Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Arizona Women Win 42 Legislative, State & Congressional Races (video)

Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona has a history of electing women to public office. In 1932, Arizona elected Isabella Greenway to the US House of Representatives. In 1972, State Senator Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female president of the Arizona Senate. In 1998, Arizona voters elected five women to run the state government— Jane Hull (Governor), Betsy Bayless (Secretary of State), Janet Napolitano (Attorney General), Carol Springer (Treasurer), and Lisa Graham-Keegan (Superintendent of Public Instruction). To this date, Arizona’s Fab Five remain the most number of women elected to state government at the same time. In 2017, the Arizona Legislature had the highest percentage of women (40 percent) of any state Legislature in the Country.

In 2018, Arizona elected its first female US senator and 41 other women to political office. Out of 108 races, women won 39 percent of them this year. After inauguration in January 2019, half of Arizona’s statewide offices (4/8), 27 percent of our Congressional delegation (3/11), and 39 percent of the Arizona Legislature (35/90) will be women.

Most of the woman who won are Democrats but not all. In the Congressional races, US Senate was won by Kyrsten Sinema (D), Ann Kirkpatrick (D) took CD2, and Debby Lesko (R) was re-elected to CD8. On the statewide level, women took: Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs, D), Treasurer (Kimbery Yee, R), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Kathy Hoffman, D) and one of the Arizona Corporation Commission seats (Sandra Kennedy).

In the Arizona Senate, six of the 13 women who won are Democrats. The female senators are: newly elected President of the Senate Karen Fann (LD1, R), Andrea Dalessandro (LD2, D), Sally Ann Gonzales (LD3, D), Lisa Otondo (LD4, D), Sylvia Allen (LD6, R), Jamescita Peshlakai (LD7, D), Victoria Steele (LD9, D), Sine Kerr (LD13 R), Heather Carter (LD15, R), Michelle Ugenti-Rita (LD23, R), Lela Alston (LD24, D), Rebecca Rios (LD27, D), Kate Brophy McGee (LD28, R).

I am so proud to serve with these women: Reps. Wenona Benally, Mitze Epstein, Geraldine Peten, Athena Salman, Kelli Butler, me, Isela Blanc, and Kirsten Engel in the front. The House Democratic Caucus rocks. (Benally decided not to run for re-election in 2018; the rest of us were all re-elected.)

In the Arizona House 14 of the 22 women are Democrats. All of the Democratic Party’s outspoken “feisty freshmen” from 2016 were re-elected. The female representatives are: Rosanna Gabaldon (LD2, D), Alma Hernandez (LD3, D), newly elected Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez (LD4, D), Geraldine Peten (LD4, D), Regina Cobb (LD5, R), Pamela Powers Hannley (LD9, D), Kirsten Engel (LD10, D), Joanne Osborne (LD13, R), Gail Griffin (LD14, R), Becky Nutt (LD14, R), Nancy Barto (LD15, R), Kelly Townsend (LD16, R), Jennifer Pawlik (LD17, D), Mitzi Epstein (LD18, D), Jennifer Jermaine (LD18, D), Shawnna Bolick (LD20, R), Jennifer Longdon (LD24, D), Michelle Udall (LD25, R), Athena Salman (LD26, D), Isela Blanc  (LD26, D), Kelly Butler (LD28, D), and Raquel Teran (LD30, D).

One legislative district– LD4– will be represented by three women, Otondo, Fernandez and Peten (all Dems). Eight districts– LDs 2, 3, 9, 14, 15, 18, 24, and 26– elected women for two of their three Legislative seats.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, seven legislative districts will be represented only by men. Five of those seven LDs are dominated by Republican men (14/15 white men); the other two male-dominated LDs are controlled by Latino Democrats. It is worth noting that all of these seats are in safe districts. The LDs with 100 percent male representation in the Arizona Legislature are: LD8 (Pratt, Shope, Cook), LD11 (Leach, Finchem, Roberts), LD12 (E. Farnsworth, Petersen, Grantham), LD19 (Contrerras, Expinoza, Sierra), LD21 (Gray, Payne, Rivero), and LD22 (Livingston, Toma, Carroll).

Lest you believe that every woman who ran in the General Election won, there were seven women who ran for Congressional office and lost; one woman who ran for statewide office and lost; 15 women who ran for Arizona Senate and lost; and 16 women who ran for Arizona House and lost (including two incumbents Reps. Jill Norgaard and Maria Syms). Some of these women lost to other women and some lost to men.

With Sinema taking the US Senate seat for the Dems, with a record number of women elected to Congress and so many wins at the state level, 2018 was the Year of the Woman… and the Year of the Blue Wave.

Now, let’s get busy!

Cross-posted from Blog for Arizona.


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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