Review of Candidates

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore licensed under Photos cropped.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore licensed under Photos cropped.

Arizona voters have the opportunity to elect new officials this midterm election. Ranging from U.S. Senate to governor to local city/town councilors, there are many open seats. After the primary election on Aug. 28, each party has selected a candidate to represent its values for the general election on Nov. 6. Here is a quick review of three of the seats that all Arizona voters can vote for this election. The issues discussed are not everything these candidates stand for and are running on this election. For more information about the candidates and their stances on all of the issues this election, visit their website, read other articles that discuss updates in their views and watch debates between the candidates.


Doug Ducey

  • Party: Republican
  • The issues he identifies in his campaign: safety and security for all Arizonans, more money for schools and jobs and economic security.
  • What is his stance on education?
    • School safety (i.e. the Safe Arizona Schools Plan, which increases the number of on-campus counselors, creates a tip-line for reporting safety concerns and provides tools from keeping those with mental health issues from obtaining a gun)
    • Investing in education without raising taxes (i.e. his 20 by 2020 plan which gave schools a one-time 20 percent funding increase by 2020)
  • What is his stance on gun control?
    • He wants to limit people who are “unstable” from getting guns.
    • He does not necessarily support universal background checks
    • Safe Arizona Schools Plan (to increase mental health services at schools)
  • What is his stance on border security?
    • Border Strike Force, “a partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement to enhance security along Arizona’s southern border, aimed at drug cartels and human traffickers.”
    • He wants to maintain a safe and secure border.

David Garcia

  • Party: Democrat
  • The issues he identifies in his campaign: stable families (i.e. investing in education and childcare services), good jobs and a fair economy and honest and effective government.
  • What is his stance on education?
    • He fully supports public education.
    • Garcia wants universal community college in order to have a trained workforce, which he believes will help the Arizona economy
  • What is his stance on gun control?
    • He believes everyone should have his or her second amendment right but believes bearing arms should come with responsibility; therefore, he wants universal background checks, ban assault rifles and work on school safety.
  • What is his stance on border security?
    • He wants to make the system a reflection of American values, including “security, lawful entry for those ready to contribute and to be a place of refuge for those most in need.”
    • Garcia does not want to abolish ICE; he just wants to replace it with something better.

U.S. Senate

Kyrsten Sinema

  • Party: Democrat
  • The issues she identifies in her campaign: fixing a dysfunctional Washington; providing quality, affordable healthcare for all Arizonans; supporting veterans and fixing the VA; keeping Arizona families safe; creating good jobs and growing Arizona economy; having common sense for immigration reform, and standing up for women and families.
  • What is her stance on border security?
    • Sinema supports the DREAMers (the children of illegal immigrants).
    • In the past, Sinema worked with Senator John McCain to cosponsor the USA Act, which reflects her goals for immigration reform. This act protects DREAMers by giving them a path toward legal residency while investing in border security.
  • Martha McSally
  • Party: Republican
  • The issues she identifies in her campaign: defending the A-10 from being retired, securing the border, helping veterans, energy (by supporting legislation that does not punish Arizona for choosing to use clean energy), education and opportunity, foreign affairs, health care and jobs and economic growth.
  • What is her stance on border security?
    • McSally voted for the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, which includes President Trump’s ideas to secure the border.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

Frank Riggs

  • Party: Republican
  • The issues he identifies in his campaign: empowering parents, Arizona Department of Education (ADE) priorities, the first “C,” physical education, reading-writing literacy and electives and the trades.
  • What are some things he will try to accomplish if he were elected?
    • Riggs wants parents to be an active part of the education experience and will give them a “hotline” to contact the ADE among other ways to become involved.
    • He also wants the ADE to be more transparent and wants to increase the amount of Arizona high school graduates.
    • Riggs’ first “C” is citizenship; he wants to increase civic education in schools. He believes teaching students how to be a good citizen is crucial to create “thinking citizens ready to perform their responsibilities in our self-governing Republic.”
    • He believes in school choice, meaning he supports the idea that parent should be able to choose between public, charter and private schools for their students in order for their kids to gain the education services they need/want (that might not be available at their neighborhood school).

Kathy Hoffman

  • Party: Democrat
  • Her campaign issues:  improving graduation rates by investing in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and promote bilingual education issues, support special education, advocate for teachers, inclusion of the LBGTQ community by promoting inclusive policies and stop the expansion of the Empowerment School Account (ESA) vouchers.
  • What else will she try to accomplish if she were elected?
    • She is an advocate of public education.
    • Other priorities that makes Hoffman “unique” is her vision for paid maternity/paternity leave for teachers, competitive pay for support staff and improving access to mental health and special education services.