We are just a couple weeks away from seeing which primary election candidates will move on to the General Election, and which ones will be finished. Early in the primary season, The Explorer said we would not be endorsing candidates, but with that stressed we would point out good points and faults in candidates who are running. We will stick to that. We will not say who you should vote for, but we are going to stick to the promise to make a few observations.
In our June 20 editorial, I said candidates should work to earn your vote, and part of that work is answering questions posed to you throughout the campaign.
The Explorer sent questions to candidates running in Congressional District 1, and we sent a set of different questions to candidates running Pima County’s District 1 race.
These two races are big ones for the Northwest region, and The Explorer felt with so many candidates running, we needed to give our readers some extra information, and have that information in the exact words of the candidates.
In the CD1 race, Jonathan Paton, who is well known in Southern Arizona, may be the front runner, but we owe it to the other primary candidates to see how Paton’s views are similar and different from those of Patrick Gatti and Doug Wade.
On the Democratic side, Ann Kirkpatrick is the front runner in a race against Wenona Benally Baldenegro.
Every candidate except for Baldenegro responded to the questions.
Here’s a good reason to take advantage of a Q&A such as this, it gives you, the candidate, the opportunity to answer the questions, and they won’t be changed or altered. The answers are yours and they are great for voters who have not yet decided.
So, now I come to my real point, and real frustration.
While the congressional candidates jumped on the opportunity, several candidates in Pima County’s District 1 ignored The Explorer questions, and therefore, ignored Explorer readers.
Republican candidate Mike Hellon answered every question, and while Democrat Nancy Young Wright doesn’t have a primary opponent, she also showed respect to The Explorer readers and answered the questions.
Those who didn’t bother despite numerous phone calls and emails from our office were Republican candidates Ally Miller, Stuart McDaniel and State Rep. Vic Williams who called and apologized for not taking the time to do them, and has still yet to bother.
Maybe Rep. Williams feels decorating his car with bumper stickers is a lot more important than answering The Explorer’s question about his top concerns for Pima County and what his plan of action would be to address some of those concerns.
Mike Hellon brought up jobs and the economy. Hellon said his other two major concerns are the county’s deteriorating streets and the county’s high tax rate and spending.
Nancy Young Wright said the county must improve attraction and retention of quality employers, repair roads, and protect natural resources.
What are the top three concerns of Ally Miller, Stuart McDaniel and Vic Williams? We don’t know. They didn’t bother to fill out the simple Word Document and send it back to The Explorer.
To each of these candidates, I ask this – If you can’t bother yourself with answering questions before an election, how in the world are you going to handle questions and concerns of constituents once you are elected? Or, will you take the same approach – if you don’t feel like it, then don’t bother.
To each of you, I say shame on you.