Stacey Seaman Wants to be a Positive Force for Change as the New State Senator from LD 16

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Arizona’s Legislative District (LD) 16, an area that includes all or part of Maricopa, Casa Grande, Florence, Eloy, Marana, and the outer edge of Tucson is substantially more purple demographically than in recent years. 

It is one of the reasons, coupled with the recent State Supreme Court decision restoring a Civil War era abortion ban, that Democrats at the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) see the 2024 election as a golden opportunity to take the district senate seat currently occupied by Thomas (T.J.) Shope.

Enter educator Stacey Seaman, the daughter of one of LD 16’s current representatives, Keith Seaman. 

Ms. Seaman is running on a platform of bringing positive change to the local communities, focusing on working on solutions to challenges facing those communities like fully funding public schools, securing affordable and quality health care, managing growth and water supplies, and protecting women’s reproductive freedom and health care.

She also supports law enforcement and a secure border with Mexico.

Ms. Seaman graciously took the time to talk with Blog for Arizona about her candidacy for the LD 16 State Senate seat. 

The questions and her responses are below. 

  • Please tell the readers at least two reasons you have decided to run for the LD 16 State Senate seat in 2024.

“I think the first reason and probably the most important reason that I decided to run for the seat is because It’s I believe that it’s time for a change. I believe that it’s time that the voters of LD 16 had a choice; that they had someone who was really connected to the people of their district and was ready to help move us into the future.”

“Pinal County and LD 16 is a district that’s really growing and sometimes I feel that people who have been in these positions for a long time are not always moving forward in the way that they should.”

“Secondly, I don’t think that anybody especially in this day and age should run unopposed. I believe people need a choice. I think it’s important that they go, and they see somebody who has their beliefs represented when they’re in the polling place.”

  • Please tell us at least three issues you will be running on in 2024. 

 “I’ve been an educator for 20 years and so education is critically important. Since we’re a rural District, education is an especially big part of our civic lives and it’s a chance for our students to go and get a world-class education. Then they can be competitive anywhere that they go. Unfortunately, it’s been a bit of a challenge being an educator in Arizona the last few years and I believe that it’s time that somebody was in the seat who was really serious about facing those challenges and moving forward in a serious manner.”

“The second issue is Healthcare, especially for our seniors. My mom is a retired nurse and of course, my dad is a retired educator.  I saw firsthand what happens when there are seniors in our community who can’t afford their medication. They have to go down to Mexico and you know get dental work done because the system as it is failing them. I think it’s very important that we are able to go in and work on these challenges with insurance companies and Healthcare.”

“Speaking of Healthcare, with the recent news about Arizona going back to the 1864 ban on abortion, this is also a very good time to talk about women’s reproductive freedom and healthcare. Because that’s what’s at stake: the right for women of Arizona to be able to decide their own healthcare in a room with their doctor. Not with the state legislature weighing in. Not with this ridiculous law that was written while Arizona was still a territory and before women even had the right to vote. Like so many other Arizonans, I am outraged at the games that are being played by Republicans in our legislature regarding this very serious issue. They had the opportunity to stop this law in its tracks and instead they adjourned the legislature, causing a week of chaos at healthcare facilities around the state. How many women and families are already suffering because they’re playing games? How many women will die before they get serious about governing?”

Finally, the third issue that I’m very passionate about of course is growth. Living in a rural district, managing that growth is so important and finding a way that we can make sure that we have the infrastructure in place to support that growth; that people can get to and from where they need to get to in a manner that’s going to be safe and time efficient. Then also of course with the water rights and making sure everybody has the water that they need for the next hundred years.”

Do you support law enforcement? 

I think that historically law enforcement in small and rural communities is more than just someone who you know goes out and has to police people. I mean, they’re really more about what you think about when you think communities’ kind of back in the day. The people who live in our small communities who are members of our law enforcement. They are neighbors. They are our friends. They’re the people who we go to churches with, and they are here to help make our community safer and they’re here to try and help our youth get where they need to be. I absolutely support our local law enforcement. 

That being said, I also am a big supporter of making sure that we fund our law enforcement agencies appropriately to make sure they are equipped to deal with every sort of situation. 

We should also be supporting programs that train officers to safely interact with our homeless community and the mentally ill members of our communities, de-escalation, and community policing initiatives.”

Do you favor a secure border? 

 “Yes, I mean we obviously want to make sure that people are safe. While the federal government has so much control over border issues, and until we get comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, we at the state level must continue to do what we can to keep Arizonans safe while doing our best to ease suffering. We must find a way to compassionately help those who come to our borders seeking asylum from dangerous regimes. It’s obvious that things can’t continue the way that they are. But we also have an obligation to help protect the most vulnerable of people who come to us for help. It is challenging, but we can do challenging things. One way we can help is to continue to send resources to our towns and border patrol entities who are working at the border. But we can’t do that while our state budget is being held hostage by the runaway ESA voucher program and the flat tax. We need to revamp our budget and revenue collecting process so we can continue to keep Arizonans safe while committing to a duty of care for vulnerable migrants.”

  • Why should voters in LD 16 pick you over your Republican opponent? 

“I think that they should pick me, and they should vote for me because I’m ready to come in and help solve these issues. It seems as though sometimes, when you look at the way that the legislature has been working before, there are these completely unserious and ridiculous bills being put forth and that have nothing to do with governing in our state and making things better for our communities and our people.

When my opponent was first elected years ago it seemed like he was focused on what’s going on. But now the Republican caucus has moved so far to the right and my opponent has just gone right there with them, and he votes for these ridiculous bills that they know aren’t going to go anywhere. They’re going to get vetoed and yet they’re wasting everybody in Arizona’s time and money because they want to make some kind of point and I just think that’s ridiculous. It’s theatrics, and I would rather focus on real solutions that impact LD 16, not grabbing headlines.”

  • Please explain how your campaign will persuade Democrats, Independents, and like-minded Republicans to support your candidacy in 2024 and turn out for you. 

“It’s interesting. I grew up as a Democrat my whole life. That’s kind of the little Bailey Wick that I lived in and when I was growing up, I always thought that there were these very well-defined lines between Democrats and Republicans. Now that we’re in this kind of new political era what I’m realizing is that those lines; a lot of them seem almost imaginary because for example as a Democrat, I’m here saying we don’t need governmental involvement in women’s healthcare.  I’m fighting for less government involvement which you know which if you look 30 years ago, that’s something that they wouldn’t have thought of. I think it’s very easy for Republicans and Independents as well as Democrats to look at somebody who’s serious about governance and who doesn’t want to play those political games and those culture games and instead look at the real issues that are endemic in some of our districts. Of women’s reproductive rights, Healthcare, housing, infrastructure and all those things. I’m going to focus more on kitchen table issues. Not these headlines. Not the ideas trying to create outrage because that just doesn’t interest me at all. I’m interested in getting down to what’s going to help the people in my district have a happier and more secure life.”

  • Is there anything not covered in the first four questions that you would like the readers to know about you and your candidacy for the LD 16 State Senate? Please explain. 

“I think that one of the biggest things that I would like readers to know is that I’ve lived here in the district for 20 years. I grew up, although not in this District, in a rural district. I understand what it feels like to live in a smaller place and watch it grow. I grew up with my hometown and I think that it’s very important to elect people who are not so far removed from what’s actually happening on the ground in the district and that I would always have an open door policy that even now if they want to contact me and talk about the things that they’re interested in and that they’re concerned about, I’m ready. I’m ready to start the process of learning more about what people in my district are interested in and what they need.”

 “I really believe in being involved in the community where you’re at. Since I’ve lived in Casa Grande, I’ve been on several boards and commissions. I was on Parks and Recreation board for a few years. I was on the Arts and Humanities board. I worked with a local nonprofit, the BlackBox Foundation, for years. I volunteer through my church and through the community. I’ve been on the ground level, and I see the successes of the people in my district. And I also see the struggles; again, me being one of the people in our district. So, I’m one of the people in this district and I want to fight for what we need so everybody in our district can be raised up.”

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