Category Archives: Maricopa

Anita Malik hopes to defeat embattled Representative David Schweikert for the Congressional Seat in District Six this November.

Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Anita Malik

In November, voters in Arizona and across the nation will go to the polls to elect new members to the House of Representatives and a third of the United States Senate. In this first election after the contest that thrust popular vote loser Donald Trump into the White House, Democrats will seek to build on the Congressional gains they achieved in 2016 and reach out to a surging group of enthusiastic voters who want a new direction for the country.

Needing 25 Representative seats, Democrats see this election as a major opportunity, with clear majorities rejecting the Republican program and Trump in particular, to gain control of the House for the first time since 2010. One of the seats Democrats hope to “flip” is the one occupied by Arizona Congressional Six Incumbent David Schweikert. Congressional District Six in Arizona includes all or parts of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Glendale, and Phoenix. Currently embattled in a political scandal that has seen the departure of his chief of staff, three Democrats are vying this year to be the candidate to defeat him this November. They are Anita Malik, Heather Ross, and Garrick McFadden.

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21 Year Retired Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and Civic Activist Michelle Harris seeks to turn the LD 13 Senate Seat Blue in November

Democratic LD 13 Senate Candidate Michelle Harris

With her husband as a campaign manager and 30 volunteers at her disposal, retired 21 Year Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and local Civic Activist Michelle Harris is seeking the LD 13 Senate Seat this November in order to make it Blue. Her potential opponent, to be determined after the August 28 Primary, may be disgraced expelled State House Member Don Shooter. This well qualified and experienced Clean Elections candidate, with a compelling message and agenda, is one of many Democrats that will help shift the balance of power from Republicans in the November Elections.

Over water, coffee, croissants, and a very huge Blueberry Muffin at Mimi’s Café at Dysart and the I-10, Master Sergeant Harris enthusiastically relayed why she is the best candidate for the State Senate in LD 13 and the its residents whose territory stretches from Yuma in the South to Wickenburg in the North with parts or all of Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Buckeye, and Avondale in between. Motivated to run because local state leaders from the district or the Corporation Commission did not take the time to address concerns in a either a timely (sewage rate increase) or any (school voucher expansion) manner, Harris wants to use the training and experience gained from her service in the Air Force to engage with all stakeholders on the needs of the district and solve problems in a consensus fashion. If she prevails this November, she will be the first Democrat in recent memory to win a legislative seat in this district.

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Lifting All People Up is the Goal of LD 15 State Senate Candidate Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko

LD 15 State Senate Candidate Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko

After bearing the ravings of a “gentleman,” in desperate need of decaf coffee, going through drive-through rage at the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Village Gateway in Phoenix, Democratic Candidate Ms. Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko (pronounced Dib Vig Pa Welko) passionately framed why she is the best candidate to win the open State Senate Seat in Legislative District 15 this November.

A first-time Clean Elections candidate, running as a team with LD 15 State House candidate and fellow educator Jennifer Samuels, Dybvig-Pawleko wants to bring a community-minded consensus solution approach to governing that emphasizes lifting all people up by building up our public education system, infrastructure, local and state economies, and stopping gun violence.

LD 15 includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley. Unlike recent past elections where there has been minimal or no Democratic presence, this year features three Democrats vying for the two State House seats in LD 15 and a very enthusiastic State Senate Candidate in Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko.

The Republican running in the State Senate Race is current LD 15 House incumbent Heather Carter, who according to Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko, is a “nice lady” but does not follow  what residents want her to do in the legislature. A Representative that follows the reactionary party line, Ms. Carter (also an educator) did not support any of the measures that would assist educators in the classroom and voted with her party in making the processing of ballot initiatives more difficult, a woman’s right to choose more intrusive, allowing gun sales without a background check, and repealing campaign reform measures such as the revealing of campaign donors.

Realizing that the actions of local and state officeholders in areas like education, infrastructure, and zoning, most impact the people, Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko sees her pragmatic progressive ideas and approach to problem-solving as the best ways to represent the people in LD 15 and move the district and state forward.

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Helping Children is the First Priority for State Senate Candidate and 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh.

LD 28 Democratic State Senate Candidate and 2016 Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh

While petting a year old German Shepard Mix named Zuzu at the Democratic Party LD 28 office on Shea and 32nd Street, State Senate Christine Marsh relayed her reasons for wanting to replace incumbent Kate Brophy McGee in the Arizona Senate and the legislative goals she would like to pursue after taking office in January 2019.

Partially inspired by a conversation with a student, in her English class at Chaparral High School, on whether children in Arizona were worth as much as children in other states, Ms. Marsh, a 2016 State Teacher of the Year, is running largely on a pro-public education platform in the Purple Arizona District 28 on a ticket with State House Incumbent Kelli Butler and House Challenger Aaron Lieberman. A very attainable Marsh win in LD 28 would help Democrats achieve their realistic goal of gaining control of the State Senate in November’s elections.

Arizona Legislative District 28 is similar in some ways to Arizona Legislative District 18. It is a district that is becoming increasingly blue as evidenced by Kelli Butler’s State House win in 2016 and Kate Brophy McGee’s two-point squeaker over Democrat opponent Eric Meyer in the same election. A district that includes parts of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Glendale, Democrats have a well-organized and energized team led by Field Director Chris Fleischman (the dog parent of Zuzu) and able volunteers like Tyler Kowch, an Arizona resident who found education in Canada a cheaper option.

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“The Blue Wave Starts Here” as Maricopa County Democrats Gather at the Summer Convention

Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Democratic Party

About 700 excited and enthusiastic Democratic activists, including many candidates, precinct captains, and Legislative District chairpersons, filled the auditorium at the Performing Arts Center of Horizon High School in Paradise Valley on June 30 to attend the Summer Convention of the Maricopa Democratic Party.

They heard speakers including the County Party Leadership, Maricopa County State Representatives Kelli Butler and Mitzi Epstein, House Representative Ruben Gallego, the three Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates (Farley, Fryer, and Garcia), Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, and Guest Speaker Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Steven Slugocki speaking at June 30 Maricopa County Summer Convention; photo courtesy of Maricopa County Democratic Party.

The gathered assemblage conveyed an optimistic mood, cheering when Maricopa County Party Leader Steven Slugocki proclaimed that the “Blue Wave starts here” in the “largest Battleground County.”

He happily reported that the Democratic Party has surged in growth since 2016, citing examples of the quadrupling in the number of Precinct Captains in some Legislative Districts (with LD 18, for example exploding with 254 of which I have to disclose I am one) and legislative offices.

Slugocki also relayed that there has been a surge in the number of candidates. In 2014, the Democrats recruited 55 people to run and there were some positions where Republicans ran unopposed, today there are 75 people running and all legislative offices are being contested. LD 23 was singled out for being the district that gathered the most ballot signatures and LD 12 for the most voter registrations.

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

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LD 12 Democratic Candidate Joe Bisaccia sees the 2018 Election as “A Campaign about the Future Versus the Preserving the Past.”

LD 12 Democratic State House Candidate Joseph Bisaccia

Over coffee and ice water at the Old Town Gilbert café Bergies Coffee, energetic and idealistic Democratic State House Clean Election Candidate Joe Bisaccia outlined his vision for how he would represent LD 12 if he won one of the two State House seats this November.

Bisaccia is one of many educators, inspired by the poor educational policies advanced by the reactionary Republican State Legislature along with the teacher-led Red for Ed Movement, who want to lead a pro-education campaign all the way to State House.

Arizona LD 12 includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. Eddie Farnsworth and Travis Grantham now represent the district in the State House. Mr. Bisaccia is one of three Democratic Candidates (the others being Lynsey Robinson and DJ Rothans) running to take one of those House seats. This is a great example of Democratic enthusiasm this election year because Democrats have not fielded candidates in the State House Race for this Legislative District in two out of the last three elections.

Bisaccia sees this race as “a campaign about the future versus the preserving the past” and is running on the issues of education, technology, jobs, and tax reform to advance a pragmatic liberal progressive agenda.

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