Turning Arizona Blue (Shameless Plug)
For our Democratic Arizona state legislative nominees (too numerous to mention in this limited space, my apologies), there is the hope and near reality of the legislature turning Blue in 2022. For decades, legislative, county, state and national Democratic organizations have increased the Democratic office holders in our Legislature. We are now on the verge of changing just one or two seats in each chamber to achieve a Democratic majority.
While many say that possibility is small, I get a different vibe as I travel around the state. First-hand, I’ve seen there is real positive energy in these legislative races and hard work being done canvassing, phone banking and fundraising. My gut tells me that with Democratic wins in the state-wide offices – and crucial down-ballot voting in these legislative and other local elections – flipping the AZ Legislature can and will happen!
The Core State Legislative Issues
While various constituents and groups will jostle for attention on dozens of important issues, I and others see core issues coming out of the primaries that our candidates will need to focus on.
Following the recent overturn of the Roe decision by SCOTUS, women’s reproductive health and rights will have a huge impact on races in Arizona at every level. Particularly in vote-rich Maricopa County where Julie Gunnigle, candidate for County Attorney, will drive pro-choice voters of all political persuasions to the polls.
Adequate funding of public education and promoting a ballot initiative to stop universal voucher expansion will be essential. After decades of neglect, the new extremists’ objective is to destroy our public schools and transfer a public good into private hands to profit Republican campaign donors. It’s a scam. This issue will be a defining political moment for moving forward in Arizona or going back.
The remaining core issue will be the grouping of climate related needs around our water resources, environmental sustainability, increased use of solar power and energy pricing.
Elsewhere on these pages, Garrick McFadden, writes about the hardship and honor of being a candidate for office. He praises the families and friends that support those candidates – win or lose. And to some, an election defeat is always a part of the equation. Garrick, wise and experienced, offers this sage advice, “How you lose, will tell the voters and the rest of those watching more about you than any victory.”
There is, with no doubt, a special place in the heavens for our Democratic write-in candidates, who against all odds, garnered enough votes in the Democratic primary contests to be placed on the November 8th general election ballot. Despite the negative odds of challenging a well-known incumbent and running in a heavily favored Republican district or local election, these brave primary write-in candidates (in most cases) are putting their careers, family connections and financial stability on the line.
By doing the selfless and often un-sung work of politics – check-mating MAGA extremists against a free-pass election and building a nascent activist team in their districts – these Democratic write-in candidates are earning our respect and a ticket into the future of the Arizona Democratic politics. Honor their efforts by searching for them in your districts and offering your support.