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Stories about Arizona

All candidates for Mesa City Council, Arizona, District 4 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Mesa City Council, Arizona, District 4  — incumbent Jenn Duff and Trista Guzman Glover — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

The Mesa City Council is the city’s primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes, and making or amending city laws, policies, and ordinances. The city council is made up of seven members, including the mayor. While the mayor is elected at large, the other six members are elected by the city’s six districts.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?            

Duff:           

  • “Investing in our Public Safety personnel and Infrastructure” 
  • “Water Sustainability – Conservation, efficiency and infrastructure to maximize water treatment for reuse.”
  • “Housing – As Mesa’s economy grows, we must work to provide housing choices for residents of all income levels and at all stages of life.”

Guzman Glover:                   

  • “Community-Centered”
  • “Public Safety-Focused”
  • “Business-Friendly Mesa”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

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Referendum on Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts expansion bill will not make the 2024 ballot

On Sept. 30, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) announced that a referendum on Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) expansion legislation will not make the ballot.

A week earlier, the campaign for the referendum, the Save Our Schools PAC, submitted signatures to place the measure on the ballot. The campaign said it submitted 141,714 signatures. Secretary Hobbs announced that a statutorily prescribed review of the petitions failed to meet the minimum signature requirement of 118,823 signatures. While the review of the petition sheets is still ongoing, Secretary Hobbs announced that the referendum will not make the 2024 ballot.

The Save Our Schools PAC put out a statement following the failure to make the ballot. “Today, Arizona’s public schools were dealt a devastating blow,” the campaign said, “The universal ESA voucher scheme passed by the Republican controlled legislature and signed by Governor Ducey has gone into effect despite our network’s herculean effort to stop it in its tracks.”

In Arizona, an empowerment scholarship account, or ESA, allows parents or guardians of students with disabilities to sign a contract to opt out of the public school system, and instead receive an ESA from the Arizona Department of Education (DOE) that could be spent on private education, homeschooling, or other non-public education. Between 2011 and 2017, the program was expanded to cover students meeting other specified criteria.

In 2017, the Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1431 (SB1431) to expand the ESA program to make all K-12 students eligible. The Save Our Schools PAC led the campaign to place a veto referendum against SB1431 on the general election ballot for 2018. Voters rejected SB 1431, repealing the law.

During the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2853, which would expand the ESA program to include all students eligible to enroll in an Arizona public school for kindergarten, grades one through twelve, or a preschool program for children with disabilities.

Supporters of the ESA expansion, such as the Goldwater Institute, state that it gives parents more choice. “At the end of the day the purpose of the ESA program and school choice is to give parents the ability to pursue the best education for their kids, regardless of what form it comes in,” said Matt Beienburg, director of education policy for the Goldwater Institute, “We are focused on individual student aid, not an institution or a particular form of education.”

Beth Lewis, executive director of Save Our Schools and opponent of HB 2853, said that tax dollars should not be used to fund non-public schools. “If a school wants to take public funds, they need to take public accountability,” she said.

Additional reading:

https://ballotpedia.org/Arizona_2024_ballot_measures



Signatures submitted for a referendum on Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts expansion bill

Arizona voters may vote on a referendum on a bill to expand empowerment scholarship accounts in 2024. On September 23, the Save Our Schools PAC submitted 141,714 signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. 

In Arizona, an empowerment scholarship account, or ESA, allows parents or guardians of students with disabilities to sign a contract to opt out of the public school system, and instead receive an ESA from the Arizona Department of Education (DOE) that could be spent on private education, homeschooling, or other non-public education. Between 2011 and 2017, the program was expanded to cover students meeting other specified criteria.

In 2017, the Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1431 (SB1431) to expand the ESA program to make all K-12 students eligible. The Save Our Schools PAC led the campaign to place a veto referendum against SB1431 on the general election ballot for 2018. Voters rejected SB 1431, repealing the law.

During the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2853, which would expand the ESA program to include all students eligible to enroll in an Arizona public school for kindergarten, grades one through twelve, or a preschool program for children with disabilities.

If certified for the ballot in 2024, Arizona voters will decide on upholding or repealing HB 2853.

Matt Beienburg, director of education policy for the Goldwater Institute, said, “At the end of the day the purpose of the ESA program and school choice is to give parents the ability to pursue the best education for their kids, regardless of what form it comes in. We are focused on individual student aid, not an institution or a particular form of education.”

Beth Lewis, executive director of Save Our Schools and opponent of HB 2853, said that tax dollars should not be used to fund non-public schools. “If a school wants to take public funds, they need to take public accountability,” she said.

As signatures have been submitted for the veto referendum, the petition needs to go through a verification process to determine the number of valid signatures. Signatures are validated through a random sampling process. The petition will need 118,823 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.



All candidates for Arizona State Senate District 3 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Arizona State Senate District 3 —Thomas Dugger (D) and John Kavanagh (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections in 2022. The Republican Party controls both chambers of Arizona’s state legislature. Arizona is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?            

Dugger:

“I really would like to return sanity and common sense to Arizona legislature. Millions of dollars are being spent on political grandstanding, and billions on tax cuts for the rich. We need to address our water issues proactively instead of reactively, invest more in our schools to attract high-paying jobs and companies, and protect bodily autonomy.”

Kavanagh:

“I am passionate in many areas of public service. Having spent all 16 years of my legislative time as a member of the appropriations committee, many times as its chairman, I am especially interested in the budget. I have acquired great knowledge in this area and hope to continue serving and using that knowledge to produce fiscally sound and conservative budgets.”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



All candidates for Arizona State Senate District 29 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Arizona State Senate District 29 —David Raymer (D) and Janae Shamp (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections in 2022. The Republican Party controls both chambers of Arizona’s state legislature. Arizona is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?            

Raymer:

“Healthcare and education, and a humane, workable immigration policy that doesn’t victimize and criminalize people for wanting to work hard, pay taxes and become Americans.”

Shamp:

“Anything that makes the individual stronger relative to the government is something I’ll be passionate about. Our founding values are under attack, the left now wears their Socialist labels publicly and proudly, and the powers that be are always trying to expand government’s control over our personal lives.”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



All candidates for Arizona State Senate District 27 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Arizona State Senate District 27 —Brittani Barraza (D) and Anthony Kern (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections in 2022. The Republican Party controls both chambers of Arizona’s state legislature. Arizona is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: Who are you? Tell us about yourself.

Barraza:

“I have lived in Phoenix my whole life and I’ve seen how much it’s changed. I know so many people don’t have access to an affordable place to live and how lack of funding for public schools has left our children and teachers at a disadvantage. I know personally how families are effected by the prison system with its lack of reform and rehabilitation programs. My top priorities for my district are: – Increasing funding for affordable housing programs and ensuring our displaced neighbors have somewhere safe to live – Protecting the right to comprehensive healthcare- including reproductive care, abortion access, and increased Medicaid and SNAP programs – Advocating for public school students and teachers I’m not a career politician, I’m a working mom and if elected, I promise to advocate for my community.” 

Kern:

“Anthony Kern and wife Jenny have 4 grown children and serve in a local church in Peoria. Anthony served as a Reserve Deputy Marshal in Tombstone, Arizona. As a State Representative, Anthony Kern fought for secure elections and secure borders. Anthony will keep fighting to fix the process until it’s easy to vote and impossible to cheat. I support law enforcement and our constitutional rights. These include free speech, freedom of religion, and our right to keep and bear arms. He won the Hero of the Taxpayer award. These were for my record of lowering taxes, cutting spending, and returning more money back to you, the taxpayer. Also, I won the Friend of the Family award every year in office. This was for my work on increasing teacher pay, school choice, and school funding.”

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



All candidates for Arizona State Senate District 18 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Arizona State Senate District 18 —Priya Sundareshan (D) and Stan Caine (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections in 2022. The Republican Party controls both chambers of Arizona’s state legislature. Arizona is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?            

Sundareshan:

“I have spent my career in environmental law and policy in an effort to reduce our use of fossil fuels and prevent climate change. Transitioning to renewable energy and revamping our transportation systems to minimize fossil fuel consumption is fundamental to ensuring that we leave a livable planet for our children.”

Caine:

“I’m passionate about doing the right thing and working to advocate for self-responsibility. I want to give parents choices for how their children are educated and the right to know what their children are being taught. I want people to feel and be safe in their homes, community, and state. I believe in the adage “Follow the Money” to see where in the state budget resources are being allocated.” 

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading:



Five measures that would change the initiative process are on the ballot in 2022

In November, there are a total of five measures on the ballot related to the initiative process. A ballot initiative is a way that citizens can propose, amend, or repeal a state law or constitutional provision by collecting signatures from registered voters. Successful signature drives result in an initiative being placed on the ballot for voters to approve or reject. Twenty-six states have an initiative process at the state level, and each state has different rules and requirements regarding the ballot initiative process, including majority and supermajority requirements, single-subject rules, and requirements for measures that increase taxes.

Five measures regarding the initiative process are on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 general election. One measure was on the ballot in June. This November, the states with ballot measures regarding the initiative process are Arizona (3 measures), Arkansas (1 measure), and Colorado (1 measure). 

Last June, voters rejected a measure in South Dakota called Amendment C by 67-32%. Amendment C would have changed the vote requirement from a simple majority to a 60% majority for ballot measures that increase taxes or require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years.

In November, voters will decide on five measures regarding the initiative process in Arizona, Arkansas, and Colorado:

  • Arkansas Issue 2: Amends the Arkansas Constitution to require a 60% vote of approval from voters to adopt constitutional amendments (legislatively referred and citizen-initiated) and citizen-initiated state statutes.
  • Arizona Proposition 128: Amends the Arizona Constitution to allow the Arizona State Legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives if any portion has been declared unconstitutional or illegal by the Arizona Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Arizona Proposition 129: Amends the Arizona Constitution to require that citizen-initiated ballot measures embrace a single subject.
  • Arizona Proposition 132: Amends the Arizona Constitution to require a 60% vote for voters to pass ballot measures to approve taxes.
  • Colorado Proposition GG: Requires the ballot titles and fiscal impact summaries for initiatives that affect income taxes to include information on how the change would affect income taxes for different categories of income.

Between 2010 and June 2022, there were 20 measures regarding the initiative process on the ballot. Voters approved 11 (55%) of them, while nine (45%) were rejected.

Additional reading:



These 10 Arizona donors gave over $27.3 million

In Arizona politics, state-level candidates and political action committees have received $162.1 million in total donations between Jan. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. The 10 largest donors gave more than $27.3 million, or 17 percent of all contributions.

These are the top 10 individual donors to Arizona state-level candidates and political action committees (PACs) in the 2022 election cycle, according to campaign finance reports submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State:

Top 10 Arizona Donors (1/1/2021 – 6/30/2022)

Rank Donor Name Total Donations
1 Karrin Taylor Robson $15,200,440
2 Steve Gaynor $5,001,025
3 Deborah J Simon $1,507,500
4 Waseem Hamadeh $1,356,300
5 Katherine Leslie Rudin $1,000,000
6 Paola Tulliani Zen $686,675
7 David Tedesco $668,000
8 Ried G Hoffman $657,300
9 Daniel McCarthy $610,000
10 Karla T Jurvetson $577,800

The list of Arizona donors in this time period includes more than 1,062 individuals identified by name in the Arizona Secretary of State’s public records.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Arizona PACs submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State. Federal PACs are not required to report to state agencies.

Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports. Data from additional reports due in between the deadlines below are published along with the reports listed here.

Report Name Report Due Date
2021 1/15/2022
2022 Q1 4/15/2022
2022 Q2 7/15/2022
2022 Pre-Primary 7/23/2022
2022 Post-Primary and Q3 10/15/2022
2022 Pre-General 10/29/2022
2022 Post-General and Q4 1/17/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



All candidates for Arizona State Senate District 15 complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Both of the candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Arizona State Senate District 15 —Alan Smith (D) and Jake Hoffman (R) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

Eighty-eight of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly scheduled elections in 2022. The Republican Party controls both chambers of Arizona’s state legislature. Arizona is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.

Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?            

Smith:

“Social injustice affects all parts of our society. All Arizonan’s do not have equal access to outstanding schools, great neighborhood parks, playgrounds, swimming pools healthcare, mental health care, jobs, good streets, grocery stores, retail, etc. Poorer neighborhoods even lack shade. Any deficiencies in these public amenities affect those that live in the area. We must strive for social justice to give everybody equal opportunities in their own neighborhoods.” 

Hoffman:

“The threats facing Arizonans and Americans today are existential and numerous. I believe that we must raise up a new crop of conservative, America first legislators who understand they must be willing to educate themselves on all areas of public policy, so that they can combat these threats as they appear. We are in a battle of good vs. evil. A battle of right vs. wrong. A battle of self determination vs. authoritarian big government control.” 

Click on candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.

We ask all federal, state, and local candidates with profiles on Ballotpedia to complete a survey and share what motivates them on political and personal levels. Ask the candidates in your area to fill out the survey.

Additional reading: