Arizona Daily Star endorsements for General Election 2016


Arizona Daily Star Editorial board issued their campaign endorsements, as early ballots go out this week.  These endorsements are in today’s print edition, pages A 8 and 9.

U.S. Senate:  Senator John McCain (R)

Congressional District 1 (open seat): Tom O’Halleran (D)

Congressional District 2: Congresswoman Martha McSally (R)

Legislative District 2:  Senator Andrea Dalessandro (D), Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon (D) , Rep. Chris Ackerley (R)

Legislative District 9:  Senator Steve Farley (D), Rep. Randy Friese (D), Pam Powers Hannley (D) for House

Legislative Distsrict 10:  Senator David Bradley (D), Rep. Stefanie Mach (D), Kirsten Engel (D) for House

Legislative District 11:  Ralph Atchue (D) for Senate, Corin Hammond (D) for House

Pima County Supervisor District 1:  Brian Bickel (D) and

Pima County Supervisor District 3: Sharon Bronson (D), incumbent

Pima County Sheriff:  Mark Napier (R)

Not sure why the Star failed to endorse in other races (LD 3 House, Pima County Attorney, School Superintendent, Supervisors District 4 & 5, which are contested).  The Star did endorse  CD 3 Congressman Raul Grijalva (D), running unopposed.

Vote wisely on or before Nov. 8, 2016.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


  1. The Arizona Daily Star has had a conservative tilt for years. They hardly ever write original editorials, instead they use a stable of op-ed writers from other sources. The conservatives tend to be folks like Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, George Will and other Republican partisans. On the other side, they tend to go with fairly non partisan writers like Ruth Marcus, Leonard Pitts, and Catherine Rampell. And the Star publishes more right leaning op-eds overall than moderate ones. Their inhouse opinion writer, Tim Steller, is a moderate, with right leaning tendencies.
    The only semblance of liberal/left focus in the Star is cartoonist David Fitzsimmons. He was probably outvoted on all the Republican endorsements by the other members of the editorial board.

    • Thanks Jim for your assessment of the editorial board of the Az Daily Star. Columnist Tim Steller told me he is a registered Independent. The Star did endorse mostly Democrats, except for 4: U. S. Senator John McCain, Congresswoman McSally, LD 3 Rep. Chris Ackerley, and Sheriff candidate Mark Napier.

      • I don’t think Tim Steller is on the editorial board. On the Star’s website, besides Fitz, the other person listed is Sarah Garrecht Gassen. She very occasionally writes a column on the editorial page, but usually not partisan in nature. Another Star staffer, Maria Parham, was the editorial page editor, but she recently retired.
        The endorsement panel might have included some folks like the publisher, etc.
        In terms of their Republican endorsements, it seems like McCain and McSally are kind of big deals. McSally was a Koch candidate, some estimate that the two brothers spent $5 million in 2014 to get her elected. McCain has proved to be the opposite of a maverick, toeing the Tea Party line most of the time. Ann Kirkpatrick is a moderate Democrat.

  2. “Not sure why the Star failed to endorse in other races (LD 3 House, Pima County Attorney, School Superintendent, Supervisors District 4 & 5, which are contested).”

    I’m not convinced any staff of the Star even know that the LD3 House race is contested. I have thus far received no requests for an interview with their editorial staff, and while the Star ran reports on the LD9 and 10 races a couple of weeks back, there has been no such article run on this race. I suspect they are taking the traditional dismissive attitude toward races with Green candidates challenging R/D candidates in otherwise uncontested races.

    • The Recorder (D vs. G) and Assessor (D vs. I) races similarly are not listed in this article, which would lend credence to the suggestion that the Star is uninterested in races outside of the typical D v. R dichotomy.

      • Right Edward, the Pima County Recorder and Assessor’s races aren’t listed either. I’m wondering if the Star might endorse in these races later this week.

      • The Green Party of Pima County put out a media advisory with respect to this past Monday’s debate which did go to several reporters on the Star’s staff, so they don’t have the excuse of ignorance for stating the race is uncontested. I’m not suggesting that I’m somehow entitled to an endorsement (and Ms. Gonzales and Dr. Saldate are not candidates I disapprove of in any case – I’m just fed up with the political system in Arizona as a whole), but I do think the Star is doing their readers a disservice by not at least mentioning that there is a contest in the race.

        I do appreciate your at least making mention that the race does exist, Ms. Classen.

        • You’re welcome. I have been covering the Green Party candidates (including Dave Croteau for Pima County Sheriff, Mary DeCamp for Ward 3 Council and Mayor), Jill Stein and Kent Mesplay for U.S. President — for years. And posting Green Party membership meetings on our image Calendar.

  3. John McCain and Ackerly, seriously? I thought for a moment I was reading it in the AZ Republic! GIVE US A BREAK!

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