The ballots for the November election have hit voters’ mailboxes, so it’s endorsement time. I don’t have enough space to cover the entire ballot in any detail, so I’m focusing on one race -- Pima County Supervisor, District One -- and one initiative -- Prop 204. Then I’ll do a quick run through other candidates on the ballot.
First, the District One race to replace retiring Pima County Supervisor Ann Day. The clear choice here is Nancy Young Wright. She’s a moderate Democrat who brings years of experience to the office. As a ten year Amphitheater School Board member (her two daughters were attending district schools at the time), Nancy helped rid the district of the corruption and cronyism that were taking money away from students’ educations. During her three years in the state legislature, she fought against cuts to school funding and against withholding funds we need to fix our deteriorating roads. I’ve known Nancy for years and volunteer on her campaign. She researches the issues, fights hard for what she believes in and votes her conscience. She’ll be a great, independent voice in Pima County government.
The single most important thing you need to know about Nancy’s opponent, Ally Miller, is her connection to the Tea Party. Miller complains it’s “name calling” to link her to the Tea Party, that it’s an attempt to “demonize” her (those are her words, not mine). But it’s not name calling to repeat what Miller tells her supporters: that she helped found the Pima County Tea Party Patriots. Go on the group’s website; she’s got her own member’s page. Now, if you agree with the Tea Party’s extreme ideology, by all means vote for Ms. Miller. But if, like me, you think the Tea Party shouldn’t be dictating a Pima County supervisor’s decisions, your vote must go to Nancy Young Wright.
Second, let’s look at Prop 204. It will renew the one cent sales tax that expires next year without adding any new costs to taxpayers. Unlike the tax it replaces, this time the money is guaranteed to increase school funding. Prop 204 definitely deserves your support. It’s a source of shame that Arizona is rock bottom in the nation in the amount we spend per child on education. When we don’t invest in our children, their achievement is lower than students in other states, which means we’re jeopardizing our children’s future and the future of Arizona. We must fund our schools adequately. Vote Yes on Prop 204.
Now, on to the other races. I’m a Democrat, so it should come as no surprise I support Arizona’s Democratic candidates.
Rich Carmona, who’s running for U.S. Senate is an amazing human being who will not only be a wonderful Senator, he’ll reshape the country’s opinion of Arizona for the better. Don’t let this rare opportunity pass us by. Ron Barber, who recently defeated Jesse Kelly to replace Gabby Giffords in the U.S. House of Representatives, has the knowledge and skills to continue representing us.
In state and county races, the simple fact is, we need more Democratic office holders to counter the extremism that’s taken over the Arizona Republican Party, especially since the sensible Republican voices were hounded out of office a few years back and continue to lose in the primaries. Moderate Republican and Independent voters need to take a good, hard look at the right wing ideology of Republican candidates. Unfortunately, even the rare centrist Republican candidates who make it through the primaries would join with their colleagues and vote for terrible legislation if they were elected. They’d cut funding for our children’s schools, withhold state funds to repair our roads, cut health care for people at or near the poverty level and take health care decisions away from women. The list goes on and on.
Get out and vote! And remember to vote all the way down the ballot. Some of the less publicized races and issues have more direct impact on your life than the ones that get all the press coverage.