Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, Former Press Secretary, State & Local
HRC announced its endorsement of a record 39 pro-equality candidates in the Arizona State Legislature.
“While anti-equality politicians from the State House to the White House are hell-bent on dragging Arizona backwards, HRC’s endorsed candidates are fighting to ensure every Arizonan has a fair shot,” said HRC Arizona State Director Justin Unga. “Being LGBTQ should never be an impediment to success, and a pro-equality majority in our State Capitol means LGBTQ Arizonans can finally stop battling policies that harm us and start working toward reforms that help us. That’s why HRC is working harder than ever to turn out the vote for Arizona candidates who will champion equality.”
In the Arizona State Senate, HRC has endorsed Jo Craycraft for Senate District 1; Andrea Dalessandro for re-election to Senate District 2; Sally Ann Gonzales for re-election to Senate District 3; Lisa Otondo for re-election to Senate District 4; Wade Carlisle for Senate District 6; Jamescita Peshlakai for re-election to Senate District 7; Victoria Steele for Senate District 9; Steve Weichert for Senate District 17; Sean Bowie for re-election to Senate District 18; Lupe Contreras for re-election to Senate District 19; Douglas Ervin for Senate District 20; Daria Lohman for Senate District 23; Lela Alston for Senate District 24; Juan Mendez for re-election to Senate District 26; Rebecca Rios for Senate District 27; Martin Quezada for re-election Senate District 29; and Tony Navarrete for Senate District 30.
In the Arizona State House, HRC has endorsed Rosanna Gabaldon and Daniel Hernandez for re-election to House District 2; Andres Cano and Alma Hernandez for House District 3; Charlene Fernandez and Geraldine Peten for re-election to House District 4; Randall Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley for re-election to House District 9; Hollace Lyon for House District 11; Mitzi Epstein for re-election to House District 18; Jennifer Jermaine for House District 18; Diego Espinoza for re-election to House District 19; Hazel Chandler and Chris Gilfillan for House District 20; Athena Salman and Isela Blanc for re-election to House District 26; Reginald Bolding for re-election to House District 27; Kelli Butler for re-election to House District 28; Aaron Lieberman for House District 28; Cesar Chavez and Richard Andrade for re-election to House District 29; and Robert Meza for House District 30.
Arizona is one of 30 states in the country that lacks explicit state-level protections for all LGBTQ people. Both chambers have so far failed to show the leadership needed to pass non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Last year, four lawmakers -- Rep. Daniel Hernandez, (D-Tucson), Rep. César Chávez (D-Phoenix), Rep. Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete (D-Phoenix), and Sen. Robert Meza (D-Phoenix) -- created the state’s first-ever LGBTQ caucus at the State Capitol, vowing to harness the collective power of the LGBTQ community and work to move equality forward.
In Arizona, HRC has identified more than 800,000 voters as likely “Equality Voters,” meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Arizona in the 2018 cycle, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.
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