Tag Archives: Invest in Ed

An Interview with Superintendent of Public Instruction Elect Kathy Hoffman

“I am looking forward to being the voice for public education and elevating the voices of teachers and students," says Kathy Hoffman.

“I am looking forward to being the voice for public education and elevating the voices of teachers and students,” says newly-elected Kathy Hoffman.

During the 2018 election campaign in Arizona, one person personified the Cinderella theme of coming from nowhere to win statewide office.

No, it was not Katie Hobbs. It was not Kyrsten Sinema. It was the incoming Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman.

A speech therapist, Hoffman achieved the “Impossible Dream” of Arizona electoral politics this year by her meteoritic rise to become the state’s top educator. She bested seasoned political veterans David Schipara in the August primaries and Frank Riggs in the November general elections. After Senator-Elect Sinema, she was the top vote-getter among Democrats.

A new star in the Democratic Party, Ms. Hoffman sat down with the Blog for Arizona a third time to reflect on her victory, discuss her transition, and chart a course for her first year in office. The questions and responses are below.

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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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Lynsey Robinson will Fight for those Marginalized by Reactionary Conservatives in LD12

Democratic LD 12 State House Candidate Lynsey Robinson

What do you get when you let a political party get the idea that they can win unopposed in any legislative district? You get extreme legislators who think they can support any extreme measure that goes against the public good or turns the clock back because the other major party will not muster any opposition.

This is what has happened in Legislative District 12 (and other districts that Democrats up until this year have neglected). Voters in the Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan area have had to suffer extreme reactionary Republicans like Eddie Farnsworth, Travis Grantham, and Warren Pedersen. They have run unopposed in two of the last three elections on the House side while supporting measures that promote Dark Money interests, giving public dollars to private (and in some cases religious) entities and taking away the rights of women in particular and voters in general.

Fortunately, Democrats are finally woke and, like other legislative districts, are championing multiple gifted and forward-looking candidates who offer a pragmatic progressive vision for the people of LD 12. These candidates are Lynsey Robinson, Joe Bisaccia, and D.J. Rothans.

Over drinks at the IHOP on Power and Baseline, Ms. Robinson charismatically conveyed why she would be an effective progressive legislator for the people of LD 12.

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Democrat LD 15 House Candidate Tonya MacBeth wants to help dig Arizona out of the hole dug by the policies of Nancy Barto and John Allen

LD 15 State House Candidate Tonya MacBeth

Once upon a time, Republicans in legislative districts like LD 15 (a district that includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Glendale, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley) could run virtually unopposed for election and reelection because Democrats hardly challenged them. For example, current LD 15 State Senator Nancy Barto only had one opponent in 2012 and 2014, a Republican in the district primary before Tonya MacBeth challenged her in 2016. On the House side, incumbents Heather Carter and John Allen ran unopposed in 2014 and defeated single shot candidates Patricia Flickner in 2012 and Brandon Dwyer in 2016.

Well times are changing in LD 15 and other districts previously uncontested or little challenged by Democrats.

2018 is an embarrassment of riches for Democrats as three exemplary and passionate aspiring public servants led by 2016 State Senate Candidate Tonya MacBeth (the others are Jennifer Samuels and Julie Gunnigle) all vie for an opportunity to face off against incumbent John Allen and term-limited in the Senate Nancy Barto in the State House of Representative election on November 6 (Ms. Carter is term-limited in the House and running for the district state senate seat against a fourth exemplary, passionate, and aspiring Democratic public servant, Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko).

At what is becoming the press office for Democratic candidates in LD 15 (the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Tonya MacBeth gave an impassioned presentation on why she would be an ideal legislator for LD 15 as a mature voice for pragmatic centrist-progressivism.

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