. She operates several Hispanic chambers of commerce and is noted for her business bankruptcies.

Knows the job & has support

Kirkpatrick knows the job, having served in Congress from 2013 to 2017 in northern Arizona. Impressively, she has raised a record $750,000 in the campaign’s first five months, with $465,000 cash on hand. She has the endorsement of former Congress members Gabby Giffords and Ron Barber, and she has the backing of the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

She disagreed with all the other candidates on the subject of Medicare for All, an idea that Progressives cheer but which has no known funding source. “I don’t support Medicare for all in a single-payer system because I don’t see a way to pay for it all,” she said, noting that 140 million people already get health insurance from their employers. However, she said people should be able to buy into Medicare especially when there is no reasonable option to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Regarding gun safety, Kirkpatrick says she has changed her position. Nine years ago she had an “A” rating from the NRA, but in 2016 she was given a “D” rating by the gun lobby. Continue reading

The ERA in the #MeToo Era

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

Here I am– ironically talking about the ERA– while Reps. Don Shooter and Eddie Farnsworth stand in from of me. These micro-aggressions happened all the time.

I have given a number of speeches since the #MeToo stories started popping up on social media and since the powerful men started falling down. People regularly ask me about the Arizona efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Now, they also are asking me about sexual harassment in government.

My younger naive self experienced workplace sexual harassment perpetrated by much older men. Like Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, I made my own #MeToo post on Facebook, but mine focused on men from my past– not on men in the Arizona Legislature.

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