July 27, 2004
Three Republicans are vying for two seats in state House District 21, which covers most of Chandler, Sun Lakes, southwest Mesa, southern Gilbert and Queen Creek.
Incumbents Warde Nichols and Steve Yarbrough are hoping for a return to the seats they have filled the last two years, but challenger Gretchen Wolfe could upset one of them in the Sept. 7 Republican primary.
Nichols, prime sponsor of the one-man, one-woman marriage bill, said he wants to continue working for the bill again in the coming year and also plans to continue to work for more educational choices for parents.
Yarbrough said that, if reelected, he would continue to work to improve education from kindergarten through college. He believes that increasing school choices for parents and providing adequate funding will boost achievement. Yarbrough said he also wants to enhance public safety by preserving local revenue-sharing to improve equipment and officer pay.
Wolfe said she would represent her constituents, not push her personal agenda. She said people want and deserve responsive government.
Nichols said the two biggest issues facing voters in the next two years are water and the state budget. He said the Legislature needs to focus on how it will get enough water to supply Arizona’s growing population if the drought continues. Nichols also believes the state needs to better control its spending.
Yarbrough said he agreed that the budget will be one of the biggest issues facing Arizona, and that improving education is another top priority.
Wolfe said her three top issues are growing Arizona’s economy, improving education and increasing public safety. She said Arizona’s economy is heading in the wrong direction with Wal-Mart replacing Motorola as the state’s top employer. Wolfe said state policies and tax codes need to support the goal of attracting high-paying jobs.
Wolfe said public education is a constitutional mandate and must be a budget priority for the state as should public safety because Arizona must keep families safe.
With cities offering increasingly elaborate tax incentives to lure business District 21 could be affected by legislation that could limit how much cities offer developers. Such tax incentives are at issue in the ongoing battle between Chandler and Gilbert over auto mall incentives.
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