Once upon a time, Republicans in legislative districts like LD 15 (a district that includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Glendale, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley) could run virtually unopposed for election and reelection because Democrats hardly challenged them. For example, current LD 15 State Senator Nancy Barto only had one opponent in 2012 and 2014, a Republican in the district primary before Tonya MacBeth challenged her in 2016. On the House side, incumbents Heather Carter and John Allen ran unopposed in 2014 and defeated single shot candidates Patricia Flickner in 2012 and Brandon Dwyer in 2016.
Well times are changing in LD 15 and other districts previously uncontested or little challenged by Democrats.
2018 is an embarrassment of riches for Democrats as three exemplary and passionate aspiring public servants led by 2016 State Senate Candidate Tonya MacBeth (the others are Jennifer Samuels and Julie Gunnigle) all vie for an opportunity to face off against incumbent John Allen and term-limited in the Senate Nancy Barto in the State House of Representative election on November 6 (Ms. Carter is term-limited in the House and running for the district state senate seat against a fourth exemplary, passionate, and aspiring Democratic public servant, Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko).
At what is becoming the press office for Democratic candidates in LD 15 (the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Tonya MacBeth gave an impassioned presentation on why she would be an ideal legislator for LD 15 as a mature voice for pragmatic centrist-progressivism.
LD 16 Democratic State House Candidate Sharon Stinard
At the Starbucks at Broadway and Power in Mesa, second time State House Democratic Candidate Sharon Stinard offered a pragmatic progressive vision for the residents of LD 16 as she prepares to go potentially against out of touch reactionary zealot Kelly Townsend and another Republican (to be determined after the primary) because the other current incumbent decided not to run in the November elections there is an “open seat” opportunity in November. In a district that includes parts of Maricopa and Pinal County, Ms. Stinard is running on a platform that emphasizes education, healthcare, infrastructure, and strategic economic development (including tax reform) and job growth.
LD 16 includes parts of Eastern Maricopa county and Northern Pinal. Parts or all of Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Youngberg are within its boundaries. The district has been reliably Republican in recent elections. Ms. Stinard and Cara Prior lost to incumbents Kelly Townsend and Doug Coleman in 2016.
Believing that local politics is the “foundation of our republic” and we cannot let “one side have all the oxygen in the room,” Ms. Stinard believes LD 16 voters deserve a strong voice in the legislature to advocate for economic opportunity and an equitable share of available resources,” Ms. Stinard believes, with the open seat and Ms. Townsend becoming increasingly radicalized with her positions (opposition to Invest in Ed and Medicaid Expansion) and out of touch with the people of the district (she rarely interacts with them according to Ms. Stinard), that there is an opening for her pragmatic progressive vision for LD 16.
Over beverages at the IHOP at Sossaman and Baseline in Gilbert, Clean Elections Legislative District 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown conveyed the reasons she is making a second run for the State Senate after losing to Warren Pedersen in 2016. Ms. Brown is an experienced public servant whose campaign message centers on four themes. These are:
Promoting public education.
Protecting our environment.
Modernizing and expanding our local and state Infrastructure.
Guaranteeing ethics and equality for all.
Arizona LD 12 (see map) includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. This has normally been a reliable Republican district that has attracted minimal Democratic opposition in the past. In 2012, Republican Andy Biggs ran unopposed for this Senate seat. Ms. Brown did lose to Mr. Pedersen in 2016. However, Democratic enthusiasm has surged since 2016. There are three able and energized Democrats vying for the two State House seats and Ms. Brown seeks to ride that momentum to a Senate victory this November. A progressive, she feels that “if people would just take the “D” and “R” away and people see what I stand for, the people would see a lot of common ground with my positions.”
Who is Elizabeth Brown?
A former drama teacher, Ms. Brown, a wife, and mother of two daughters is an experienced public servant whose experiences start in 2004 when she volunteered for the Kerry and Edwards campaign. From 2004 to 2008 she worked for the Maricopa County Democratic Party as an office manager and executive assistant whose main responsibility was to recruit volunteers and assist legislative district chairs. She worked in Governor Napolitano’s and Governor Brewer’s office in the Constituent Services Department, observing how policies were formulated. Afterward, she was an assistant to former State Senator Barb McGuire and saw how bills were written. She also saw Republican heavy-handedness in burying Democratic bills and, later, constitutional amendments like the Equal Rights Amendment.
She believes that a lot of our legislators are in office for “personal gain” and “are out of touch with reality with what is happening with people. They are living in a bubble and do not treat people with dignity and compassion.” This is especially problematic because it is in the local sphere of the city, school and utility boards, and state level where most decisions affecting lives are made.
She believes that for too long, only men have represented the Legislative District and she feels that it is “time for more diverse representation.” She is running for the State Senate because she “believes our state is at a crucial crossroads and we can choose to continue the status quo of corporate handouts or we can reclaim our state government for all Arizona’s.” She pledges to be a “true public servant who will not look the other way when I see corruption or anything that seems unethical.” She wants to be the voice of the people and their concerns as their advocate at the capital, relying on “community engagement while seeking real and practical solutions for all Arizonans that create the policy that will ensure the wellbeing for all.”
Arizona List is proud to endorse Victoria Steele for LD 9 State Senator. The Arizona List is a committee for pro-choice Democratic women in Arizona.
Victoria gets things done
As a State House member, Victoria delivered results for Arizona and the people of LD 9. In her first term she secured half a million dollars in the state budget for mental health first aid, and in her second term, she was the sponsor of two of the eight total Democratic bills to pass the House. As a State Senator, she vows to work tirelessly to make sure that the state budget is balanced to the benefit of all Arizonans, and not on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens.
Victoria is a champion for women
Prior to entering politics, Victoria was a master’s level professional counselor helping women struggling with trauma and addiction. She created the Native Ways program at The Haven, an award-winning substance use residential treatment program for Indigenous women. She is a life-long feminist and a co-founder of the Tucson Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) where she is highly active in advocating for women’s equality and empowerment.
Victoria will fight for an economy that is fair for everyone
Victoria firmly believes that hard-working Arizonans deserve jobs with a living wage. She will end tax loopholes for corporations and others that have outlived their usefulness and restore those revenue streams for our state’s economy. She will fight to fix our crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure, and make sure that affordable, quality healthcare – which is a right, not a privilege – is available to everyone.
We need Victoria’s leadership and experience in the State Senate. Join us in supporting her! Volunteer with her campaign, get campaign updates on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
Changing the Face of Power in Arizona
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Posted onAugust 3, 2018byDavid Gordon|Comments Off on CD6 Candidate Garrick McFadden Knows How Democrats Can Beat Schweikert & Gosar
Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Garrick McFadden with his wife and daughter.
Paying another visit to the Coffee Bean on Indian School and Miller in Scottsdale, Congressional District Six candidate Garrick McFadden offered his perspective (while I devoured a Volcano Brownie) on how Democrats can win in CD 6 and other state offices and local and congressional districts while improving their party infrastructure.
Saying “demographics is destiny,” McFadden, running for the Democratic Nomination in CD 6 against Anita Malik and Heather Ross, feels that Democrats can beat Republicans across the state by employing two methods to improve the Democratic state infrastructure: ground game and technology.
First, all candidates need a well-manned ground game, staffed with a multicultural team of volunteers that will go into all Democratic-leaning communities, knock on doors, and persuade the voters in those areas to turn out and vote in levels that will improve the hopefully winning margins for Democratic Candidates. Mr. McFadden feels that these voters in Democratic-leaning precincts are a largely untapped reservoir of Democratic supporters that need to be cultivated, educated, persuaded, and encouraged to turn out in levels that perhaps candidates in previous election cycles did not vigorously pursue.
Second, using technology effectively is another way McFadden believes Democrats can improve their infrastructure and improve their margins in Democratic-leaning precincts. Making use of the VAN vote builder software application, McFadden and other candidates can identify likely Democratic voters and efficiently target them to visit and discuss their candidacies with them.
Mr. McFadden’s strategy has already yielded unparalleled results. According to Mariana Aguilar, Mr. McFadden’s campaign coordinator “based on Garrick’s ground game theory, we have already knocked over 20,000 doors, more than any other Democratic campaign in the history of the district. And unlike other campaigns, we have not only prioritized Democrats who always vote, but also Democrats in marginalized communities that may not vote in every election. Garrick believes that only with both of these groups at the polls can Democrats win in District 6 or statewide—one of the reasons why we set up our campaign office at the Metro Center Mall along the I-17 corridor.”
McFadden’s approach to winning echoes many candidates who are running on a liberal progressive (rather than pragmatic progressive) message, employing a getting out the base strategy to winning. The campaign has and will also reach out to other potential supporters like independents, disaffected Republicans and Democrats that voted for Trump after they voted for Obama (although McFadden did express wonder how some Obama supporters could have supported to Trump, the ultimate Birther, after seeing his behavior, lies, and actions during the campaign). He feels that Democrats should run on issues similar to ones he is championing which include single-payer health care, paycheck fairness, disbanding private prisons, abolishing I.C.E. (or shifting it to the Department of Justice) and decriminalizing cannabis. He also feels that Republicans like David Schweikert and Paul Gosar are embarrassments and should be defeated because they have demonstrated a continual refusal to listen to their constituents on issues like the Affordable Care Act.
Garrick McFadden has several good ideas on how to improve Democratic turnout that should be considered. Voters are not going to turn out for a candidate if they do not make an effort like coming to their door to reach out to them and discuss ideas for moving the district forward.
For more information on Mr. McFadden, his ideas, and his race for the Democratic Nomination in CD 6, please view the links below.
LD 15 Democratic State House Candidate Julie Gunnigle
In what has become the designated meeting place for Legislative District 15 Democratic Candidates, the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Julie Gunnigle ardently relayed why she would be the best candidate to work for the district’s constituents as one of the two State House Representatives after the November elections.
Ms. Gunnigle is one of three Democrats running for two State House seats in LD 15. The others are Jennifer Samuels and Tonya MacBeth. In what is a likely result of the prevailing political winds (The Trump Administration, the reactionary state Republican Legislature, and Governor beholden to Dark Money-Koch Interests), this is the first time in recent memory more than one Democrat is running to secure at least one of the State House seats.
Who is Julie Gunnigle?
A native of LD 15, Ms. Gunnigle graduated with a Law Degree from Notre Dame University and served as a Cook County Prosecutor in Illinois (where she participated in the indictment of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Cook County) before moving back with her family in 2011 to practice education (special needs including gifted), midwifery, veteran’s affairs, and reproductive rights law. Some of her work (veteran’s law for example) is performed on a pro bono basis. She also taught at Summit Law School and has been a member of the Arizona Association Advocating for the Gifted and Talented, advocating for special needs children and restoration of funding for them in front of the Arizona State Legislature for three years. She is also a wife and mother.
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