Democrats Energized to Take Back Seats in Glendale’s LD20

A blue wave is cresting in American politics.
A blue wave is cresting in American politics.

An energetic field of progressive Democratic candidates in Glendale and Phoenix are running to oust right-wing, pro-NRA, anti-abortion incumbents in Republican-leaning legislative district 20.

AZ Senate

  • Douglas Ervin, a pilot and triathlete, is the former Chief Development Architect of AFS Technologies in Phoenix.
  • Larry Herrera is a Traffic Engineering Analyst for the City of Tempe. He ran for state Senate in 2016 but lost to Kimberly Yee.
  • Matthew Marquez is a Field Organizer for the state Democratic Party and is a precinct committeeman.

The Democrats are working to oust the noxious incumbent, Paul Boyer, a state representative running for Senate, who is endorsed by the NRA and Arizona Right to Life. Boyer is tied to the anti-consumer ALEC organization (American Legislative Exchange Council), which writes right-wing model statutes. Notoriously, Boyer supports school vouchers, opposed the expansion of Medicaid and supported legislation that would have legalized discrimination against gay people.

Perennial independent candidate Doug Quelland is a spoiler in LD20. Known for his ridiculous, giant handlebar mustache, he siphoned off 11% to 15% of voters in 2012, 2014 and 2016, allowing the Republican to win.

Douglas Ervin, candidate for Senate in LD20.
Douglas Ervin, candidate for Senate in LD20.

Douglas Ervin, despite being a political newcomer, is considered to have the best chance of winning the primary. His campaign is organized and has knocked on thousands of doors already.

Ervin’s priorities are education funding, environmental protection (he is a volunteer with the Climate Reality Project) and equal opportunity.

He cites the state’s 331 sales tax exemptions, which create economic inequality by shifting the tax burden from big corporations to individuals. He calls for tax cuts for families and small businesses. Ervin supports students and teachers in taking action against gun violence.

Larry Herrera was elected to a four-year term in 2014 on the Washington Elementary school board and is Chair of the North Mountain Village Planning Committee. As a block watch captain and Cactus Park Community Alliance member he has attended hours of neighborhood meetings.

He also calls for cuts in corporate sales tax giveaways and an increase in funding for public schools, citing the economic boost sparked by good schools and skilled graduates. Herrera criticizes Gov. Ducey’s bogus TV campaign that claims he increased funding for education.

Matthew Marquez, a clean elections candidate, is a campaign coordinator who knows the mechanics of getting elected. He emphasizes funding public education, healthcare for families, and economic equality.

AZ State House

Democrats are working to unseat incumbent Rep. Anthony Kern, who is endorsed by the NRA and Arizona Right to Life. He is anti-union and supports school vouchers. Kern is backed by the Koch brothers’ organization Americans for Prosperity.

Democrat Chris Gilfillan is running for the AZ House.
Democrat Chris Gilfillan is running for the AZ House.

Chris Gilfillan, an attorney, is the Manager of D. French Advisors legal recruiters in Phoenix. He ran for the state House in 2016 and lost by only 4 points. He is a clean elections candidate.

He focuses on education, including school funding and teacher pay, teacher retention and bringing qualified teachers to the state.  His mother and brother are teachers. Gilfillan calls for restoring the $4 billion in cuts to public education in K-12 and higher education that have been made since the Recession. Gilfillan criticizes Gov. Ducey for making unverified, false claims about teacher pay in Arizona.

Gilfillan supports the expansion of the state Research & Development Tax Credit to encourage entrepreneurs.

He blasted Rep. Kern for being a “seat warmer,” saying, “I knock on doors and ask voters to tell me what their representatives have done, and no one can tell me what they have done for them.”

Patrick Church, the owner of Allied Print & Design, is a member of the North Mountain Village Planning Committee. A clean elections candidate, he supports having better education and access to the best healthcare.