Republican voters in House District 26 are choosing two nominees from among three contestants in next Tuesday’s primary.
Rep. Vic Williams, Terri Proud and Wade McLean hope to advance to the November ballot. Democratic Rep. Nancy Young Wright is seeking re-election as well.
Why Wade McLean?
“I’ll make decisions based on what’s best for Southern Arizona,” Wade McLean said. “We have nine grandchildren that will attend public school in Arizona. I want them to live in a state that values education, that gives them an opportunity to be successful, and have a safe and beautiful place to raise their children. That’s how I remember Arizona.”
What has he learned?
“It’s more work than I thought it would be, and it’s much more negative than I hoped it would be,” McLean said. “There are groups, if your ideology is not consistent with theirs, you don’t have an opportunity to share your opinion. If it was a less caustic environment, I think we’d have more people running, and we’d have better choices.”
How has it changed him?
“You meet a lot of wonderful people that are disappointed in the way the state is run,” McLean said. “Whether or not they’re willing to voice their opinion at the polls is yet to be determined.
“Government exists to help people, and government should work together for the betterment of the state of Arizona,” McLean said. When he was an administrator with the Marana Unified School District, he worked with the town and the county “to build a better place for people. That’s the only reason government exists. We’ve lost sight of that.”
Why Terri Proud?
“What I have demonstrated, the entire run, is I care, I really do,” Terri Proud said. “I’m the only candidate who has a sign at Flowing Wells and Wetmore, and Romero. I don’t care if you’re low or high income, I want you to know I represent you.
“I really look at the issues,” she continued. “I really want to know what’s going on. I want to find solutions, and not just talk about the solutions.”
What has she learned?
Proud has learned “to be yourself. Somebody told me, just be yourself. When you go into the arena, there are people who want you to be their little puppet, and I don’t like to be a puppet on a string.”
She did not accept Clean Elections money. “People said I was crazy. I’m a new candidate, I don’t have deep pockets, obviously, but I believe enough in what I’m doing, I believe I can make a difference.”
Has running changed Proud?
“I think, yeah, in a good way. I’ve learned more about myself. I’ve learned how much strength I have. I really like talking with the people and finding solutions. When I’m being pushed in a corner, I don’t waver, even under pressure. I have stood on what I believe. That tells a lot about a person’s character.”
Why Vic Williams?
“I want to finish the job we started back in 2008,” Vic Williams said. “We faced the largest deficit in the state’s history, on a percentile or real dollar basis. I heard from the voters on the impacts of illegal immigration. And protecting education, class size and teacher pay.”
He believes the Legislature addressed those needs during a very difficult two years.
Now, Williams wants to “go out and reform our government, agency by agency. We can reduce spending without reducing services. You can do that, but it’s only small pots of money. If we can go find $200, $300, $400 million over the next couple of years, that will help offset the impact of either having to raise taxes or decrease service. It’ll be hard, tedious work. It’s something I’m committed to do my entire tenure in state government.”
Has running and serving changed Williams?
“I’ve become more knowledgeable and understanding of the process of how our state works,” Williams said. “In the last two years I’ve served, we’ve been through a lot. I’ve gained a lot of experience, and hope to use that experience in the next session to be that much more impactful.
“It certainly changes you being elected to office. It’s made me a better person. It makes me more accountable to my community in general. I represent everyone, regardless of party affiliation, needs and beliefs. I take this very seriously, what I do.”
Unaffiliated can align themselves, vote on Tuesday
Pima County voters not registered with one of the major political parties can vote in the Aug. 24 primary election.
Voters registered Independent and those registered as what the Pima County Recorder’s Office terms “party not designated” are allowed to vote in the Republican, Democratic or Green party primaries. State law limits participation in the Libertarian Party primary to voters registered to the party.
Independent and non-affiliated voters already registered can pick up a ballot at their assigned polling place. Those voters simply need to request a ballot for one of the three parties and vote accordingly.
At least one Republican is looking for strong non-affiliated turnout next Tuesday. Wade McLean, seeking one of two GOP nominations in Arizona House District 26, said “it’s all about the primaries, and how many people vote in the primary.
“The minority in both parties are making the decisions about who gets elected,” said McLean, running with Vic Williams and Terri Proud in that contest. “That needs to stop.”
McLean said that if “18 percent of Republicans make this decision, I lose.”
In District 26, there are 35,112 registered Democrats, 42,615 registered Republicans and 30,480 unaffiliated voters, according to the recorder’s office.
For more information, contact the Pima County Recorder’s Office at 740-4330, or on the Web at www.recorder.pima.gov.