Senate DemocratsJORGE LUIS GARCIA
SEN. PETER GOUDINOFF'S decision to call it quits has set off an intense rivalry between the two Democrats who are currently serving District 11 in the House. Both Elaine Richardson and Jorge Luis Garcia are giving up their House seats in order to run for the Senate.
Both candidates have served two terms in the House, but Richardson has kept a higher profile. She has worked on environmental issues like leaking underground storage tanks and has a record of helping battered women.
Richardson has also raised far more money than Garcia. As of May 31, she had collected $9,688 and still had $6,724 in the bank. Garcia, meanwhile, had collected only $1,173, which puts him at a disadvantage when it comes to capturing name recognition in what is sure to be a low-turnout primary. But don't count Garcia out--he has served his constituents well and he has a reputation for being a tireless campaigner when it comes to walking his district.
House DemocratsCARLOS SALAZ
AS INCUMBENTS Elaine Richardson and Jorge Luis Garcia leave the House to tackle each other in the race for the upper chamber, the vacancies have five candidates vying for the votes of approximately 31,000 Democrats in District 11, which includes western Tucson, Sells, Ajo and Nogales.
Carmine Cardomone, a longtime ally of former District 11 Rep. John Kromko, is taking his first shot at the statehouse. The 46-year-old Cardomone is known for his strong commitment to animal rights.
The only woman in the race, Debora Norris, is a Navajo who was raised in Sells. Norris picked up a degree in American history from Stanford in 1993. She says she's a pro-choice, pro-education, pro-environment candidate who wants to help ensure "a better future" for her constituents.
Doug Martin is a 46-year-old consultant who helps schools and universities develop and find funding for multi-cultural programs. Martin, who is making his first run for public office, says he would concentrate on "quality-of-life" issues in the statehouse.
Charlie Salas says he's done three decades of campaign legwork for local pols, including Rep. Ed Pastor, Mayor George Miller and Pima County Supervisor Raul Grijalva. The 52-year-old Salas, who works in the mining industry, says education would be his first priority.
The only candidate who has run for office before is Mike Price. However, in his past races, he's run as a Republican. Price says his priority in the Legislature will be increasing fairness in auto-emission testing and mandatory insurance laws. Price has already come under fire from Democrats for sending out a fundraising letter to supporters of City Councilman José Ibarra. (See this week's Currents section).
The two winners of the primary will face Republicans Ora Harn and Steve Benefield. Mayor of Marana, Harn has a long history of bowing to the whims of developers. Benefield, an auto mechanic, took a half-brained stab at the Tucson City Council in 1993, but was defeated by Ward 5 Councilman Steve Leal. Like District 10, District 11 belongs to the Democrats--more than 60 percent of the voters are Dems, while only 23 percent are Republicans.
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