Tag Archives: David Garcia

Maricopa Democratic Chair Steve Slugocki on the End of One-Party Rule

Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Steven Slugocki

The 2018 Midterm elections were good for the Democrats in Arizona, especially if you were a woman in a state or citywide race whose first or last name began with a “K.” With the final results now determined, Kyrsten Sinema (United States Senate), Katie Hobbs (Secretary of State), Kathy Hoffman (Superintendent of Public Instruction), and Sandra Kennedy (Corporation Commission) emerged victorious in their statewide races. With a first-place showing in the initial round of the Phoenix Mayoral Race, Kate Gallego seems well positioned to win the runoff election in March over Daniel Valenzuela. Democrats also gained four seats in the Arizona State House making that chamber the closest between the two parties since 1966. Many Democrats also performed well in races for local school boards, judgeships, justice of the peace, and local constables.

Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Steve Slugocki, in the middle of preparing for the annual reorganization elections for the county party, offered his perspective on the 2018 election results and where the party will go from here. The questions and responses are below:

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Is there a voter crisis in Arizona?

Recently in July 2018  the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy issued a report  entitled “Arizona’s Voter Crisis”.

Here’s the report funded by the Citizens Clean Election Commission (CCEC) and on their website:

https://storageccec.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/public/docs/312-Voter-Crisis-Report-FINAL3.pdf

I attended a recent Tucson town hall on October 24 hosted by these 2 entities in which Joseph Garcia of ASU (director of communication & impact/co-author of the report) and Tom Collins E.D. of CCEC reported that  2.1 million or 45% of Arizona’s “potential voters” in 2016 (General) didn’t choose to exercise their fundamental right to vote.  They reported on the nationwide trend in erosion of voter participation & on groups which aren’t voting in high numbers:  youth, less educated, and Latinos.  Moreover, Independents have a lower voter turnout due to not voting in primaries (don’t feel that they belong to either party or don’t know they can vote in the primaries by requesting a party ballot), and also don’t feel part of the electoral process.

In August 2018, the voter turnout statewide (of registered voters) for the Arizona Primary was: 33.26%

In the Arizona Mid-term General Election 2018 the voter turnout statewide was:   64.33%.  And higher in Pima County: 70.55%

So the big question in the report was “Why Don’t More People vote?”  (see page 15). There are a myriad of answers including “too busy” “out of town”, etc. but a main reason seems to be lack of information on the candidates and voting process.   So that means better ways to reach voters needs to occur, along with more information.  We here at Blog for Arizona do our best in that regard.
Local reporters after the recent elections were saying that negative campaigning suppresses the vote, or backfires against candidates doing negative campaigning.

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Alison Jones will Include Community Groups as Pima Democrats Chair

Alison Jones, a Democratic precinct committee person and activist, promises to reach out to progressive community and labor groups that have been shut out the Democratic party, if she is elected Pima County Democratic Party Chairperson.

“If we can collaborate all these groups, we will be a force to be reckoned with,” she said. “We have got to reach out to these marvelous organizations that share our values and want the same things we want,” naming Arizona Ground Game, Labor, Mi Familia Vota, Justice Alliance, Planned Parenthood, YWCA, and AZ Blue 2020. We need to be working with these groups and using the best ideas.”

She announced at the LD9 Democrats meeting on October 23 that she is challenging current Chair Jo Holt, who has held the position since November 2015. The new chair will be elected by precinct committee persons at a mandatory meeting on Saturday, Dec. 15.

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A Good Beginning Toward Building a Progressive Governing Majority in Arizona

Yesterday was a good beginning toward building a progressive governing majority in Arizona. Democrats appear to  have prevailed in some state house races :

  • Jennifer Jermaine in LD 18
  • Jennifer Pawlik in LD 17
  • Aaron Lieberman in LD 28.

 

Democrats also prevailed in local contests (notably school board) laying the groundwork and foundation for future progressive advances.

Democrats should also take comfort in recruiting many capable and compelling local and congressional candidates who gave Republicans a run for their money and performed well against the odds. Hopefully, many of these candidates will decide to run again.

  • It may take until March but Kate Gallego appears to be the odds-on favorite to be the next Mayor of Phoenix.
  • Jennifer Longdon, a role model for people who can overcome great adversity, coasted to victory as a State Representative in LD 24.
  • Anne Kirkpatrick came back into the political arena to win in Congressional District Two.
  • Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, possibly on a career track to run for Governor in 2022, easily won Congressional District Nine.
  • Kathy Hoffman, who went from political novice to perhaps becoming the next Superintendent of Public Instruction, may be a rising star.
  • The races for Katie Hobbs and Kyrsten Sinema, as of Nov. 7, are still too close to call with up to 500,000 votes in Maricopa County still to be counted.

Youth turnout rose dramatically. Yes, yesterday was a good beginning.

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A Voter Guide to the Democratic Nominees Blog for Arizona Interviewed this year

With the election days away, we have included links to all the articles pertaining to profiles compiled on the federal, state, and local Democratic nominees running for office this year. Please review them so they can help you make the best decision when voting these next two and a half weeks.

Furthermore, please consider the following when deciding whether or not to vote this election:

  • If you think we can do better than one in four children in Arizona living in poverty, then vote in November.
  • If you think we can do better than being near the bottom in the nation in education funding, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with gubernatorial candidate David Garcia that “no one should be left behind,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Kathy Hoffman that the “future of Arizona is in our schools,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Attorney General candidate January Contreras that public service should be about the “little guy and democracy” and the people, especially the most vulnerable (like those with pre-existing health conditions), need to be protected, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Treasurer candidate Mark Manoil that local and state Arizona economic development would be better served with local community banks than Wall Street banks, then vote in November.
  • If you want Arizona to be the solar capital of the country and greater utility investments steered towards solar, water, and wind like Corporation Commission candidate Kiana Sears, then vote in November.
  • If you want the stench of Dark Money removed from the public arena as most of the Democratic local and state candidates want, then vote in November.
  • If you want public servants like this year’s Democratic candidates that listen to their constituents and show up to public forums and debates, then vote in November.
  • If you want all civil rights protected, including the right for women to choose and the newly recognized rights for members of the LGBTQ community, then vote this November.

All elections are important. The 2018 elections may be more so because if the forces of reaction, intolerance, and backwardness are allowed to prevail, it may be a long time before we recover.

Please Remember To Vote In November.

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