Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
My wife and I watched the LD11 Clean Elections debate on YouTube on Sept. 30. We were impressed with the thoughtful and articulate responses of retired Marine JoAnna Mendoza of Red Rock and Dr. Felipe Perez of Oro Valley. JoAnna is running for the Arizona Senate seat occupied by Vince Leach. Dr. Perez seeks a House seat held by either Mark Finchem or Bret Roberts.
We were disappointed that neither Sen. Vince Leach nor House members Mark Finchem or Bret Roberts chose to participate. Where were they? We would like to have heard what they had to say about their response to the critical issues of COVID-19 and schooling and Arizona’s economy. These representatives were elected to work for us. Attending debates is part of the job. This is not the time for incumbents to fail in that responsibility by hiding from their constituents.
We can understand that Leach, Finchem and Roberts might not be proud of their records as legislators — especially during this pandemic. Their dedication to ALEC and corporate interests far outweighs their dedication to solving local problems for the citizens of LD11. We can understand that they do not want to appear on YouTube opposite two strong Democratic candidates who are well qualified to publicly challenge their records just before an election.
The way we see it, Democrats won the Clean Elections debate by respecting the LD11 community enough to show up and talk about the important issues that affect us all. Incumbents who are afraid to come forward to discuss school funding and the pandemic economy must have little confidence that they have done a good job while in office. We will vote for JoAnna Mendoza for Arizona Senate and Dr. Felipe Perez for the Arizona House.