Democrats are fielding candidates for every Maricopa County office in 2020. Four Democrats are vying to be the next Maricopa County Attorney.
Tamika Wooten, a close to 30 year experienced attorney, serving in prosecutorial, defense, and judicial capacities, is one of those four candidates.
Vowing to fight for justice for all, Ms. Wooten sat down at Lolas Café and explained her qualifications and plans for the Maricopa County Attorney position should he win the Democratic Party nomination and the general election in 2020.
The questions and her responses are below.
- Please tell the reader about yourself and give at least two reasons you are qualified to serve as the next Maricopa County Attorney?
“I am a wife, a mom, and for over 29 years I’ve proudly served the people of Arizona as a Judge, Chief Prosecutor, and a Defense Attorney. As a daughter of working-class Americans – A U.S. postal worker and a high school teacher – who value honesty, community, and service – it’s been my life’s honor to help make Maricopa County a shining example of what America can be. And now I’d love to take that mission even further, as your next County Attorney. Education has always been a priority to me so after graduating high school at 16, I attended and graduated from UCLA and then U OF A for law school.”
“I am the only candidate running for Maricopa County Attorney whose qualifications include all three parts of the Maricopa County legal system. 29 years of working within the Arizona criminal justice system provides me unique qualifications of having the hands-on experience and the relationship capital needed to make the transformative change within the Maricopa County Attorneys office.”
“Every day for nearly 30 years I’ve walked into courtrooms to serve Arizona citizens where taxpayers spend $25,397 per person per year to imprison nonviolent nonvictim crimes. The waste of tax dollars has to end.”
“In the last 25 years here in Maricopa County I’ve seen a rise in drug addiction and mental health cases. In Maricopa county between May 2018 to April 2019, over 73% of all opioid overdose deaths involved prescriptions. The solution to drug addiction is treatment, not incarceration. Arizona Prisons are not properly equipped to treat opioid and other addictions. As County Attorney, I will increase opportunities for diversion, allowing those arrested for drug possession or for minor offenses due to addiction to get the treatment they need instead of incarceration.”
“My experiences here in Maricopa County as a Chief Prosecutor, a Defense Attorney and a Judge prepared me to be your next County Attorney with an unbiased approach to justice keeping our communities safe for everyone.”
- Please tell the reader what are at least two duties of the Maricopa County Attorney?
“The position as Maricopa County Attorney is to ensure justice is served, reduce recidivism, keep communities safe, and follow the law.”
- Please tell the reader at least two reasons you would be a better County Attorney than the current County Attorney?
“The current County Attorney has turned a blind eye to sexual misconduct, and other scandals within the prosecutor’s office. As your next County Attorney, I will restore the faith in the Criminal Justice System and ensure that everyone is treated within the same legal guidelines.”
“As the fourth largest county in America with a 100 million dollar annual budget, the current County Attorney has brought national negative attention to this office. That negative attention didn’t only affect the families of its over 1000 employees, it affected every resident here in the county by tarnishing the idea that safety, justice, and fiscal responsibility would be upheld as the standard for the County Attorney.”
“As County Attorney, I have the experience, integrity, and commitment to justice necessary to reform our Maricopa County criminal justice system to help every person, every family, and every community.”
- If elected, what will be at least two goals you will have as Maricopa County Attorney?
“I will reform the criminal justice system and save taxpayer dollars by focusing on ending mass incarceration. I will put an end to lengthy imprisonments for non-violent and non-victim crimes and divert those tax dollars towards education and diversion programs.”
“I will treat mental illness as a health concern and not a crime.”
“When people re-enter our society, I ensure access to housing, schooling, and employment programs to stop cycles of violence, make sure our neighborhoods stay safe and preventing repetitive offenses.”
- What would you like the voters to know about yourself that was not covered in the preceding questions?
“I have the experience, integrity, and commitment to justice needed to successfully serve Maricopa County in this role.”
“ My husband is a pediatrician and we are the parents of two children girls.”
“Everyone wants a chance at a good basic life (food, housing, and health). If we operate on those premises, then the community will do well.”
“I have a volunteer team with campaign, marketing, and finance managers. We have a $650,000 fundraising campaign goal to win primary and take on the Republican candidate.”
Democrats have a hard choice to make in the Primaries next year as four qualified candidates are competing to the Party’s nominee for Maricopa County Attorney.
Tamika Wooten is one of those candidates.