Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Democrats Stand Together at Primary Night's Unity Party

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 11:00 PM

With the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race serving as the single primary for blue candidates, the Pima County Democratic Party spent Tuesday night showing support for their fellow candidates.

Before the speeches kicked off at the JunXion Bar, Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Don Jorgensen spoke to the strength of the party throughout the state.

“It really is a testament to the quality of our candidates," Jorgensen said. "{It’s such a critical year and it’s more important to get elected officials who will get Arizona back on the network news and off of Comedy Central. So we’re all rallying around these terrific candidates.”

Legislative District 9, Jorgensen said, remains a key focus for Democrats, who aim to unseat Republican Ethan Orr with Democrat Randall Friese. Jorgensen added that beating Orr after only a single term was key.

“Orr ran a good race last time, but folks didn’t really know his positions on anything," Jorgensen said. "Now that he’s been exposed as someone who’s essentially pro-gun and anti-women’s rights, folks who voted for him, even Democrats two years ago, realize that’s not representative of that district.”

Victoria Steele, a Democrat, has held the other LD9 seat since 2012.

Raul Grijalva

Democratic mainstay Raul Grijalva from Congressional District 3 was among the first to take the stage.

"Today, I just want to tell you how important Pima County is going to be to the state of Arizona," Grijalva said to a cheering crowd. "We’re going to work really hard to get a turnout that reflects what we need in this country. We have now gone a decade and a half with a Legislature that has turned its back on the people of Arizona, turned its back on the kids in our schools."

Ron Barber

Congressional District 2 Rep. Ron Barber, speaking about Southern Arizona's values, took 10 minutes to compare his own views with those of his most likely Republican opponent, Martha McSally. He also criticized endorsements, adding that her campaign was being heavily run from Washington by the likes of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

"We know this community, we love this community," Barber said from the podium. "We know what matters to this community and we want to serve this community. "Unfortunately, we also have a broken Congress that just doesn't understand our community, doesn't understand our values. That's particularly true of Speaker John Boehner, who has hand-picked somebody he wants to represent you."

Barber's criticism comes just more than a month before an election that will likely see a thin margin between him and his opponent. Moving forward, Barber said he plans to continue drawing clear distinctions his views and McSally's.

"The Tea Party extreme views she held in 2012, she's trying to run away from," Barber said. "But we've got to hold her to what she represents, which is a very extreme point of view on women's rights, on Medicare, which she would like to privatize, supporting a budget like Paul Ryan's budget."

Victoria Steele

Legislative District 9 Democrat Victoria Steele said she hopes to see a fellow Democrat oust Ethan Orr in November. Since 2012, Steele said, she's had to "play defense" when it came to legislation, referencing laws that deregulated guns that Orr helped fight for.

"Right now it's very frustrating when I sit on the board and I see bills passed simply because they're Republican bills and they have the numbers to pass them," she said. "We have to change the numbers so I can do more than kill bad bills."

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