Pinal County residents will be voting soon, if they have not already done so. We are making the following endorsements, knowing the voters must choose for themselves. Some of their opinions from both sides of the aisle have been published in these columns for months.
As we said in an editorial on Oct. 6, President Trump carried Pinal by 18,000 votes four years ago and certainly will do well again. At the same time, many have been eager to vote against him. The first debate was chaotic. (Casa Grande Dispatch editorial Oct. 1) Since then, Trump had COVID-19 and there was drama about the format for the second debate, which was canceled, and the two candidates had separate town halls on different channels.
Meanwhile, the vice presidential candidates, Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, showed much about the contrast between the two camps in their debate. Trump has been hurt by the pandemic and trails Joe Biden in the polls, but Pence pointed out that most of Biden’s COVID-19 plan is the same as Trump’s and that the Democrats’ positions on issues are much further left than they would like middle America to believe. He pointed to higher taxes affecting nearly everyone, harm to the oil industry, higher prices for gasoline and energy in general and packing the Supreme Court as possibilities. Biden and Harris also have favored no cash bail for people arrested and closing private prisons, ideas that would not play well in Pinal County.
For those opposing such ideas, and especially with Biden’s election a strong possibility, the congressional races take on a greater meaning than normal. For the Senate, we have endorsed Republican Martha McSally over her Democratic opponent, Mark Kelly, because of her stance on the issues and her record in Congress, including support for national defense.
For the House, Congressman Tom O’Halleran has represented the 1st District and benefited from a Democratic registration edge. He has the reputation of a moderate, which fits pretty well with the huge district, although he usually votes with his party. Meanwhile, Pinal resident Tiffany Shedd is making a strong run on the Republican side and has drawn national support for her conservative and sensible positions.
In the Republican-leaning 4th District, which includes Florence and San Tan Valley, Rep. Paul Gosar has not had a serious challenge. His quirks sometimes raise eyebrows, but he is a solid member of the Republican caucus and should have another term. The Democratic candidate is Delina DiSanto. (Editorial Oct. 6)
For the state House in Legislative District 8, which includes much of Pinal, we have endorsed Republican incumbents T.J. Shope of Coolidge, Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and David Cook of Globe because of their familiarity with and positions on the issues. Pratt, now in the Senate, and Shope, in the House, are seeking to switch places. The Democrats are Barbara McGuire of Kearny for the Senate and Sharon Girard of Eloy for the House.
In Legislative District 11, which includes Maricopa, Arizona City and parts of Casa Grande and Eloy, we have endorsed Republican incumbents Sen. Vince Leach of Saddlebrooke and Reps. Mark Finchem of Oro Valley and Bret Roberts of Maricopa. They also have shown leadership in the Legislature. The Democrats are JoAnna Mendoza of Red Rock for the Senate and Dr. Felipe Perez of Oro Valley for the House. (Editorial Oct. 1)
The Arizona Corporation Commission has three seats on the ballot. Not up for election are a Republican and a Democrat. The Republican candidates are appointed member Lea Marquez Peterson, securities industry retiree Jim O’Connor and public relations executive Eric Sloan. The Democrats are former Commissioner Bill Mundell, retired teacher Shea Stanfield and Tolleson Mayor and former teacher Anna Tovar.
Arizona standards and the market have pushed the state to more use of renewable energy. Two years ago, voters saw through and rejected a ballot proposal from out-of-state interests that would have accelerated the switch from carbon fuels and not given credit to the huge resource of a nuclear power plant that has been a mainstay for decades. Arizonans need look no further than California to see what can happen to utility bills and occasional loss of their air conditioning when mandates are too strong.
With this in mind, we are endorsing Marquez Peterson, O’Connor and Sloan as the best candidates to protect utility customers.
County and local
There are no countywide races in Pinal. For two of the seats on the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, we have endorsed incumbents Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, and Pete Rios, D-Dudleyville. They have served the county well. Their respective opponents, who won a spot on the ballot as primary write-in candidates, are April Loew and Kevin Cavanaugh. (Editorial Sept. 24)
Some municipalities have city council or mayoral races, although Casa Grande does not.
For the Casa Grande Union High School District board, Jack Henness was appointed to a vacant seat and was the only one to file for the remaining two years of the term. Because of that, he is not on the ballot. For three other seats, the candidates are real estate agent Kelly Herrington, Chandler teacher Taylor Kerby, restaurateur Tom McGill and designer and incumbent Chuck Wright. Of those, Kerby and McGill are write-in candidates, so voters supporting them will have to remember their names. We are endorsing Herrington, Wright and McGill because of their ideas about the district and business experience.
In the Casa Grande Elementary School District, the candidates are retired teacher and farmer Nancy Caywood, power plant manager David Sancic, senior citizens adviser Adelphia Sisson and retired county planner Jerry Stabley. The only one on the ballot is Stabley. We are endorsing Stabley, Sisson and Caywood because of their ideas and record of public service. (Editorial Sept. 29)
Some school districts, Florence, Santa Cruz Valley Union High, Stanfield, Toltec and Superior, have budget override or bond questions on the ballot. Districts depend on these funds to provide basic services, and residents should consider a yes vote.