The road to a Democratic State House majority in Arizona may come through Legislative District (LD) 21.
New Democrat Kathy Knecht, a person who came very close to winning the LD 21 State Senate seat from her Republican opponent in 2018, is the nominee looking to take one of the House Seats.
A devoted and experienced educator and public activist, Ms. Knecht wants to bring a pragmatic, inclusive, and bipartisan problem-solving approach to governing.
Her opponents are Republicans Kevin Payne and Beverly Pingerelli.
Mr. Payne has a voting record that would be mostly repulsive to most Democratic and Independent Leaning Voters.
- Supported discrimination against members of the LGBTQ Community.
- Voted against increased housing assistance for those in need.
- Favored the construction of the border wall without building permits.
- Not voted to fully fund education.
- Wanted to make the minimum wage less for teenagers.
- Supported making the ballot initiative process harder.
- Voted to allow loaded firearms on school grounds.
- Been against a woman’s right to choose.
Ms. Knecht has already competed against Ms. Pingerlli before, garnering more votes than her in the race for Peoria School Board in 2014.
If elected, Ms. Knecht would work to:
- Strengthen the state’s public schools.
- Provide quality, accessible, and affordable health care for all.
- Bring high paying new jobs to the district.
Ms. Knecht graciously took the time to discuss her candidacy for LD 21.
The questions and her responses are below.
1) Please tell the voters two reasons they should pick you over your opponent.
“I’ve always been an independent thinker and a pragmatic, bipartisan leader. I am a well-respected, community leader who ran a regional, non-profit leadership development corporation and have dedicated my life to public service; I have served on dozens of community non-profit boards addressing numerous issues including economic development, the arts, senior issues, and domestic violence.”
“No one has a stronger track record for supporting public schools than me. I was an elementary school teacher, a 12-year public school board member, and President of the Arizona School Boards Association. In the absence of state funding, I consistently voted to pursue local funding efforts on the school board and worked tirelessly on those campaigns. I am currently a plaintiff in the Education Capital Funding Case, defending local taxpayers who have had the tax burden shifted onto them due to the state’s failure to uphold its constitutional obligation to build, maintain, and repair schools.”
2) Please tell the voters at least three public policy issues you will advance if you are reelected to the Arizona State Legislature.
“I’m focused on strengthening our public schools by ending the teacher crisis, raising salaries to the national median, protecting tax-payer investment and ensuring safety and learning. We must maintain and repair school buildings and increase the number of school counselors.”
“I’m committed to ensuring our seniors and families have affordable quality healthcare, reducing the price of prescription drugs, and protecting coverage for those with pre-existing conditions—including COVID-19.”
“I’m determined to bring high-paying jobs to the NW Valley in the tech, medical, and creative industries. New jobs will attract young talent and draw small businesses, unique restaurants, and tourism to the region.”
3) Is there anything you would like the voter to know about you or your candidacy that has not been asked in the first three questions.
“My race is one of the most competitive and most-watched in the state. We’re building on great momentum and name recognition from the 2018 AZ Senate race in which I won 48% of the vote as an independent, against a high-ranking Republican. Now, we have the benefit of party infrastructure and even more support. I’ve outraised my opponents and received 3,000 more votes than either opponent during the primary.”
For more information on Ms. Knecht and her candidacy, please click on her webpage here, her Facebook Page here, her interview with Maricopa County School Superintendent Candidate Jeanne Casteen here, and her previous Blog for Arizona interview here.
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