CONTINUING ELECTION COVERAGE - The Explorer: Import

CONTINUING ELECTION COVERAGE

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2002 11:00 pm | Updated: 7:46 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

The five major executive branch offices in Arizona are governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and superintendent of public instruction. The following are overviews of the candidates in the Sept. 10 primary election races. Uncontested major and third party candidates will automatically advance to the general election Nov. 5. The Northwest EXPLORER will provide more information about their campaigns in our October general election coverage.

GOVERNOR

With republican Gov. Jane Dee Hull out of the running for this year's gubernatorial race due to term limits, several candidates have come forward with different ideas and opinions about the state's budget and education crises, among other important issues facing Arizona.

During the last legislative session, Hull signed a bill that eliminated several million dollars from the state's education budget despite promises earlier in the year that education funding was not to be touched, especially since Arizona ranked 47th for quality education in the United States.

Now the state is still facing up to a $1 billion deficit in the coming year while trying to maintain the state's most important government funded programs.

For all of the candidates below, several different issues are at the center of their platforms. One issue that all candidates were found to have in common, however, was education and how to maintain funding for Arizona's public schools while improving the quality of education statewide.

Betsey Bayless

Republican

Age: 58

Marital status: Divorced, no children

Education: Bachelor of arts in Latin American studies and Spanish from the University of Arizona, masters in public administration from Arizona State University

Occupation: Arizona Secretary of State

Number of years in Arizona: 58

Last reported campaign contributions: $814,566 as of Aug. 29

Web site: www.betseybayless.com

In her position as Arizona's current secretary of state, Bayless was instrumental in introducing electronic government to Arizona, allowing residents access to important information about elections, candidates and voting.

She was also an advocate for non-English speaking voters by emphasizing statewide bilingual voter outreach.

One of Bayless' primary concerns addressed in her campaign is the need to improve education in Arizona. Her detailed plan consists of several parts, the first of which is to ensure that schools are producing results by implementing a school report card system to grade schools on their progress. Next is to emphasize the importance of early childhood education by implementing a full-day kindergarten program in every school and making sure every child can read after first grade. The final part of her plan is improved funding. Bayless said she promises, if elected, to restructure funding for education to make sure as much funding as possible is going into classrooms.

Another Bayless campaign issue is the need for economic expansion. Bayless said she will focus on wealth-generating industries and tourism as sources of income for the state, reforming the state's tax policies and improving education to better Arizona's talent pool.

Alfredo Gutierrez

Democrat

Age: 57

Marital status: Divorced with three children

Education: Honorary doctorate from Arizona State University

Occupation: Former CEO of Jamieson and Gutierrez

Number of years in Arizona: 57

Last reported campaign contributions: $446,447 as of Aug. 29

Web site: www.alfredo2002.com

Gutierrez attended Arizona State University where he began his career as an activist for worker rights. He also spent three years in the Army, stationed in various Asian locations. Although he didn't finish college, in 1972 he was at the time the youngest person elected to the Arizona Legislature at the age of 27. After two years, he was appointed as the senate's majority leader, where he worked to restructure and "modernize" Arizona's government.

Gutierrez said he will eliminate the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test because he does not believe a child's future should be dependent on a high-stakes test. He said he would work to increase teacher salaries in the state and invest more in and improve access to Arizona's three state universities. He is an advocate of local control of Arizona's school districts and promises to eliminate the bureaucracies that he believes take away control from local government.

In order to try to eliminate the state's budget crisis, Gutierrez said he will eliminate several tax loopholes he believes exist in Arizona's tax code. He said he would put together a commission of industry leaders, educators and other policy makers to revise the code.

Gutierrez is also a supporter of the regularization of undocumented workers, as long as they do not have a criminal history and have been paying taxes. He believed the state has abandoned Arizona's rural areas and promises to "reweave" the state back together.

Janet Napolitano

Democrat

Age: 44

Marital status: Single, no children

Education: Bachelor of arts in political science from Santa Clara University, law degree from University of Virginia

Occupation: Arizona Attorney General

Number of years in Arizona: 9

Last reported campaign contributions: $453,221

Web site: www.gojanet.org

Napolitano was elected as Arizona's attorney general in 1998 after serving for five years as Arizona's U.S. attorney. In that position, she helped secure $65 million in federal funding for Arizona to improve Arizona's problem urban areas. She also focused much of her attentions on preserving the environment.

As attorney general, Napolitano said her main concerns were prosecuting drug traffickers, protecting women, children and senior citizens. In her tenure, she reduced a backlog of child dependency cases by 77 percent, implemented a hotline for children to call if there is trouble at school and reopened the Sun City attorney general satellite office to make services more available to Arizona's senior citizens.

According to her Web site, Napolitano said education will be her top priority if elected. Her plan for improving education in Arizona is to make K-12 education a top priority, to protect and improve current spending on education, make schools smaller and improve teacher student ratios and to implement a "sensible measurement of standards."

As a result of her past attention to improving the environment and the recent forest fires that have plagued the state, Napolitano said her other main priority will be protecting Arizona's forests by carefully using prescribed burns and selective removal of younger trees. Napolitano said she will ensure that both of these methods are done by professionals.

In addition, Napolitano said she would not support a tax increase because the current tax code is inequitable to Arizona businesses. She would also work to reform Arizona's healthcare system by controlling costs, creating incentives to bring in talented professionals and reforming behavioral and mental healthcare.

Mike Newcomb

Democrat

Age: 37

Marital status: Married, two children

Education: Not available

Occupation: Physician

Number of years in Arizona: Not available

Last reported campaign contributions: $18,250 as of Aug. 28

Web site: www.ilike mike2002.com

Newcomb is a physician in Cave Creek who cares primarily for the elderly. He said he is troubled by the collapse of quality healthcare and education in Arizona and is proud to be running as a clean elections candidate.

Born into poverty, Newcomb was the first person in his family to get a college degree. His only involvement in politics has been to manage the campaign of democratic congressional candidate Mike Mendoza in 2000.

He said he doesn't see his lack of political knowledge as a setback because of the lack of quality leadership in the current Arizona government by people who pride themselves on years of political experience.

His top issue in his campaign is eliminating Arizona's right-to-work laws because of unfair treatment of employees in Arizona. He also believes education to be an investment instead of a cost, which he said has been the trend in Arizona government for several years.

Mark Osterloh

Democrat

Age: 49

Marital status: Married with two children

Education: Law and medical degrees from the University of Arizona

Occupation: Ophthal-mologist

Number of years in Arizona: 41

Last reported campaign contributions: $415,925

Nicknamed "The five dollar guy," Osterloh was the lead pioneer in the controversial Clean Elections Initiative that gave candidates the option of using state money to finance their elections instead of money from special interest groups. Since beginning his campaign, Osterloh said he has visited several thousand homes, collecting $5 donations.

Osterloh was also the author of the Healthy Arizona II initiative, which was voted into law by voters in 2000. The initiative guaranteed healthcare for the working poor.

Osterloh's top priority he has emphasized in his campaign is the need to protect Arizona's natural resources. He said, if elected, he would create a comprehensive regional planning entity to protect open space and endangered species by controlling urban sprawl. He said the plan would also prevent air pollution and traffic problems that result from sprawl.

He said his administration would also create a plan to control Arizona's water use with the goal being to not allow the demand to exceed the supply. Osterloh said he would also work to keep preserving Arizona's trust lands.

Osterloh said he is pro-business, while still protecting employee rights, pro-public education reform and pro-campaign reform.

Matt Salmon

Republican

Age: 44

Marital status: Married with four children

Education: Not available

Occupation: former U.S. congressman

Number of years in Arizona: 32

Last reported campaign contributions: $1,018,916 as of Aug. 29

Web site: www.salmonforgovernor.com

Matt Salmon has served for three terms as a U.S. congressman for Arizona where he said he voted to save citizens more than $58 billion in taxes. He also worked to provide Arizonans with top-knotch cancer research institutions, voted to increase funding for breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis research, earning him the award of Congressman of the Year by the American Cancer Society.

If elected, Salmon said his main priority will be his Workforce 2010 plan, the goal of which is to bring 500,000 new jobs to Arizona by 2010 with a salary of $40,000 or more. He said he would personally travel to different business headquarters around the country to encourage them to consider Arizona as a possible location to relocate as well as work to improve Arizona's education system to better the talent pool of Arizona's future employees.

Salmon is also a supporter of higher teacher pay and will work with parents, legislators, teachers and business owners to raise teacher salaries without raising taxes. Salmon does not support raising taxes but rather restraining government growth to retain funds and vows to not cut funding from education.

He supports the preservation of Arizona's forests, and, if elected, will propose incentives to companies that use products as a result of forest thinning.

He also supports raising the amount of bail and penalties for people charged and convicted of child molestation, and he promised to review and possibly revise laws dealing with domestic violence and victim rights.

Salmon supports guest worker programs for Mexican nationals and tougher penalties for illegal immigrant smugglers in order to discourage illegal border crossings.

Carol Springer

Republican

Age: 65

Marital status: Divorced, five children

Education: Specialized education in real estate

Occupation: Arizona Treasurer

Number of years in Arizona: 33

Last reported campaign contributions: $810,892

Web site: www.carolspringer.com

Springer was elected as state treasurer in 1998 and strongly supports reforming Arizona's budget reporting process in an effort to avoid future budget crises.

She said she does not support raising taxes but instead supports the consolidation and elimination of certain government programs to save on spending.

Springer is a supporter of the AIMS test or any other test to measure standards and thinks that Arizona students need to have some measurement of standards to prove that Arizona's education system is working. She said she believes that spending more money on education will not necessarily mean an improved education system. Instead, she said teachers must be motivated to teach at their best and Arizona must demand higher standards in its schools.

On her Web site, she said it is time for students to be able to demonstrate that they have learned everything they should have before graduating from high school.

Springer is in favor of a strong emphasis on reading skills and said every child should be able to read by the time he or she has completed third grade. She is also in favor of vouchers and charter schools in order to provide more choices to parents.

In addition, Springer said she would support the restructuring of Arizona's tax code to make it more equitable for businesses by lowering property taxes. In doing this, Springer said it would help bring businesses into Arizona.

For information about third-party gubernatorial candidates, visit the following Web sites:

Gary Fallon, Libertarian:

www.garyfallon.com

Barry Hess, Libertarian:

www.hessforgovernor.org

Dick Mahoney, Independent:

www.mahoneyforgovernor.com

Scott Malcolmson, Reform:

www.calbeck.tripod.com /scott4gov/rp.htm

SECRETARY OF STATE

Arizona's secretary of state is responsible for a variety of jobs, including registering trademarks and copyrights in the state, maintaining voter registration and telemarketer files, keeping track of campaign information and taking over the job of governor when the governor is out of state.

As the current secretary of state, Betsey Bayless, is running for governor this year, which has left her position open. But the primary election will be all about the Republicans who have filed their nominating petitions, as only one Democrat and one Libertarian will be opposing one of the three candidates listed below in the general election in November. Democrat Chris Commiskey will automatically advance to the general election. For more information about him, visit his Web site at www.commiskey.org. Libertarian Sean Nottingham will also automatically advance to the general election. For more information about him, call (602) 329-2106.

These three candidates all agree that voting reform is necessary in Arizona, but all differ on how to do it.

Jan Brewer

Republican

Age: 57

Marital status: Married, three children

Education: Licensed radiological technician

Occupation: Businesswoman, licensed radiological technician

Number of years in Arizona: 32

Last reported campaign contributions: $108,633 as of Aug. 29

Brewer is the former chairwoman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and was an Arizona legislator from 1983-1996. As secretary of state, she would have several goals including ensuring the integrity of the elections process to avoid voter fraud, increasing voter participation by educating the public about voting, improving access to voting for military personnel who are out of the country and protecting consumers, especially senior citizens.

Brewer said she supports disclosure of all campaign contributions and replacing punch card voting with optical scanning technology.

Brewer does not support Internet voting due to security issues. She favors the secretary of state having a more active role in government policy.

Sharon Collins

Republican

Age: 57

Marital status: Married, two children

Education: Bachelor of science, Radford University

Occupation: deputy director of Gov. Jane Dee Hull's Southern Arizona office

Number of years in Arizona: 14

Last reported campaign contributions: $107,595 as of Aug. 29

Web site: www.collinsforsecretary.com

Collins is a former Tucson mayor and Arizona legislator who said she thinks the most important issue facing the next secretary of state will be voting reform in order to avoid voter fraud. In order to resolve that issue, Collins said she would implement a vote-by-mail system. She would also implement a computerized voter registration database and create a speaking program to educate elementary school students about the value of voting.

Collins said Internet voting has a promising future, as long as current glitches in security are worked out. She said her vote by mail system will probably be easier for voters to deal with.

She said she would like to see a closer relationship between the governor and the secretary of state when it comes to issues such as policy changes in order to stay current with state issues if the governor leaves the state.

Sal DiCiccio

Republican

Age: 44

Marital status: Single, no children

Education: Bachelor of science in business administration, Arizona State University

Occupation: small business owner

Number of years in Arizona: 39

Last reported campaign contributions: $106,525 as of Aug. 27

Web site: www.sal2002.com

In addition to owning his own business, DiCiccio was also a member of the Phoenix City Council. If elected, DiCiccio said he has six specific goals. The first is political reform by mandating a candidate's disclosure of the amount of money spent on lobbying efforts. The second is preventing voter fraud by requiring stiffer penalties for people who commit voter fraud. The third is implementing a telemarketer no-call list to ensure the privacy of Arizona residents. The fourth is improving rural economic development by working closely with businesses and the governor. The fifth is upgrading Arizona's election systems by eliminating punch cards. The sixth is assisting military personnel who are out of the country in voting.

DiCiccio is a supporter of more frequent reporting of campaign contributions and the implementation of Internet voting, but only for military personnel due to privacy and security issues.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

In yet another wide-open race, only one Democratic candidate and one Libertarian candidate have submitted petitions for the primary campaign for Arizona's attorney general. Once again, the person who currently holds the position, Democrat Janet Napolitano, is running for Arizona's governor.

The attorney general is responsible for prosecuting Arizona's high-profile criminal cases, and death sentence appeals, representing state agencies as well as working with the governor to create state policies.

The three Republican candidates below have several different goals if elected, ranging from the more severe prosecution of child molesters to protecting Arizona's senior citizens from becoming victims of scam artists. Democrat Terry Goddard will automatically advance to the general election. For more information about him, visit www.terrygoddard.org. Libertarian Ed Kahn will also automatically advance to the general election. For more information, e-mail edkahn@ theriver.com.

John Greene

Republican

Age: 54

Marital status: Married, two children

Education: Juris doctorate and master of laws degree

Occupation: Partner and founder of Hahn, Howard and Greene, LLP

Number of years in Arizona: 23

Last reported campaign contributions: $200,154 as of Aug. 30

Web site: www.arizonansforgreene.com

Greene has been a practicing attorney for 30 years. In that time, he has earned the state bar association's highest pro bono service award, has been a member of the Arizona Voice for Crime Victims Board and a member of the All Star Kids Tutoring, Inc. board.

He was also a former director of the Arizona Department of Insurance and former president of the Arizona Senate.

Greene said on his Web site that Arizona is not doing enough about school violence, gangs and drugs and promises that he will work with other government agencies to make sure those problems don't get worse. He also promises to protect senior citizens from scam artists who have been preying on the elderly, bilking them for millions of dollars. He also said he will become more involved in fixing the problem of illegal entrants and make it more difficult for illegal entrants to cross the border.

Foster Robberson

Republican

Age: 49

Marital status: Married, three children

Education: Bachelor of arts in political science from California State University, law degree from Berkeley College of Law

Occupation: Senior partner at Lewis and Rocca, a Phoenix law firm

Number of years in Arizona: 23

Last reported campaign contributions: $178,024 as of Aug. 30

Web site: www.fosterrobberson.com

Robberson is involved in several community activities, including chair of the United Blood Services Community Leadership Council, a member of the board of directors for the Goodwill of Central Arizona and a member of the board of deacons of Chaparral Christian Church. He was also appointed as chair of the Arizona DUI Abatement council by Gov. Jane Dee Hull.

Robberson said he believes a judge should consider victim opinions when deciding sentencing for criminals.

If elected, he will form the Attorney General to Save Our Schools Task Force, a group of law experts who will support school districts enforcing dress code policy or other policies under Arizona law.

He will work to protect Arizona's children and senior citizens by actively prosecuting offenders who have violated those groups' rights.

Robberson supports residents who wish to carry firearms for sport or protection, but will actively prosecute those who use firearms with criminal intent.

Andrew Thomas

Republican

Age: 35

Marital status: Married, three children

Education: Not available

Occupation: Attorney

Number of years in Arizona: not available

Last reported campaign contributions: $204,299 as of Aug. 30

Web site: www.thomas2002.com

Thomas is a member of the board of directors of Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, a lobbyist for Arizona Right to Life and is a member of the advisory council of the Arizona Alliance for Faith Based Action.

His goals, if elected, are to create harsher penalties for child molesters, making the standard prison sentence for those convicted of the crime life without parole.

He would also promise to make the attorney general's office a more family-friendly environment, allowing employees flex time and the opportunity to telecommute if necessary.

Thomas supports a constitutional amendment that would make it mandatory for the attorney general to defend the public vote, even if the attorney general disagrees with public opinion.

In addition, Thomas is against gun control, is a supporter of faith-based ministries in prison as a means for rehabilitation, is pro-life and opposes state benefits to same-sex couples.

TREASURER

The state treasurer essentially acts as Arizona's banker, managing and investing government funds.

Only three candidates -- one Democrat and two Republicans -- have emerged as candidates. Democrat Ruth Solomon will automatically advance to the general election. For more information about her, visit www.ruth2002.com.

David Petersen

Republican

Age: 51

Marital status: Married, eight children

Education: Not available

Occupation: Arizona senator

Number of years in Arizona: 51

Last reported campaign contributions: $51,096 as of Aug. 30

Web site: www.petersenfortreasurer.com

Petersen has spent eight years in the Arizona senate where he voted to support the mall business regulatory relief, to eliminate state property taxes and to reduce personal income taxes. He has 23 years of experience serving in the financial services industry.

Petersen said the most important aspect of his campaign is that he remembers that Arizona's government funding does not belong to Arizona government officials, it belongs to Arizona residents. Therefore, he said he will become a watchdog of government spending to make sure the government is using those funds wisely. He said in order to ensure tax dollars are being spent wisely, a team of professionals should come up with a "sophisticated investment strategy" for government funds. Petersen said that, while in the senate, he has been consistent in speaking out when he believed tax dollars were not being spent properly.

Richard Petrenka

Republican

Age: 51

Marital status: Married, two children

Education: Chief deputy treasurer

Occupation: Arizona deputy treasurer

Number of years in Arizona: 29

Last reported campaign contributions: $51,297 as of Aug. 30

Web site: petrenka2002.com

Petrenka has spent the past 15 years as Arizona's deputy treasurer where his responsibilities included the administration of the investment accounting for an $8.2 billion investment portfolio, cash flow management, $7 billion of annual disbursements to local government agencies and custody of more than $3 billion in trust securities.

In his position, he was also instrumental in the passage of legislation that regulated arbitrage rebate compliance and the investment of public money. He was responsible for $430 million of interest earned during his tenure and has had 14 clean audits from the auditor general's office.

If elected, Petrenka said he will continue to monitor spending and be responsible with government funding. He said he is relying on his past experience as deputy treasurer as the reason why he should be elected.

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Last year, Arizona ranked 47th out of 50 states in quality education. Several efforts by past governors and legislators have aimed at improving Arizona's education system, leading to the implementation of the controversial Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test and the Arizona LEARNS bill, which legislators hope will improve school accountability standards.

Republican Jaime Molera currently holds the position after being appointed to it by Gov. Jane Dee Hull in 2001. He is running for the position, along with two other Republicans, two Democrats, and Libertarian John Zajac. Zajac will automatically advance to the general election. For more information on him, e-mail eezajac@dakotacom.net.

All of the candidates below have different opinions about school standards and how to improve education in Arizona, all the while dealing with limited funding thanks to the state's budget crisis.

Keith Bee

Republican

Age: 36

Marital status: Married, three children

Education: Bachelor of science in business and agriculture from the University of Arizona

Occupation: Owns Bee Line bus company

Number of years in Arizona: 36

Last reported campaign contributions: $135,280 as of Aug. 29

Web site: www.keithbee.com

During his career as a senator, Bee was a member of the senate's education committee and also spent two years in Arizona's House of Representatives.

If elected, Bee said he will take steps to implement a valid and reliable standardized test for Arizona students.

Bee said he will also make sure taxpayers are fully informed as to how their tax dollars are being spent on education, in addition to the impact of funding resulting from Proposition 301, a voter approved initiative that increase Arizona's sales tax for education.

Bee, if elected, will make schools safer by creating a collaboration of parents, students, teachers, school administrators and law enforcement officials.

Bee said he believes state government is too broad and intrusive to be in charge of public education, which is why he would support more local control for schools.

Bee is a supporter of Proposition 203, a measure that mandated sheltered English immersion for all non-English speaking students.

Jay Blanchard

Democrat

Age: Not available

Marital status: Married with three children

Education: Not available

Occupation: Arizona senator

Number of years in Arizona: 31

Last reported campaign contributions: $54,585 as of Aug. 27

Web site: www.blanchard2002.com

Blanchard said his entire adult life has been dedicated to education, ranging from writing books to consulting with various companies dealing with education. He formerly served on the Arizona State Board of Textbook Adoption Committee and received the 1997 Arizona Superintendents Service to Education Award.

Blanchard's goal, if elected, will be to bring Arizona student achievement to rank within the top 10 in the country by 2010.

He said in order to reach that goal, parents and students must accept responsibility for student learning, the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test must be eliminated, there must be less state control of local school districts, ensuring that high school students are proficient in math and reading, there must be full-day kindergarten, there must be expanded vocational education opportunities, there cannot be more cuts to education funding and teacher salaries must be increased

Tom Horne

Republican

Age: 57

Marital status: Married, four children

Education: Not available

Occupation: Attorney

Number of years in Arizona: 31

Last reported campaign contributions: $477,817 as of Aug. 30

Web site: www.tomhorne.com

In addition to being an attorney, Horne has spent the last 24 years as a member of the Paradise Valley School Board, the third largest district in Arizona, the last 10 of which he has served as president. He also served in the Arizona Legislature for four years where he was the vice chair of the education committee and the chair of the academic accountability committee.

If elected, Horne said he will emphasize academic excellence in Arizona students by using the same model of character education he helped implement in Paradise Valley. Under this plan, students would be responsible for learning about personal responsibility, respect, integrity, care for others and the peaceful resolution of conflicts in addition to the standard elements of Arizona's curriculum.

He supports the philosophy of all children knowing how to read by third grade and will work to eliminate school districts' administrative costs to no more than 5 percent of their overall budgets.

Jaime Molera

Republican

Age: 34

Marital status: Married, one child

Education: Bachelor of arts in communication from Arizona State University

Occupation: Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

Number of years in Arizona: 34

Last reported campaign contributions: $141,120 as of Aug. 25

Web site: www.molera2002.org

Molera was appointed to his current position of superintendent of public instruction by Gov. Jane Dee Hull in 2001. Prior to his appointment, Molera served as Hull's policy advisor for legislative affairs.

During his tenure as superintendent, Molera initiated the Arizona LEARNS bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature this year. The new law requires higher accountability standards for Arizona's public schools.

He also helped to initiate the passage of Arizona READS, a measure that requires all students know how to read by third grade.

Molera said he will continue to work on improving school accountability in order to improve education for Arizona's students. A supporter of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test, Molera said he believes in "promoting an educational policy grounded in sound research and is student and family focused."

Rod Rich

Democrat

Age: 53

Marital status: Married, three children

Education: Graduate of Purdue University

Occupation: Junior high school principal

Number of years in Arizona: 6

Last reported campaign contributions: $48,265 as of Aug. 26

Web site: www.azkids.org

Rich has spent more than 20 years as an educator and school district administrator. While supportive of the concept of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test, he said he does not believe it should be a high-stakes test where a child's future could be affected by it.

Rich said he would focus his attention on improving state standards for education and improving the Arizona Department of Education's relationships with local school districts.

He will also meet with Arizona's three state universities education colleges to ensure that teachers will stay in Arizona and stay in the profession, as well as work to improve the college's curricula.

In addition, he will focus his attention on improving and evaluating Arizona's special education and gifted education programs.

MANY NEW FACES IN DISTS. 25, 27

by Patrick Cavanaugh

Thanks to the new political landscape created by redistricting, Northwest voters face a bevy of new faces and unfamiliar names as the 2002 legislative elections approach. Arizona's booming population in the 2000 census led to new district lines being drawn, and a court-approved interim map is being used for this year's statewide elections. The map, with a few last minute tweaks, was submitted for final approval to the U.S. Justice Department Aug. 23 to see if it meets the federal Voting Rights Act's protection for ethnic and racial minorities.

DISTRICT 27

The tentatively formed district takes in the Tucson Estates and Drexel Heights areas west of Tucson and includes a small slice of south Marana. The new district, drawn mostly from the old west side Dist. 11, is composed of 54 percent registered Democrats, 24 percent Republicans, and 22 percent of voters registered to other parties. Two seats are contested in the house of representatives and one senate seat is to be filled.

DISTRICT 27 SENATE

Veteran Democratic lawmakers Jorge Luis Garcia and John Kromko are looking to return to the state house. No Republicans are running in the largely Democratic district. The winner will face independent Dale Gorney in the Nov. 5 general election.

Garcia, 48, resides on Tucson's west side and is employed as a social worker. He is married and has three children. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona and a master's degree in social work from Arizona State University. Garcia served from 1992 to 1996 in the state house of representatives and says his priorities include affordable prescription drugs for senior citizens, education, balancing the state budget, and the environment. He said he would work to close "tax loopholes" to help balance the budget, and redirect money to teachers and for healthcare.

Garcia serves on the board of the Pima Prevention Partnership's Teen Court and is a member of El Rio Health Care's board of directors.

Garcia has raised $16,248 for his campaign as of Aug. 27.

Kromko, who is single and has no children, lives in central Tucson and works as a teacher at the Marana Community Treatment Facility prison. He served in the state house of representatives from 1976 to 1980 and 1988 to 2000.

Kromko, 62, has lived in the district for 45 years and wants to increase the availability and affordability of health care. He claims it is his most important goal.

Some people may not see it as the most important problem right now, but they will in a few years, Kromko said, and the time to start addressing the problem is now.

Funding health care will require creativity, but he believes it must be provided the same as it is "in every other industrialized nation"

People who are without health insurance already must be accepted at hospitals in emergencies, Kromko said, and that cost off wouldn't be incurred if patients had health insurance to begin with. He had been involved in several local grass roots political movements, and most recently played a critical role in helping to defeat Tucson's transportation plan that would have raised the city's sales tax.

Kromko has raised $17,475 for his campaign as of Aug. 28

DISTRICT 27 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The district race has six Democrats vying for two seats.

Olivia Cajero Bedford, 64, has worked as a salesperson for a local hotel and as a tourism consultant. She is divorced, has two children and has lived in the district for 36 years.

Cajero Bedford worked on the campaigns of former U.S. Congressmen Mo Udall and Dennis DeConcini and former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt. Despite having worked on such high profile campaigns, she said her her most important political experience comes from working with her parents, Bernardo "Nayo" Cajero and Carmen Cajero, who between the two of them racked up 28 years of political experience in the state house of representatives.

Her priority is education, particularly increasing the teaching of vocational education in public schools.

Cajero Bedford said the Tucson Unified School District has consistently received $500,000 each year for vocational training and the funding has not been increased in the last 10 years.

She said increasing vocational training leads to better jobs for the state, and many of those trade people will become business owners.

Cajero Bedford also hopes to work with other legislators to close tax loopholes if she is elected.

She would like to see a tax credit for families that have to place an older member in a nursing home or in an assisted care facility. It would cost less than if the state had to assume total care for the individual, she said

Cajero Bedford has raised $18, 855 as of Aug. 27

Jesse George, 61, served two terms in the Texas Legislature, two years as congressional liaison for the federal small business administration under Lyndon Johnson, and was state campaign manager for Hubert Humphrey and Jimmy Carter's presidential campaigns. More recently, he served as chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party

George, who has lived in the district for 17 years, is disabled and receives social security benefits. He said he also occasionally works as a political consultant. He is single and received his bachelor's degree from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.

Children's welfare, health care, education and the environment would be his priorities if he is elected to the legislature.

Affordable prescription drugs for seniors, and support for trauma centers in Southern Ari-zona are also on his list.

Paying for the changes would require "belt tightening" and reducing what he said is an excessive amount of tax exemptions

George noted that the legislature can create a tax exemption with a simple majority vote. To remove an exemption requires a two-thirds majority vote, and George cites the disparity as an example of the "ultra conservative" nature of the Arizona Legislature.

George has raised $18,911 as of Aug. 29

Sally Anne Gonzales, 44, is director of education for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. She received her undergraduate degree in education at Arizona State University and her master's degree in education from the University of Arizona. She is married and has five children.

Gonzales has served as a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council from 1992 to 1996, and as a state representative in Dist. 10 from 1996 to 2000. She also ran unsuccessfully for the Arizona senate in 2000. She has lived in the district for 16 years, and her goals if elected include improving education and health care, and balancing the state's budget.

As an educator, Gonzales said she believes in providing all the "tools and support" that teachers need to do their jobs, but said teachers must also be held accountable. She said she has seen "a lot of social promotion" in Arizona schools, and that kids are just being passed on to the next grade level without the education they need.

Before tackling such problems, Gonzales said the legislature must work to get the budget aligned. She cites a litany of political pork she encountered during her earlier stint as a legislator, and prides herself on being one of the only seven lawmakers who voted against the alternative fuel legislation that played havoc with the budget last year.

Gonzales has raised $4,753 as of Aug. 23

Peter Hormel, 33, works as an attorney in the Pima County Public Defender's Office and said his legal experience would serve him well in the legislature.

He said just as he fights hard for his clients in court, a lawmaker must fight diligently for his constituents on the house floor.

Hormel, now a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for Pima County Attorney as a Green Party candidate in 2000. Hormel received his law degree from the University of Arizona. He cites full-funding of public education, economic development and the environment as part of his campaign platform.

He said his stance on the environment sets him apart from the other candidates in the race, and promises to promote Pima County's Sonoran Desert Conservation plan and other conservation issues if he is elected. He is married and has one child.

Hormel has raised $19,361 as of Aug. 28

Phil Lopes, a 61-year-old health care consultant, was one of the first peace corps volunteers in the early 1960s. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Latin American studies and a masters degree in anthropology, and is married with two adult children.

He ran unsuccessfully for the house of representatives in 1992 as a Democrat, and has served on Pima County and Arizona Democratic Party committees. He has lived in the district for 33 years.

Adequate funding for education is one of Lopes' primary concerns. He said one of the funding mechanisms he would like to implement to improve education in the state would be to increase revenue by eliminating sales tax exemptions, although he draws the line at taxing food and basic medical care and a handful of others services.

Lopes said the state needs to increase access to affordable health services for its citizens. One way to do that would be to get more people insured in the private sector, and he would like to pass legislation to expand employment-based insurance.

Lopes said he would also take a hard look at the state's tax structure to find ways to increase revenue. He said there needs to be a better balance between income, property and sales taxes. He believes businesses and low income individuals are taxed too much.

Lopes says he's an expert in health services and has a good deal of experience in the legislature as a lobbyist for several nonprofit organizations.

Lopes has raised $19,372 as of Aug. 26.

Val Romero, 31, is a barbecue supply salesman and the owner of DJ company.

He attended University of Arizona for a year and a half, then graduated from the Academy of Radio and Television in Phoenix with an associate's degree.

He is divorced and has one child. Romero has two unsuccessful runs for public office in the last three years. He ran as a Democrat for the Arizona house in Dist. 11 in 2000, and in 1999 ran for Tucson city council as an independent. He has lived in the district for 22 years.

Romero said he would make education his primary focus and says his nine-year old daughter inspires him to embrace the cause.

Has raised $346 as of Aug. 26

DISTRICT 25

Two House and one Senate seat are up for grabs in the massive new district. The boundaries take in an area east from the New Mexico state line, three quarters of the state along the Mexican border to the south, stretches north to Phoenix, and sprawls as far west as Yuma County.

The tentative district, formed by portions of the old Districts 8, 9 and 11, includes western and northern stretches of Marana, as well as Picture Rocks and Avra Valley. District 25 has a voter registration make up composed of 52 percent Democrats, 31 percent Republican, and 17 percent other parties.

DISTRICT 25 SENATE

Incumbent Democratic state senator Marsha Arzberger of Wilcox and independent Dave Stoddard of Hereford are the only candidates running for the District 25 Senate seat and will face-off in the Nov. 5 general election. In addition to having to overcome Arzberger's incumbent status, Stoddard's campaign has raised only $300 as of June 30. Arzberger was elected to the Senate seat in 2000 that was previously held by her husband, Democrat Gus Arzberger, who was forced out by term limits. She has raised a war chest of $12,325, according to her Aug. 22 campaign finance report.

DISTRICT 25 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Incumbent Reps. Bobby Lugo and Mark Maiorana will square off against Manuel "Manny" Alvarez and Ruth Wilson in the Democratic primary race Sept. 10.

Avra Valley resident Jennifer Burns, a former intern for U.S. Sen. Jon Kyle, is the only GOP candidate in the race, and advances automatically to the Nov. 5 general election. She is also the only candidate from the Tucson area and had raised $702 for her campaign as of July 17.

Manuel "Manny" Alvarez, 61, resides in Elfrida and has lived in the district for 26 years. He retired after serving 31 years as an employee of the Arizona Department of Economic security, and now manages a pistachio orchard part time. He is married and has two children.

Alvarez completed high school in Elfrida and studied business at Cochise Community College. His political experience includes having run unsuccessfully for the Cochise County Board of Supervisors in 2000.

The state's budget crunch is one of his top priorities if elected, but he said he would be reluctant to raise taxes. He said the task at hand is to trim the fat and reduce "excess" spending.

Alvarez said the state's government is loaded with "management upon management" and he would like to keep services and simply "trim the hierarchy."

Education is another priority for Alvarez, one that he thinks citizens would endure a tax hike for. He cites the fact that school district bond elections are rarely refused by voters as proof of their willingness to pay.

Rural and elderly health care are another concern for Alvarez, who said the state needs to do more working through the federal government rather than raising taxes to pay for that.

Alvarez has raised $499 as of July 29.

Bobby Lugo, 59, is one of the two incumbent candidates hoping for a trip back to Phoenix. He lives in Bisbee and is a past Bisbee city council member.

He cites reducing the state's budget shortfall as his number one priority, linking it to improving health care and education in the state.

Lugo said the border is another concern, and he would try to stop what he's sees as the "militarization" of the border. He said he believed that it was time for the legislature to put pressure on the federal government to at least begin exploring the concept of a guest worker program

Lugo has raised $25 as of Aug. 22

Mark Maiorana, 45, lives in Patagonia and is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist.

Like most of the other candidates in the Dist. 27 race, the incumbent legislator's priorities include education, health care, the border and the budget. He said what sets him apart is that he takes a practical approach to problems, and his experience has led him formulate possible solutions. Maiorana cited more than 200 state tax exemptions that are a drain on the state's budget, and that he would like to work in bipartisan fashion to close as may of them as possible. He would like to increase rural health and implement other health-related reforms with the savings.

Maiorana has raised $7,461 as of Aug. 28.

Ruth Wilson, 53, lives in Benson and works as a Cochise County Superior Court mediator-arbitrator. She attended classes at Cochise College, and said she would place her focus on education if she is elected to her first public office. She stressed cooperation between the legislature, Arizona's governor and the private sector would provide the only solution to the current budget shortfall. She offered no other specifics plans for helping get the budget balanced.

Wilson had raised no money as of June 24.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today: http://www.kinocollege.com/

Facebook

explorernews.com on Facebook

Twitter

explorernews.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to explorernews.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

MOS: U of A Football

We asked students about the University of Arizona's football game against Cal.

MOS: Storms and Floods

We asked the community about the coming floods and storms.

More Featured Videos
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook