Season 2 Episode 12 of A View from the Left Side focuses on Arizona’s primary election races — from the Legislature to Statewide, Corporation Commission and Congressional races.
Joining me today for this podcast are three long-term colleagues of mine at Blog for Arizona Michael Bryan, Larry Bodine and David Gordon. Mike is the founder and managing editor of Blog for Arizona. He is a local attorney and served as a prosecutor for the City of Tucson. Larry has been a writer and editor at Blog for Arizona for many years. Larry is also an attorney by profession and a former newspaper reporter. David is a prolific blogger who has interviewed many Democratic candidates for Blog for Arizona. He’s also an accomplished science fiction author.
We’re going to touch on the Legislative races first, since there could be many changes on both sides of the aisle, thanks to redistricting, term limits, deaths and resignations to run for higher office. We’re also going to cover the statewide offices, since Arizona will be electing a new governor and others in the executive branch this year and there is a lot of competition. We’ll close with some comments on campaign finance, the Congressional races and other races as we have time. (For more details on campaign finance reports read: Arizona Legislature: How Much Money Did Candidates in Key Races Raise?
We’ll start with the hot races in the Legislature on both sides of the aisle.
Thank you so much, LD9 voters, for making me the top vote getter in the 2020 Primary Election and the 2020 General Election. I particularly want to thank my grassroots volunteers who worked tirelessly to help me win re-election.
It was an extremely difficult year for humankind, but you persevered to help many Democrats win– including the LD9 team of Senator Victoria Steele, Rep. Randy Friese and me. Oh, yes, and Joe Biden!
You are my Power Team.
We traveled 2020’s rough and bumpy roads together. We not only faced the pandemic together, we faced a Republican opponent with more than three times as much money and all of the wealthy donors, television commercials, robocalls, slick mailers, and giant signs that accompany big-money politics.
I was his target, and you helped me beat him. The final count is PPH 64,781, Rep. Randy Friese 64,772 and Brendan Lyons 48,026. OK, I beat Friese by only nine votes, but I beat Lyons by 17,755 votes.
Sept. 15 was the date for the Legislative District 9 candidate debate hosted by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) and moderated by Hank Stephensen, LD9 resident and editor of the Captiol Times Yellow Sheet.
Due to the pandemic, the 2020 CCEC debates are being held online and not in person, as is the tradition. While we were waiting in the “green room” for the event to start, CCEC Executive Director Tom Collins said that the online debates have had much larger viewership than the in-person events, which is great news.
All three House candidates participated: incumbent Democratic Reps. Randy Friese and Pam Powers Hannley and Republican challenger Brendan Lyons. Unfortunately, Lyons’ schedule dictated a “hard stop” at 7 p.m., so our debate was truncated to one hour. Many audience questions were left unasked.
Below are the video time stamps for different questions, if you are interested in specific topics. Stephensen allows for more candidate interaction; check out the robust debates on unemployment insurance and how to pay for education.
Each election season, there is an endorsement process. Organizations, groups and causes conduct their endorsement processes differently. Some just hand out endorsements. Some require candidates to answer questions and do interviews.
Last week, the Arizona Daily Star conducted their endorsement interview with the three Legislative District 9 candidates: Democratic incumbent Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley and Republican challenger Brendan Lyons. In the before times, these interviews were conducted behind closed doors with only Star personnel and candidates at the newspaper’s office. In the COVID19 era, the endorsement interview was an online forum with ~15 constituents and Star staff in the audience. Having even a handful of constituents “in the room, was a worthwhile addition. As you’ll see in the video, the people had good questions about reproductive choice, education funding and other topics.
The interview is an hour long. Pop some popcorn, pour your favorite beverage, and watch the video here. For your convenience, below are the question time stamps. (You can check out my other endorsements, honors and candidate statements here. Watch the whole collection of Star endorsement interviews here.)
Now that the primary is over, and fall is coming (hopefully), different types of events are popping up on the calendar. I have five events coming up in the next few weeks, some campaign-related and some Legislative. All of these free events are on my Facebook page. All of them require some form of registration; the two ticketed events that I am hosting require Event Brite registration. Here are the details and the links.
Powers for the People Volunteer Organizing Event, Aug 17, 4-5 p.m.
Join the Powers for the People team for a virtual meeting on how you can help me get re-elected in November. As you know, the Chamber of Commerce, the developers, and businesses that like prison labor are backing my Republican challenger. He has Big Money donors behind him. I have Clean Elections money and you. There are many ways you can help from your own home, like making phone calls, mailing or giving postcards to your friends, and helping with social media. For people who like to walk in the morning, we will be doing contact-free lit drops. Here is the Event Brite link to register for this event. If you want to volunteer but can’t make the Monday event, contact me on my Facebook event here OR through Facebook Messenger to me or to my Campaign Manager A.J. Flick OR via email to Good4AZ@gmail.com. Thank you!
LD9 Virtual Town Hall, Aug 19, 5-6 p.m.
My seatmate Dr. Randy Friese and I are on our own for the LD9 town hall on Aug 19, due to multiple scheduling issues. This forum will follow the same format at before. Registration on Event Brite here is required for security purposes. There will be updates by the two of us, perhaps a guest, and Q&A at the end. This will be videotaped. If you want to watch past LD9 town halls and other political events, check out my Event Playlist on YouTube for a walk down memory lane. (I have spent quite a bit of time this summer building out my YouTube channel, uploading more office videos, and organizing the videos into playlists. Check out my channel here.) For more information, my Facebook event for this town hall is here.
Each election year the Capitol Times hosts a Meet the Candidates event in July for all Legislative candidates and incumbents at a fancy downtown Phoenix hotel.
This year, the Cap Times event — sponsored by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission — is virtual and spread out over five evenings, from 6-8 p.m. each night. The schedule is below. All of the forums are broadcast live on YouTube and posted on YouTube immediate afterward.
Pima County LDs 2 and 3 were on July 13, and Pima County LDs 9,10, and 11 were on July 14. The videos for those two events are posted below.
There are a ton of contested primaries in the Legislature on both sides of the aisle. Our forum on Tuesday was very interesting; our Republican challenger was one of the men who were no-shows. The format is that each Legislative District is up, one at a time. Each candidate for each district gets a minute or two to introduce themselves, but the majority of the time is fielding questions from the audience.