Candidate Q&A - State Senate - LD 11 - Jo Holt - Tucson Local Media: Election

Candidate Q&A - State Senate - LD 11 - Jo Holt

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Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:04 am


Why are you running for office?

I am running for State Senate because I believe Arizona’s economy should be much stronger than it currently is. To the detriment of our district and our state, special interests are dominating our state legislature, while the will of the people is taking a back seat.

What do you think are your main qualifications to serve in a public office?

My background as a research scientist required me to work with groups, to bridge divisions between those groups, and to work within a limited budget. I am skilled in logic-driven decision-making and in researching an issue prior to making that decision.

What are your objections to your opponent?

My primary objection is the failure of our incumbent legislators to listen to and interact with the people of the district.

What are the most important problems facing the district/town right now? What would you do about trying to solve them?

Arizona’s economy is our most important problem. It is imperative that the legislature make wise investments of taxpayer dollars in public infrastructure in order to move our state into the future.

Who is supporting your candidacy?

I am deeply appreciative of support from people who are registered Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians, as well as those who are Independents.

Will you run a negative campaign?

I do not plan to run a negative campaign.

How much of your own money will be spent on the campaign?

I hope to limit that to several thousand dollars.

What experience have you had that qualifies you to become an officeholder?

This answer is essentially the same as that above regarding my main qualifications to hold public office.


What will your first action be once elected?

My first job will be to begin to build bridges with my colleagues in the Senate on both sides of the aisle.

How do you describe yourself philosophically?

As a pragmatist, or a problem-solver.

Do you support drug testing of employees by businesses?

I think drug testing is justified in certain specific lines of work, but should not be applied to most jobs. Let the employee’s job performance speak for itself.

Should the government provide money to private businesses in order to improve the economy?

Subsidies to private businesses are warranted in some specific circumstances, but, in general, I believe that it is the responsibility of government to invest in public infrastructure to support private businesses.

What are your feelings regarding the Second Amendment and gun laws?

I support an individual’s right to bear arms.

How do you feel about background checks, and increasing requirements to buy a gun?

I support universal background checks. I do not support carrying a weapon into public buildings.

What should be done to address the issues involving mental health and gun laws that have resulted in mass shootings in California and Tucson for example?

Let’s begin with universal background checks and improvements in the database used for those checks.

How do you feel about campaign finance reform?

The influence of money on our elections is acting against a free democracy. I do not believe that money is equivalent to free speech and I do not believe that corporations are people. I believe instead in one person, one vote.

What will you do to bring jobs to your district?

As in a previous answer, in my view the state government is responsible for supporting a sound business environment through wise investment in infrastructure.

What is your opinion regarding health care in the state?

I applaud the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona. Like other states, we are suffering from the high rate at which health care costs are increasing, and a disparity between quality and availability of health care between our urban and rural areas.

What should be done about the immigration issue?

Comprehensive immigration reform must be passed by Congress.

Do you support term limits?

Yes, but term limits are no panacea for poor government.

What are you feelings regarding the issue of abortion?

It is a private matter between a woman and her physician.

How do you feel about same sex marriages?

It is not the business of government to tell people who they can marry.

What are your views on public education / private schools / homeschooling?

I strongly support our public schools. There is a place for alternative types of schooling, but the great majority of our children have been and will continue to be educated in public schools.

What can be done to improve the quality of education in your district?

The state legislature must properly fund our public schools, and should stop using taxpayer dollars for private schools at the expense of our public schools.

Do you favor/oppose placing a cap on the amount property taxes could be raised in a year? If so, what should the cap be?

I do not favor caps in general.


Have you ever been arrested? If so, what was the charge? Were you convicted?

I have never been arrested.

Have you ever been the subject of a formal complaint submitted to a law enforcement agency?


Have you ever sued another person or business entity? If so, why? What was the outcome of the case?


Have you ever been subjected to a lawsuit? If so, why? What was the outcome of the case?


Have you been divorced?



Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy?


Have you ever been an owner or partner in a business that filed for bankruptcy?


Have you ever been involved in a foreclosure or been evicted?


If asked, will you release your personal tax returns?



Have you worked, or volunteered, for any candidates or campaigns?

I have volunteered for Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick.

Have you ever publicly endorsed any candidate for party or public office?


Have you contributed to other candidates/parties/PACs in the past? If so, who and how much?

I contributed small amounts to President Obama’s re-election, and to Ann Kirkpatrick.

Have you ever run for office before?

I ran for AZ State Senate in 2012.


Have you served in the military? If so, were you honorably discharged? Will you release your military records?

I have not served in the military.

Are you a member of any boards of trustees?


What is your education background? Do you have anyother professional training?

I have a BA in Chemistry and a PhD in Biochemistry

What is your employment history? Where have you worked? For how long?

I was employed at the Univ of AZ from 1983 to 1992, and at Washington Univ. School of Medicine from 1992 to 2007.

Have you ever been terminated from a job? Have you ever had any disciplinary action taken at your place of employment?


Have you ever been the subject of a formal complaint submitted to your employer?


Have you lobbied before any state or local governmental agency within the past five years?


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