Saturday, April 26, 2014

Committees and candidate update

I didn't expect to do another one of these updates until after nominating petitions are turned in and we know who is actually going to be on the ballot.  However, there are a few significant items to update...

...State Sen. Kimberly Yee (R-LD20) used her power as a committee chair to kill a bill that would have provided funding for a study to see if marijuana can be used to alleviate the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  PTSD affects veterans (and others, too) and there was a lot of support for the study among veterans, veterans' groups, and those who support veterans.

So now Yee, who was basically unopposed, is now facing a primary challenge from a candidate who has switched from running for the AZ House to running for the AZ Senate, Justin Henry.

Henry is, you guessed it, a veteran.

...Casey Forese, married to Republican legislator Rep. Tom Forese, has filed to run for the governing board of the Chandler Unified School District.  If she wins election and is seriously interested in working to support and improve the Chandler schools, it could lead to some interesting dinner table conversations with her husband, a member of the anti-education Republican caucus running the AZ lege.  Of course, given the track record of Republican school board members across the state, working *for* the betterment of public education may not be part of the plan.

Note: In 2014, Tom Forese is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission.  Regardless of how that election turns out, he won't be part of the legislature in 2015.

...Mike Johnson, former member of the Phoenix City Council, has filed to run for the seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors held by Mary Rose Wilcox, who is running for the Congressional seat held by Ed Pastor.  His committee chair?  Art Hamilton, a legendary former legislator.  His committee treasurer?  Tony Motola, a long-time figure, and fixer, in Phoenix politics.

Johnson joins Marie Rogers, mayor of Avondale,  and Anna Tovar, Democratic leader in the Arizona State Senate, in the race.

...Ron Bellus has filed to run for a seat on the governing board of the Gilbert Public School District.  Not a widely-known name, he was hired at the state lege for the start up of Arizona Capitol Television.  He was part of the inner circle of Jim Weiers, former speaker of the AZ House.  Bellus was let go when Weiers finished his time at the lege.  The Gilbert School Board has become notoriously dysfunctional as tea party types have taken over there, but I have no idea if Bellus is looking to help "right the ship", or looking to help finish sinking that ship.

...Alfredo Gutierrez, long-time legislator and community activist, and an author, has filed to run for the seat on the governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) that he was appointed to earlier this year.

Note: Because local school board races are officially non-partisan, they will only be on the general election ballot.  As such, candidates have until August 6th to turn in their nominating sigs.  This page from the Maricopa County Education Service Agency (yes, it's run by Republicans, so no mention of public education in the name is allowed.  However,it is the office of the superintendent of Maricopa County schools) contains information about running for a local school board in Maricopa County.

This should be the last post of its type until after candidates turn in sigs and we know who will be on the ballot, but if there are any other major developments before then, I'll update...

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