2022 is the Democrats election to lose in both Arizona and across the nation.

On issue after issue, value after value, and candidate after candidate, it is the Democrats that have the best ideas, convictions, and the superior aspirants to make the affirmative case to voters this election cycle.

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One person that feels this is a year of opportunity for Democrats is Arizona Assistant House Democratic Leader Jennifer Longdon.

Newly appointed to serve at the board chair of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC,) Representative Longdon graciously took the time to discuss the party’s prospects for 2022.

The questions and her responses are below.

  • What are the names of the Legislative Districts with the greatest opportunities for democratic pickups this 2022 election cycle?

“I think we’re looking at two, four., nine, 13 and 16. And I think we still have some possibilities on the table we’re still working on.”

  • What are the top three to five issues the ADLCC will advise Democrats to run on this cycle?

“Absolutely education. And you know, we’re going to talk about jobs in the economy.

It just cost me $125 to fill up my gas tank the other day. And I know everyone feels that pinch rents are going up.

We’re definitely going to talk about healthcare which includes reproductive rights, reproductive justice. Abortion is going to be one of the talking points for this year.

I think we have to talk about access to the ballot with all of the voter suppression work we’ve seen in this past cycle.

Another issue that I think is really important and I’m not sure everyone should run on it, but they need to be prepared to talk about it is gun violence prevention.”

What about law enforcement and immigration reform and the worry that Republicans might frame it before Democrats do?

“We cannot let Republicans frame our discussions. We have to run on our platform from our values and make sure we make those clear.”

  • To what extent will Democratic candidates highlight Republican extremism in their campaigns? And I, the issues like perpetuating the big lie, COVID 19 denialism, not fully funding public schools, tax cuts for the rich and not expanding Kid’s Care?

“I think, especially if you look at races like LD Four, where incumbent Senator Christina Marsh, is going to go head to head with incumbent Senator Nancy Barto We need to compare and contrast along with highlighting the differences between our democratic values and goals and what the Republicans are looking to do, especially highlighting the extremism.

The Republicans that our candidates are running against is going to be really important to frame the debate. We just need to make sure that we make clear what our goals and values are and what we believe the future looks like for the voter.”

  • Should the party have done more with candidate recruitment and some of these districts? please explain.

“I’m not going to play with a crystal ball here. I think we’ve done a great job of setting up our tier one candidates. These are really races where we believe we can be competitive.

We are not done. We’re evaluating all the legislative districts, and continue to identify where and how we can support legislative Democrats in Arizona.”

  • Please advise at least three ways probably will deliver their message to voters this cycle.

“Nothing replaces one to one voter contact like canvasing door to door and meeting with people at community events. We’re going to be really aggressive with our paid media and with digital ads.

I think a lot of our folks are going to see good earned media as some of these issues heat up and we see the media highlighting the differences.

So, canvasing, canvassing, canvassing, talking to voters and then strong media and digital programs.”

  • Please advise at least three ways the Democratic Party will fight Republican talking lies like Democrats are soft on crime or immigration.

“I think that Republicans have been big on division by taking hot button issues and working to divide us. I think that as Democrats, our job is to talk about what Arizona voters care about deeply. Everyone wants to know where their next glass of water is coming from. They want to know about jobs, food, housing, security. These are the things that are important, and we need to make sure that we talk to every voter about them.

We need to talk to them and understand where they are at their kitchen table, their classroom, and their grocery store line. We need to know what their thoughts are, where their priorities are. You know, in my new district, I’m finding that as I’m learning that while we share the same values, those values may be prioritized differently in certain parts of the district.

So, I just encourage everyone to get out and learn their district and learn their voters and remind them that, you know, we’re the party of inclusion and we are the party of, I think, true family values.”

Should Democrats point out Republican hypocrisy on law enforcement considering Mr. Finchem, Mr. Gosar, and Mr. Bigs are potentially implicated in January 6th attack on the Nation’s Capitol?

“If the question comes up, I would answer it absolutely and answer it honestly, and point out this hypocrisy.

However, if I have two minutes at the door canvassing, I’m not going to lead with that. But you know, in a forum, in a debate, in a conversation, I would absolutely point out that difference, you know, on January 6th, the insurrectionists beat law enforcement officers with blue live matter flags. I believe personally, that dealing with the insurrection is fundamental to preserving our democracy. It’s work we must do. I think when you’re at the doors, it’s not the first thing that voters care about. They want to talk about housing and food and prices and education and those things.”

  • Is there anything not covered in the first six questions that you would like the readers to know? Please explain.

“I think what I want folks to know that we have a strategy that I believe is going to be successful to move us forward overcoming the current one vote margin in both chambers.

It’s been really frustrating even getting to 30 and 15, in both chambers. If that had been the case in this past session, we would not have seen a flat tax. We would not see the voter suppression bills. We would not see the genetic anomaly bill or 15-week abortion ban and, and many of these other issues.

We would have been able to advance our democratic values in healthcare, education, preserving voting rights, immigration, and many other things that reflect our values.

So even a straight up power sharing, 30 to 30 or 15 to15. would make a huge difference. The math is 31,16, and 1 (the Governor) to get anything done in this state.

I believe we’ll see a Democratic Governor and even power sharing in a chamber would change the face of how things happen in Arizona.

I am proud of the work that the ADLCC is doing. We’ve brought in a lot of smart, energetic, passionate, and dedicated folks. We’re going to move forward and do everything we can to get to at least, a power sharing scenario.

 I still believe in my heart of hearts, there is a potential path forward to  majority.”

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