June 4, 2020

Daniel Hernandez Jr., and State Senator Andrea Dalessandro won the Democratic primary for Arizona House of Representatives District 2. Deborah McEwen is the Republican candidate competing for a seat in the State House.

The candidates were provided questions or topics by email. Some questions and answers have been edited/paraphrased for space.

Andrea Dalessandro

Why are you running for LD2 State House of Representatives?
As a proven and experienced progressive leader, I want to use my voice in the House for the benefit of my constituents. Because of my eight years in the legislature I know how the process works, I already have relationships with Representatives and staff on both sides of the aisle. I am ready to return to the House to assume a leadership position.   

What experiences/personal qualities do you have that would make you a good representative?
I never give up. In 2019, I was one of only eight legislators out of ninety who was in attendance every day, for every vote. I am the Ranking Member of Senate Education Committee, senior member of Senate Judiciary and a member of Natural Resources and Energy Committee. I have an A+ rating from the Arizona Education Associative and the Sierra Club and a 100% rating on Who’s for Kids and Who’s just Kidding and Progressive Score.

What are your top goals, if elected to the House?
Restoration of public-school funding. Health Care access and affordability, support for small businesses impacted by COID-19,sustainability issues and making sure there is adequate and safe water.

What do you think are the top two challenges facing the district in the next five years?
Before the COID-19 crises, more than 30% of the children in Legislative District 2 lived in poverty. Now the poverty rate has to be much higher along with a higher unemployment rate

What do you think are the top three issues facing the constituents in Eastern Santa Cruz County and what will you do to respond to them?
Accessibility and affordability to good health care.

Environmental challenges to water and air. Small business support because of COVID-19 impacts to tourism, wineries, restaurants   and other entities.  I will continue to work with the Santa Cruz County Supervisors and the Arizona Commerce Authority.  

Name:
Andrea Dalessandro

Residence:
Sahuarita   

Education/licenses/certifications//military:
Certified mathematics educator. 

CPA Certified Public Accountant-tax accountant

Recent employment:
Legislative District 2 Senator January 2014 – present

Community organizations/activities:
Honorary Member of Tubac Rotary, Zonta International, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, AAUW (American Association of University Women)

Previous public office/service: Legislative District 2 Representative January 2013 – January 2014

Learn more at:
Facebook  Andrea Dalessandro   Twitter Dalessandro4AZ

Daniel Hernandez, Jr.

Why are you running for LD2 State House of Representatives?
There is still a lot of work to be done. I’ve been an effective advocate for the 2nd Legislative District. Despite being a Democrat I’ve been able to fight for our values and achieve results.

What do you think are the top two challenges facing the district in the next five years?
Keeping our young people in Santa Cruz county and creating quality jobs. We have to fight for expanded options for higher education and technical education to attract and keep high wage jobs.

What do you think are the top three issues facing the constituents in Eastern Santa Cruz County and what would you do to respond to them?
1.Healthcare, particularly lack of access to mental healthcare. I will work to expand telemedicine, for affordable health insurance options, and incentives for providers to work in rural environments.
2.Supporting our homegrown industries. Santa Cruz, particularly the eastern portion, is full of natural beauty and has incredible agriculture. We must expand our local tourism and wine industries.
3.Funding for physical and digital infrastructure. Broadband access, increased road maintenance, and clean air and water for all our citizens. 

What are the top accomplishments of your current term?
Securing $1.01 Million for Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales and $3.6 Million for the Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital in Green Valley. Rural communities rely on these facilities in the best of times but during this pandemic they are invaluable. I’m also proud of the work last year to create a $20 million dollar school safety grant program that allowed for money to be used to hire counselors, social workers, or school resource officers. I also successfully fought to kill bad bills including a bill to arm untrained people in our schools, anti-women’s health care legislation, and anti-equality legislation.

Name:
Daniel Hernandez Jr

Residence:
South Tucson

Education/licenses/certifications//
military:
University of Arizona BA (Political Science) degree pending completion of final class in May 2020

Flinn Brown Civic Leadership Fellow

Recent employment:
State Director for Everytown for Gun Safety, Raiz Program Manager for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Western Political Director for Swing Left.

Community organizations/activities:
A Wider Bridge Board member 2018-Present, Jobs for Arizona Graduates Board member 2014-2016, Sunnyside Foundation Board member 2011.

Previous public office/service:
Board Member
Sunnyside Unified School District 2011-2019 

Deborah McEwen

Why are you running for LD2 State House of Rep?

When our county and district regions are listed as last in economy and scholastic scores for the past ten years it is time to look for new representation that can have a positive impact. Stagnant business development against an ever growing population of county workers reflects an imbalance of citizen-to-government economy. LD2 needs better technical opportunities in a district where 3 billion dollars of produce industry flows through each year. We all should welcome less government and more economic and scholastic opportunities in our lives.

What do you think are the top two challenges facing the district in the next five years? 

Addressing our new educational opportunities and technology challenges for our children and teachers. It’s time to look at out-of -the -box solutions to prepare our children for higher paying jobs and opportunities. Not everyone needs to go into debt with a college education when they can obtain high paying jobs through tech and journeyman educational programs right in Santa Cruz and Pima County.

What is the biggest challenge that you see to economic growth in Santa Cruz County? 

Today the challenge is just opening back up to full speed without excessive government regulation or tax burdens. Liability protection from frivolous law suits to small business needs to be supported. Finally, expanding technology, broadband and support services to our produce industry not only helps that industry but also creates higher paying jobs.

What do you think are the top three issues facing the constituents in Eastern Santa Cruz County and what will you do to respond to them? 

A lack of support services and updated infrastructure currently hinders economic security and growth. Neighboring cities prosper from your tourism venues. That equates to lost income and lost tax revenue for building your infrastructure and amenities. Inequitably formulated property taxes are burdensome and need to be adjusted to fit the real estate and demographics. Promotion and expansion of tourism will be a priority and I will work with fair and equitable tax policies for our district.

Name:  Deborah McEwen

Residence: Rio Rico, Three years

Education/licenses/certifications/military: 

BA Sociology, Retired Certified Forensic Examiner and Laboratory Assessor 

Recent employment: Federal and State Criminal Justice Forensic Science and Quality Assurance 

Manager

Community organizations/activities: Arizona Grassroots Coordinator Convention of States

Previous public office/service: None

Learn more at: mcewen4az.com