Unlike her Republican counterpart, New Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson Raquel Teran is not reluctant to speak with the objective mainstream media.
The undisputed (again, unlike her Republican counterpart) victor in her Party’s January 23 Convention, the LD 30 State Representative has, as Party Spokesperson Matt Grodsky said in a January 29 statement:
“Our new Chairwoman knows how to build broad coalitions and bring people together. She is already hard at work developing the fundraising, voter registration, and candidate recruitment strategy for the 2022 election. She will leverage the state party leadership, our county parties, and legislative districts to chart our path forward. Arizona Democrats can rest assured that the party has not skipped a beat and is working earlier than ever to build off our 2020 successes and expand our winning infrastructure. Chair Terán will spare no effort to make sure that we are supporting our candidates from the school board to the Governorship.”
Chairperson Teran was gracious to sit with Blog for Arizona and respond to questions on where she would like to take the Arizona Democratic Party.
The questions and her responses are below:
1) To What extent do you believe a trickle-up approach is the best way to elect candidates up and down the ballot in future elections? Please explain.
“I think it is very important. One of the reasons I ran is I am an advocate for local issues. We want to take the state legislature into the majority and build on the 2020 statewide and federal race results. We need to focus on down-ballot races like the county, school board, and the state legislature. We are ready to fight for every Democratic candidate. We are ready to go and run.”
2) While Joe Biden, Mark Kelly, and Anna Tovar won in Arizona, other battleground candidates in the house (CD Six,) local (LD 17, LD 20, LD 21, and LD 23,) and county candidates (most of the ones in Maricopa) did not. What are at least two reasons you attribute those local losses to? Do you think this is because of geography where the Trumpist base turnout factored more? Please advise.
“There was a really good turnout from both sides but the reality is the Republicans have a voter registration advantage and that factored in the local races. We need to campaign by going back to the door to door and neighbor to neighbor campaigning after the pandemic emergency and start organizing now. We need to be in tune with what the counties need and want. “
3) Based on your response to number two, what are at least three ways you and your team will work to improve Democratic Performance at the house, local, and county levels in 2022 and 2024 and reduce the undervote/counter the Trump Base turnout?
- “We are going to do year-round statewide organizing and make sure county and legislative district (LD) have resources to do well.”
- “Register Democrats and put them on the Early Voting List (PEVL.)”
- “Make sure we are part of the process on the new Congressional and Legislative Districts”
4) Do you anticipate the redistricting process in House and Legislative Districts to be fair? Please explain. If not, please explain what are two steps you are prepared to take to ensure fairness.
“I am very hopeful with the process because the Arizona Democrats on the Independent Redistricting Commission unanimously elected the new Independent chair and Democratic Deputy Chair. We want the commission to make the process fair and engage the public on a regular basis.”
5) With regards to voting rights, to what extent is there concern that either the State Legislature may attempt to hinder the voting process for future elections. Please explain. What are two steps you are prepared to take to ensure the voting process is not hindered?
“It is always a concern with the Republican reaction to increased turnout especially with a purge of PEVL and voting rolls, restricting the initiative process, or tightening the voter id requirements. However, using the early ballot has helped turnout and voter education will stop the intended effects of voter suppression. We also need voters to pay attention to down-ballot races in competitive districts. “
6) In your opinion, what are the top three issues that Democrats need to fight for and deliver on when they take their case to the voters in 2022 and 2024?
- “Affordable health care especially during a pandemic.”
- “Fully funding our schools.”
- “Economy and that works for everyone and get them COVID relief; Arizonans are paying attention to the suffering and they want something done.”
7) To what extent is the current composition of the Republican Party helpful to Arizona Democrats?
“Republicans not denouncing people like Finchem, Biggs, Ward, and Gosar shows who they are with their embrace of Trumpism. Arizonans have rejected this with the election of Biden and Penzone and getting rid of people like Russell Pearce. We are not going to let go of our values but there is room for Independents and Republicans who want to join us. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work for Arizona.”
Please click here for more information on the Arizona Democratic Party.