Candidates square off in general election


By: Joshua Bowling

“College-age students have an interest – just like anyone else – in making sure that we have a state that is investing and moving forward in education,” Democratic candidate, David Garcia, said.

Garcia is running for superintendent of public instruction in Arizona

With the general election taking place on Nov. 4, Garcia, and all candidates running, are looking to make one final effort to earn votes.

Garcia is running against Republican Diane M. Douglas.

Both of them have skin in the game. Garcia is a professor at ASU and Douglas has served on multiple boards of education.

Douglas has raised over $140,000 for the general election, and Garcia has raised just over $80,000.

The superintendent of public instruction must distribute nearly $6 billion in education funding to Arizona’s public school system, as well as help schools comply with national and state laws and State Board of Education policies, according to

In addition, the superintendent of public instruction has to direct the work of all employees of the board who are going to be employees of the Department of Education.

The superintendent must work hand-in-hand with Arizona’s public universities and colleges.

The notion that colleges are not interested in helping people graduate, but are seeking to weed out bad students, is “tough for me to accept,” Garcia said.

Garcia said he attended a great public school, and these schools need to help kids reach their potential.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative has been the center of much controversy across the country, and in the race for superintendent of public instruction.

Douglas is opposed to the legislation, while Garcia sees it as “a start to answering the problem” of our current education system.

Common Core implements national standards, benchmarking one state’s schools against the rest of the country.

Having an educator in office is of the utmost importance, according to Garcia.

“We have not had an educator in this position in over 20 years,” Garcia said. “I think the qualifications – side by side – just go our way, without question.”

Politicians are looking for college-age voters to turn out this election.

MCC student, Josh Soberanes, said he is planning to vote.

Party does not matter to Soberanes. When asked which of the parties he aligns with the most, he said, “I have to read through the abstracts to decide.”

Proposition 303 will also be put to the vote.

The proposition – known as the “Right To Try Act” – was put forward as an effort to open up investigational drugs to terminally ill patients.

A patient near death would now be able to come to a decision with their physician on whether or not they should try investigational drugs as treatment.

These drugs have undergone phase one of clinical trials, but remain under investigation and have not been approved for general use in the public by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to the proposition, such treatment cannot be forced upon anyone, but is to be prescribed by a physician, if the patient is interested.

Neither state agencies nor healthcare providers would be required to provide coverage for these drugs, according to the proposition.

On the gubernatorial front, Republican Doug Ducey will take on Democrat Fred DuVal.

Ducey raised over $800,000 this election, while DuVal raised over $1 million.

The victor will be elected to a four-year term as governor of Arizona, with a term limit of two consecutive terms.

Incumbent Governor, Jan Brewer, endorsed former Mesa Mayor, Scott Smith, in his race for the governor’s seat.

Smith lost in the primary, however, leaving Ducey as the GOP’s candidate in the general election.

DuVal ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, taking home nearly 97 percent of the vote.

Ducey took 37 percent of the vote in the primary, as he ran against five opponents.

Barry J. Hess ran unopposed in the Libertarian primary for governor, and will seek to win office in the general election.

Democrat Terry Goddard will face Republican Michele Reagan for secretary of state.

Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini are running against one another for attorney general, currently held by Tom Horne, who Brnovich beat in the primary.

Brnovich raised over $200,000 in the primary, while Horne raised over $500,000.

Brnovich raised just over $80,000 for the general election, while Rotellini raised just under $400,000.

In the primary, Rotellini’s campaign saw an income of $1.1 million, and she ran unopposed.

Doug Ducey is currently the state treasurer.

Republican Jeff Dewit is running uncontested to replace Ducey.

In the primary election, there were 882,006 votes cast, though there were over 3 million voters registered in the state, according to Secretary of State, Ken Bennett’s office.

Voter registration was just over 27 percent in the primary.

Candidates have sought to register more voters in time for the general election.

MCC held voter registration drives on Sept. 23 and Oct. 22.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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