The results are in and Democrats have reason to cheer.
- Democratic voter turnout eclipsed the turnout of 2016.
- Democratic nominees across the state represent a range of diversified, experienced and first time eager and qualified individuals dedicated to moving Arizona forward.
- The Republican Party is poised to nominate weakened candidates such as for the Senate (McSally could not even crack 80 percent of the vote,) Maricopa County Sheriff (name your poison, Arpaio or Sheridan) and legislative districts like LD Six (Sylvia Allen has been retired in favor of if one can believe it, the more reactionary Wendy Rogers.) Even Jay “Foot in the Mouth” Lawrence may lose his seat to a novice candidate.
While the vote count is still being finalized (please click here to access the Secretary of State site to see the latest voter totals,) State and local Democratic leaders expressed their views of the Primaries and the prospects for Democratic Victory this November.
Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson Felecia Rotellini answered several questions for the Bog of Arizona. The questions and her responses are below.
- What do the primary voter turnout figures tell you about Democratic Enthusiasm headed into the November 3, 2020 elections? Please explain.
Chairperson Rotellini was very happy with turnout in this primary saying it “shows us Democrats and independents (54 percent of them supporting Democrats) are fired up.”
She also noted that “the total number of voters going into the election was 476,000 Democrats and 474,000 Republicans which is incredible (because Republicans officially outnumber Democrats in Arizona.)”
The Chairperson also conveyed that “voter turnout in 2020 was four percent higher than in 2016.”
- Martha McSally won her primary with less than 80 percent of the vote. Based on that, to what extent do you feel Captain Kelly is the favorite to win the Senate seat in November? Please explain.
“Mark Kelly is just crushing it with Democrats, independents, and Republicans.”
“A man of accomplishment as an astronaut and engineer with integrity,” Ms. Rotellini said, “he is capturing the attention of all voters.”
“His campaign is about who he is and is running on all the values important to Arizona (funding schools, access to affordable and quality healthcare, combatting the climate crisis,)”
- Given David Schweikert’s ethics woes and fundraising decline, should Dr. Hiral Tipirneni be considered the favorite in the race to win CD Six? Please explain.
“I think she is the favorite. She is an incredible fundraiser with resources to get the vote out. He is going to be easy to attack. The district is going more Democrat. She is also talking about solving real problems and (like Kelly) discussing Arizona Values.”
- What types of assistance will the party/Mission for AZ be giving to Di Santo, Greene, and Muscato as they campaign against Gosar, Biggs, and Lesko? Please explain.
“I am looking forward to working with them because they are hardworking candidates who have run before and know what it takes to win.”
“We have turfed the entire state and divided it into regions with field organizers. Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords are the leaders of the coordinated campaign known as Mission for Arizona and they want everyone to win. They want to help all the candidates win up and down the ballot and it is coordinated for all the candidates. I am looking forward to helping the congressional candidates like Green, Di Santo and Muscato because they are seasoned, hard-working campaigners who know what it takes to win. There should be serious coattails with Mark Kelly.”
- In reference to the result of the LD Races (specifically LD 6, 11, 17, 20, 21, 23, 28) to what extent are you confident that the Democrats will retake one or both chambers of the state legislature this November? Please explain.
“I am extremely confident. Especially in LD 6 with Felicia French and Coral Evans. LD 11 is a great sleeper. LD 17 is looking good with Jennifer Pawlik and AJ Kurdoglu. Doug Ervin is looking good as is Judy Schwiebert on LD 20 and Kathy Knecht in LD 21 is as well. I am excited about our possibilities.”
- In reference to the county races, to what extent do you feel the party will expand on the gains from 2016 and 2018? Can you identify three to four races voters should follow? Please explain.
“I think we will pick up a fourth Pima county board of supervisor with Rex Scott. The incumbent is too far right.”
“Dan Toporek is a fantastic candidate and has the qualifications to be the next Treasurer. The current treasurer put Russell Pierce in the very important job of Deputy Treasurer which is intended for a person who knows how to manage and invest taxpayers’ money. With the current Treasurer Fiora and Russell Pierce as Deputy Treasurer in charge, the office is a mess and an example of the worst aspects of cronyism. We have to get Toporek elected. Then, we will have a man of integrity and competence and a veteran running the Treasurer’s office.”
“ I am also very proud of Julie Gunnigle and her victory over two well-qualified opponents. She will be a very strong opponent against Ms. Adel.”
With regards to the Legislative District Races, the Democratic Legislative Committee released a statement which said:
“With the conclusion of the Arizona primaries, Democrats are running their strongest slate of candidates ever while the GOP is boasting science deniers, extremist ideologues, and conspiracy theorists. Democrats running for state legislative office have broken fundraising records and have the energy of their communities behind them as their Republican opponents compete to be the biggest embarrassment to their party.
Introducing the Republicans who will lose to Democrats in November:”
- “Senate candidate Wendy Rogers (LD 6): Rogers ousted radical right-wing Senator Sylvia Allen in the primary, and she is even more extreme. Rogers has run for Congress several times and lost because of her outlandish views and fear-mongering tactics. Instead of focusing on the issues in her district and the needs of those she is campaigning to represent, she’s pushed national conspiracy theories, praised white supremacists, complained about a cartoon character, and repeatedly lied about receiving endorsements from various GOP officials. Republicans allege she does not even live in the district.”
- “Senator J.D. Mesnard (LD 17): Senator Mesnard is actively working against Arizonans with pre-existing conditions. He has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and sued to stop the Medicaid expansion that covered 400,000 Arizonans without health insurance. He also voted to expand “junk insurance” plans that aren’t required to cover maternity care, mental health, or pre-existing conditions, and supported allowing insurance companies to charge those with pre-existing conditions more if the Affordable Care Act does get repealed.”
- “Senator Paul Boyer (LD 20): Senator Boyer is a science skeptic who has called into question the legitimacy and safety of vaccinations, supporting multiple bills to obstruct doctors from administering necessary vaccines to children. He’s danced around questions asking whether he supports children receiving vaccines and even introduced a piece of legislation to allow parents to exempt their children from school vaccination requirements if it goes against their personal beliefs.”
- “Senator Kate Brophy McGee (LD 28): Senator Brophy McGee has fought against health care access. She wrote a Trump-backed bill to allow insurance companies to discriminate against women and the elderly and deny coverage for hospitalization, even for those infected with COVID-19. She couldn’t be bothered to vote to protect those with pre-existing conditions, and she even voted against helping patients pay surprise medical bills. Despite masquerading as a moderate, she attended an indoor Women for Trump event without a mask.”
- “Representative Walt Blackman (LD 6): Representative Blackman has gone out of his way to make offensive comments about the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it a “terrorist organization” and attacking George Floyd’s character after he was killed by police. He has spent more energy on hurling insults at Black activists than he has on promoting safety during the pandemic, going so far as to suggest that masks are useless because “you are breathing in your own carbon-monoxide if you’re wearing it all day.”
- “Representative Anthony Kern (LD 20): Representative Kern is infamous for making an offensive comparison between Japanese internment camps and Arizona’s stay-at-home order during the pandemic. He has dismissed the damage the coronavirus has caused on several occasions and even attended President Trump’s June 23 Phoenix rally without a mask. It’s no wonder he’s such a big Trump supporter — Kern has been accused of making offensive, discriminatory comments to women he supervised, including allegedly calling one an “overtime whore,” and was recommended for demotion as a result.”
- “Representative Shawnna Bolick (LD 20): Representative Bolick lied on her nominating petitions but is still allowed to be on the ballot this year because of a court decision in her favor. She has also led the crusade against voting by mail, making multiple unsubstantiated claims that absentee voting is rife with fraud despite no such evidence. As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout Arizona, Bolick is peddling conspiracy theories about Dr. Fauci profiting off of vaccines and still insisting that voters show up in person to cast their votes.”
“These Republicans have proven themselves to be partisan hacks and Arizona voters are ready to show them the door,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “GOP lawmakers have shown us time and time again how little they care about what happens to the people they were elected to represent. They’ve ignored medical experts, advocated against a safety net for the unemployed, undermined health care, and spread lies about voting. Voters are going to put them in the minority in November — and they’ll deserve it.”
Maritza Miranda Sanez, the Executive Director of the Maricopa County Democratic Party also issued a statement which read:
“Maricopa County made history last night for many reasons. First, our local election administrator, Adrian Fontes, and his staff achieved record turnout amid a global pandemic in the fourth most populous county in the country. They planned, strategized, and executed an excellent Election Day plan to include over 100 available and open Vote Centers on Election Day. This type of planning takes months of hard work and dedication from every single staff member and Elections Department administrator. We applaud all within the Maricopa County Elections Department for their commitment to protect democracy and serve our community.”
“Second, the Maricopa County Democratic Party officially has a full slate of countywide and county district candidates. Democrats throughout Maricopa County are rejoicing because there are candidates for them to vote for, no matter where they live. These results indicate a larger political shift across Arizona. Maricopa County is where 64% of the voting population resides. You cannot win Arizona without winning Maricopa. This turnout bodes well for our candidates in November. People are excited, focused, and motivated to vote.”
As of now, the Democratic Party is poised to make major gains in the elections this November. It could gain a second Senate seat, capture one or more House seats, win county offices that have not had a Democratic head in decades, take control of one or more of the chambers in the State Legislature, and vote for the Democratic nominee for President (Joe Biden) for the first time since 1996.
The key to success is continued enthusiasm and voter turnout.
Please remember to do your part.
- General Election Day is on November 3. 2020. Please see the below graphic for all-important voting dates.
- Please check your voter registration at vote.
- Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at vote.
- Arizona residents, mail your General Election ballot by October 28, 2020, for the November 3, 2020 election. With recent issues with the Post Office, you should consider mailing them out by October 23, 2020.
- Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.
- Know the voter ID requirements in your state.
- If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.
- Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.
- Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.