PhxSoul.com’s Primary Election Guide received a great deal of attention from local voters and political insiders this summer. Every candidate we endorsed won their primary. Congratulations!
By popular demand, here are PhxSoul.com’s 2020 General Election Endorsements (Maricopa County-Focused | Tuesday, November 3, 2020).
Please share, share, share these endorsements. Every vote is crucial to win.
OUR ENDORSEMENT PHILOSOPHY
PhxSoul.com has been keeping the Valley’s Black community informed about important issues since 2006.
Our political endorsement philosophy aims to educate our readers about the issues that matter most and the candidates who will support our social, educational and economic goals.
Many times Black people are left out and left behind by our politicians. Historically, we were put in environmentally toxic parts of town, subjected to urban planned food deserts, recipients of racist policies and laws, by design, and subjected to racist micro-aggressions in overwhelmingly white and un-inclusive work environments. The past is behind us and we must persist. With knowledge comes power.
We accomplish this by: (1) focusing on voting where we breathe (local races); (2) endorsing Black candidates; (3) endorsing issues that empower Arizona Black residents; and, (4) endorsing candidates who PUBLICLY support Black lives and all Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC); and (5) endorsing candidates we believe will best and most likely hold racist police officers and police cultures accountable (PhxSoul.com supports equitable and just officers and systems) and make meaningful efforts to diversify the highest decision levels of their offices.
OFFICIAL 2020 ENDORSEMENTS
- United States President & Vice President: Biden/*Harris
- U.S. Senator: Mark Kelly
- U.S. Representative In Congress: Tom O’Halleran (D1), Anne Kirkpatrick (D2), Raul Grijalva (D3), Ruben Gallego (D7), Greg Stanton (D9)
- State Senator: Felicia French (LD6), *Lynsey Robinson (LD12), Ajlan Kurdoglu (LD17), Douglas Ervin (LD20), *Sarah Tyree (D22), Christine Marsh (LD28)
- State Representatives: *Geraldine Peten (LD4), *Coral Evans (LD6), Jennifer Pawlik (LD17), Judy Schwiebert (LD20), *Reginald Bolding, Jr. (LD27), Kelli Butler (LD28), Aaron Lieberman (LD28), *Helen Hunter (LD16)
- Corporation Commissioner (Vote For 3): Bill Mundell, Shea Stanfield, and Anna Tovar
- County Board Of Supervisors: *Jevin Hodge (D1), Deedra Abboud (D2), *Whitney Walker (D3), Suzanne Story (D4), Steve Gallardo (D5)
- City of Phoenix: *Tim Seay (Mayor), *Gary Flunoy (City Council – District 7)
- County Assessor: Aaron Connor
- County Attorney: Julie Gunnigle
- County Recorder: Adrian Fontes
- County School Superintendent: Jeanne Casteen
- County Sheriff: Paul Penzone
- County Treasurer: Daniel Toporek
- Kyrene School District Governing Board: *Trine Nelson
- Phoenix Elementary School District Governing Board: *Quanta Crews
- Tempe Union High School Governing Board: *Berdetta Hodge
- Proposition 207, Marijuana Legalization Initiative: Vote YES
- Proposition 208, Invest in Ed: Vote YES
CANDIDATES AND ISSUES THAT EMPOWER US
While we have much to vote against, we also have much to vote for.
PhxSoul.com Special Endorsements for the Arizona Legislature: If the bolded candidates win, they can flip the AZ Legislature to a Democratic majority for the first time in recent history.
- LD6: Felicia French
- LD10: Kirsten Engel
- LD12: Lynsey Robinson*
- LD17: Ajlan “Aj” Kurdoglu
- LD20: Douglas Ervin
- LD22: Sarah Tyree*
- LD26: Juan Mendez
- LD28: Christine Marsh
- LD3: Andrés Cano
- LD4: Charlene Fernandez
- LD4: Dr. Geraldine Peten*
- LD6: Coral Evans*
- LD8: Sharon Girard
- LD9: Pam Powers Hannley
- LD10: Stephanie Stahl Hamilton
- LD10: Domingo DeGrazia
- LD16: Helen Hunter
- LD17: Jennifer Pawlik
- LD18: Jennifer Jermaine
- LD20: Judy Schwiebert
- LD21: Kathy Knecht
- LD26: Athena Salman
- LD26: Melody Hernandez
- LD27: Reginald Bolding, Jr.*
- LD27: Diego Rodriguez
- LD28: Aaron Lieberman
- LD30: Raquel Terán
DIVERSITY is on the ballot
While we are not necessarily endorsing every single Black candidate in this General Election, we are excited that Arizona voters have an opportunity to choose from a large pool of talented Black candidates.
Here is our PhxSoul.com Black List featuring Democrats, Republicans and Independents in Arizona:
HUMAN RIGHTS are on the ballot
There are 3 categories of officials on the ballot for our human rights: Arizona Legislature, County Attorney, and Sheriff. Historically, this trifecta worked together to legislate, prosecute, convict, and jail Black and brown people at higher rates, harsher punishments, and longer sentences for the exact same crimes as white people. The result: destroyed homes, broken families, and higher numbers of our children in the juvenile detention system. We end this cycle with our vote.
AZ Legislature ALERT FLIPPABLE RACES
The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature continues to promote racist laws. 10 years ago, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed the racist Senate Bill 1070 authorizing the police to ask anyone who “looked” illegal for proof of ID. This law is still on the books even though it was mainly voided by a lawsuit settlement. Last year, the Arizona Legislature tried to pass a similar law.
Maricopa County Attorney ALERT FLIPPABLE RACE
PhxSoul Endorsement: Julie Gunnigle
Republicans have controlled the Maricopa County Attorney seat for four decades. Let that sink in. The only way to change the past four decades of hidden, methodical racist policies is to actually change it. Julie Gunnigle is that change on the ballot. She will be a radical for change, take it from national criminal justice reformer John Legend, who is watching criminal justice races NATIONWIDE and who endorsed Gunnigle as his choice for Maricopa County. Gunnigle believes change is possible only if everyone is at the table. Without everyone, there is no true change; it is just more of the same. Follow her social media platforms for the receipts. Spoiler alert: Julie Gunnigle is the real deal.
MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF
The choice is simple: Arpaio’s second in command and partner in crime (i.e. racism and criminal contempt of court: Jerry Sheridan, or, someone NOT involved in Arpaio’s crimes. It could be anyone, really, but we are lucky to have Paul Penzone. Not only is Sheridan Arpaio’s second-in-command, he calls peaceful protestors the “mob” and there are allegations that he used the N-word in referring to President Obama in private settings. He recently attended a fundraiser held by Arizona State University Republican student for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year old boy who showed up to a peaceful protest in Kenosha, Washington with his AR-15 and murdered two people protesting in support of Black and brown people. While Sheridan denies supporting the fundraiser, he knew about it and STILL attended. Let’s not forget, Arpaio was convicted of a crime and pardoned by Trump and Sheridan is his guy.
PhxSoul Maricopa County Sheriff Endorsement: Sheriff Paul Penzone
MARICOPA COUNTY LEADERSHIP is on the ballot
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is the five-member board that oversees Maricopa County, including its $2.5 billion dollar budget. The lack of diversity on this Board of five men, four of who are Caucasian and one Latino, is embarrassing for this diverse county and problematic. Diversity of thought is important and the lack of it informs their decisions. For example, last year, the board led by Clint Hickman (District 4) used his position and taxpayer money to force a vigorously opposed resolution in support of the Second amendment. The resolution, which is merely a statement of support by a board, apparently originated from Trump’s rants in support of the Second amendment in response to mass shootings. Supervisor Steve Gallardo (D5) reminded the Board that former Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox was shot outside the supervisors’ chamber and it was insensitive for the Board to pass this resolution. Several other speakers came to the meeting to urge the Board to reject this resolution, including Arizona House Representative Reginald Bolding, Jr. (D27), a Black man. Yet, Hickman persisted and all four of the Republican Supervisors (Jack Sellers (D1), Steve Chucri (D2), Bill Gates (D3), Clint Hickman (D4)) voted in favor. This was insensitive and unnecessary, as a government agency need not express its support for the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. It’s THE CONSTITUTION: it applies without your proclamation, Hickman. But, this is the cultural insensitivity coming from our elected officials because there is no balance on the board. PhxSoul.com endorses diversity for this five-member board that makes decisions on behalf of the entire county.
PhxSoul.com Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Endorsements (vote for your district):
District 1: Jevin Hodge*
District 2: Deedra Abboud
District 3: Whitney Walker*
District 4: Suzanne Story
District 5: Steve Gallardo
GERRYMANDERING is on the ballot
Do you ever wonder who draws the lines determining how many Republicans, Democrats, or others live in your voting district and if they are fair? Have you ever wondered if someone drew the lines to include mostly Republicans or Democrats how it would affect who would win elections in your district? Well, we did too, and the answer is the county Board of Supervisors for county districts (majority Republican), the “independent” redistricting committee for the entire state (selected by the Republican governor), and the Recorder, who provides the first draft of the maps to those groups who make the final decision (Democrat). Currently, a Republican majority will redraw the maps in 2021. For perspective, this was the same in 2011 after the 2010 census, which is partially why we have majority Republicans in office today. There is nothing we can do about the redistricting committee because Ducey already selected them and he is not on the ballot (at least he is termed out. Speaking of, let’s gear up for the Governor election in 2022).
PhxSoul.com Maricopa County Recorder Endorsement: Adrian Fontes
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION is on the ballot
Arizona Proposition 207 is the Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2020). A “yes” vote supports this ballot initiative to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons who are at least 21 years old, enact a tax on marijuana sales, and require the state Department of Health and Human Services to develop rules to regulate marijuana businesses. A “no” vote opposes this ballot initiative, thus keeping the recreational possession and use of marijuana illegal under state law in Arizona.
Recommendations on Judges in Arizona
Visit the Voter Guide on the Equality Arizona Website to learn about recommendations which judges should receive Yes and No votes!
PhxSoul Endorsement: Vote YES on Prop 207
EDUCATION is on the ballot
No secret, Arizona’s education system is near the bottom in rankings due to gross underfunding. Prop 208 will add a 3.5 percent surcharge to the top 1 percent of earners (250,000 individual and $500,000 household). 99 percent of Arizonans – including the average small business owner, lawyer, doctor, and dentist – will not pay this surcharge. The Invest in Education Act is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for K-12 education. And even with the proposed 3.5 percent surcharge, Arizona’s income taxes on the highest earners will still remain lower than 25 other states.
GUN LAW REFORM is on the ballot
The Giffords Law Center gave Arizona an F for gun law strength. The Center ranked Arizona 45 out of 50 in gun law strength and 18 out of 50 in gun deaths. Yet, the Republican controlled Arizona Legislature continues to block any form of gun legislation. For the first time in recent history, Arizonans have a chance to flip both the house and the senate to democratic control.
DONATE. INVEST IN OUR LOCAL FUTURE.
Pick a candidate or two and DONATE to their campaigns. As PhxSoul.com has said many times in the past … MONEY spreads the message. These are the candidates most closely representing our values. If not them, IT WILL be someone else. Perhaps, a Local Trump Enabler. If we did not do our part for our communities, we will not be able to blame “the man.” We will only be able to blame ourselves.