ARIZONA CITY — With the primary election in the rearview mirror, eyes have now turned to the November general election. While candidates at the national level will get most of the spotlight, those running at the state level can directly impact voters’ lives.
In an effort to stake their claim as an Arizona state representative, candidates in the Legislative District 16 race made an appearance at a candidate forum at the Arizona City Chamber of Commerce’s August luncheon.
At the Tap Inn Bar and Grill, the House candidates, incumbent Teresa Martinez and Rob Hudelson on the Republican side and Keith Seaman on the Democratic side appeared.
“The Democratic Party of your grandparents is not the same Democratic Party that is pushing the agenda today,” he said.
The Republican challenger continued by speaking on border security, saying it is one of his top priorities.
“Just being out on the streets, it is a dangerous place and it’s not getting better when we open up the border and say come one, come all,” he said. “It tears down the rule of law, it’s not that we don’t want to make an open opportunity for everyone, but come in under the rule of law.”
Martinez, an incumbent, is a native of Casa Grande. She mentioned her previous experience working at the State Capitol, saying that she has been “fighting for the issues of Pinal County.”
Seaman, the only Democrat on the ticket, is a former educator, having worked as a teacher, principal, superintendent and currently vice president of the Coolidge school board. Seaman wasted no time getting into his top priorities if elected, with the biggest one being education.
“I have seen the lack in funding, our class sizes have doubled and I’ve seen the Legislature use our students as pawns in a political game,” Seaman said.
In response to Seaman’s claims on education, Martinez referenced the Legislature’s $1 billion “investment” in K-12 funding.
“To be honest, I think it is incorrect to say that we have not invested enough money into our schools,” Martinez said in opposition of Seaman. “What we need to do now is start putting in systems so that we can make the most out of the dollars we are spending now.”
The new district includes most of central and western Pinal County, including Arizona City, Eloy, Casa Grande, Maricopa and Coolidge.
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