LD9 Debate Reveals Stark Contrasts between Democrat & Republican Candidates (video)

Ana Henderson and Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

Can’t decide how to vote in the November 6 election? If you live in Legislative District 9, check out the LD9 debate before casting your vote.

The debate video below reveals clear differences between the candidates on key issues such as the minimum wage, food security, the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), climate change, abortion, gun violence, and more. (Check out the Tucson Weekly story here.)

Five people are running for the three LD9 Legislative seats: incumbent Democrats Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley (me), Republican challenger Ana Henderson, and Senate candidates former Democratic representative Victoria Steele and Republican write-in candidate Randy Fleenor.

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) conducts candidate debates, videotapes them, and stores them on their website and YouTube channel. If you live in a district other than LD9, check out the CCEC archive for the other 2018 debate videos. For Southern Arizona Legislative Districts, here are links to debates for LD2, LD3, LD10, LD11, LD8, and LD14.  (LD9 video embedded below.)

The LD9 debate covered a lot of ground. The first half hour included the intros and the questions that were asked of every candidate. The rest of the debate was made up of questions from the audience, which was predominantly Republican. The audience questions can be directed at everyone or just one candidate.

This year the CCEC debate moderator allowed other candidates to voluntarily answer questions that were directed originally toward different candidate. This allowed for a direct comparison of viewpoints on hot button issues like the minimum wage, abortion or gun violence prevention. In the video, you can see that everyone went on record answering a few questions– even though we didn’t have to. (Really, this is a refreshing change of pace from other races where no one wants to answer questions or interact personally with voters.)

Here is a list of debate topics and the time stamp.

Introductions: 3:53 min.

Top Priorities, First Legislation: 8:48

Food Insecurity: 19:12

Helping Veterans: 27:36

Minimum Wage: 36:45 (The two Republicans went on record as opposing any minimum wage set by the government.)

Teacher Raises/Red for Ed: 44:51

Climate Change: 47:41 (Henderson said the weather changes, and we’re just going through a warm spell. Fleenor said that scientists don’t agree that climate change is real. I mentioned the dire findings in the highly depressing United Nations climate report, and the audience chuckled. The level of climate change denial in the room was shocking.)

Teacher Tuition Discount: 51:50

Gun Violence Prevention: 53:10

Reproductive Choice: 56:45 (Fleenor said that abortion rights would be settled by the Supreme Court now (referring to Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to SCOTUS). He also said that abortion rights are not an LD9 issue or a Legislative issue. I totally disagreed. If abortion rights are not a Legislative issue, why does the Legislature meddle with abortion rights every year?)

Veteran’s Health: 59:28

Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court: 1:00:50

Second Amendment Rights: 1:02:49

Public Education Funds, Charter Schools Accountability, Prop 305 (School Vouchers): 1:04:15 (The two Republicans were for schools vouchers and other “innovations” in education. The Democrats were against school vouchers.)

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): 1:07:39 (Fleenor said women already have equal rights and equal pay, so the ERA is not necessary. Of course, I took issue with that statement. If women have equal rights, equal pay, and abortion rights, why are most of the people living in poverty women and their children?)

How Many Bills Passed: 1:10:30

Prop 306 (Clean Elections): 1:12:09 (The Republicans are for Prop 306, which makes Clean Elections candidates less competitive and weakens the independent watchdog function of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. The Democrats are voting NO on Prop 306 because we should protect this system that allows candidates to say no to big money politics and run clean and that reviews and audits candidate campaign finance reports.)

Attracting Business from Out of State: 1:14:28

Closing Statements: 1:18:30


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