Explorer staff report

A Republican has filed her campaign paperwork to seek election to the Arizona House from District 26, the legislative district serving much of the Northwest.

Terri Proud, a paralegal and 13-year Tucson resident with two daughters, takes specific exception to the service of Democratic Rep. Nancy Young Wright, who was elected to her first term in 2008 after appointment to the seat.

Proud cites "the lack of leadership and complete lack of accomplishment" by Young Wright.

"With the economic crisis that we face, our district and our state cannot afford to return a do-nothing state representative to the Legislature," Proud said in a release issued Monday. She described votes by Young Wright and "most legislative Democrats" as "obstructionist. … There is more to the job than just showing up and voting 'no' on everything. We need to create jobs, spur economic growth, and balance our state's budget."

"I welcome her into the race," Young Wright said Monday. Young Wright plans to seek re-election in 2010. "Having run for office a number of times, I know how difficult it is. I respect her for being willing to put her name forward."

Young Wright is "certainly prepared to defend my record," she said. "My views, my votes are consistent with a whole lot of people here in District 26."

Proud complimented the work of two other first-term legislators in District 26, Republicans Sen. Al Melvin and Rep. Vic Williams.

"They were both thrown into the fire as freshmen, being called upon to deal with the greatest budget crisis Arizona has ever had to deal with, and they both performed very well," Proud said. "They protected the taxpayers, they protected education and public safety, and they found the middle ground wherever possible."

She said government must "live within its means and to get its hands out of our pockets. Nancy Young Wright wants higher taxes and higher spending, and that is just wrong. I intend to go to the State Capitol and fight for the taxpayers and families of Arizona."

Young Wright said Democrats favor lowering Arizona's sales tax rate, and broadening its application to services. "In order to have a quality state that does attract good jobs, and that maintains a quality of life, we need to have some level of taxation," she said. "We can't live here with no taxes, that's just not reality." She is a "fiscal conservative" from her days on the Amphitheater School Board. "Money has to be carefully spent," Young Wright said.

Young Wright said she worked on one of the few bipartisan bills, the animal welfare omnibus bill, to pass the Legislature this year.

"As a member of the minority party, it's important for the public to understand very few bills are allowed to be heard in committees," she said. "The Republican majority allows very few Democratic bills to be heard, and that's just the way it is right now. It does shut out the voices of the people who have voted for those folks."

When they struggled to be heard in Phoenix, Young Wright and fellow Democrats conducted budget hearings of their own across Arizona. "I certainly did not sit in Phoenix and just complain," she said. "We offered some solutions."

Proud has considered a campaign for several months, and is now collecting signatures. She's concerned with "the way our country is headed right now," vowing to "make sure state sovereignty stays protected, and our constitutional right to bear arms stays protected."

Proud, who does paralegal work from home on behalf of Griffeth Law Offices in Scottsdale, lives in unincorporated Pima County, off Ina and Camino de la Tierra. She has a daughter at Pima Community College, and another at Flowing Wells Junior High School.

"I'm looking forward to a vigorous debate," Young Wright said.

District 26 covers much of Northern Pima County east of I-10, north of River and west of Craycroft. It also includes the SaddleBrooke region in southern Pinal County.

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