Our ideal legislators are people like Rich Crandall and Cecil Ash, two politicians who put the state and their voters before their party, are willing to work with others and consider issues on their own merit. Those who fall on the extreme ends of the right or left hamper the political process and only widen the divide that has engulfed our state. Given that, here are our endorsements for the Arizona Legislature in our East Valley districts:
House: Incumbent Democrat Eddie Ableser has done a good job representing this district, and fellow Democrat Ben Arredondo brings a wealth of experience as a teacher, school board member, county supervisor and Tempe councilman (we envision him in the Crandall-Ash mold).
Senate: Democrat David Schapira has been an effective voice in the House, fighting to put more accountability in the tuition tax credit law for private schools, among other things.
House: We’ve already sung the praises of Ash, a Republican who serves this west Mesa district well. Incumbent Steve Court is more of a Republican foot soldier, but has the edge in experience over other candidates.
Senate: There’s little or no chance that Russell Pearce will lose his seat in this Republican stronghold. His strong feelings on immigration come across as more heart-felt and less political than some candidates. But we would like to see him devote more of that passion toward other critical needs like the economy, job growth and balancing the state budget in the future.
House: Kirk Adams, as Speaker of the House, gives the East Valley a strong voice in the Legislature, and should return. As the second representative from this Mesa district, we like Democrat Kit Filbey’s nonpartisan views on politics. She’s fiscally conservative and more moderate in her beliefs, and has a background in education and small business.
Senate: Crandall, as we’ve noted, is a thoughtful legislator and one who helped prevent cuts in education from going deeper in the past. He’s a good influence on the Legislature.
House: Democrat Rae Waters did well in her first term in the Legislature and is another who avoids political ideology. Republican Bob Robson is a staunch supporter of immigration reform and education.
Senate: Republican John McComish is running unopposed.
House: These seats are vacant. We like Republicans Tom Forese of Gilbert and J.D. Mesnard of Chandler to represent this district, which encompasses parts of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and Queen Creek.
Senate: Republican Steve Yarbrough is running unopposed.
House: Republicans Eddie Farnsworth and Steve Urie are running unopposed for these seats.
Senate: Republican Andy Biggs is running unopposed.
House: Democrat incumbent Barbara McGuire is an active member of the House. Of the Republicans, we like John Fillmore’s bulldog attitude toward cutting government spending.
Senate: Democrat Rebecca Rios is a strong voice in the Senate. She studies issues, is articulate and knows how to steer a debate or issue to keep it on track.