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Arizona Election Updates – Local Elections and Ballot Initiatives

Charter School Capital

November 10, 2020


Arizona Local Elections

Jake Logan, President and CEO of the Arizona Charter Schools Association, briefed the audience about the presidential election and Senate seats in Arizona, along with the statewide races.

Mr. Logan reminded us this year neither the governor nor the superintendent of schools were on the ballot, but there were three open seats for corporation commissioners. Mr. Logan shared his opinion that the seats are likely to go to Republican Lea Márquez Peterson, who Gov. Doug Ducey appointed to the commission, Republican Jim O’Connor, who originally came in as a write-in candidate, and Democrat Anna Tovar, who is finishing a term as Tolleson Mayor.

Echoing the Associated Press, Mr. Logan stated that Congressman David Schweikert would likely defeat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni for AZ 6th Congressional District Representative.

In Eastern Arizona, the race in Legislative District Six, which includes the city of Flagstaff, was between Republicans Walt Blackman and Brenda Barton on the Republican side, and Coral Evans (Democrat) and Art Babbott (Independent). In a close race, both Republicans are expected to secure the seats.

Mr. Logan spoke of the demographic flip in Legislative District  Eighteeen, which includes Ahwatukee, where Democrat incumbents came ahead, and in LD20 – another Democrat pickup, with Representative Judy Schwiebert gaining a seat. Also in LD20, Republican Paul Boyer —a charter school teacher—is favored to win against Democrat Doug Ervin in a very competitive race. LD20 includes parts of Phoenix and Glendale.

In LD21, it seemed to be a tight race but did not play out that way, with Republicans maintaining Senate and House seats. Senate President Karen Fann is expected to continue acting in her leadership role.

LD28 is another district that has seen a massive voter shift in the last five or six years. Christine Marsh, a teacher, seems likely to win against Sen. Kate Brophy McGee once all votes are counted.

Ballot Initiatives

Prop 207, legalizing marihuana for adults, was passed. Mr. Logan was asked if any of the taxes from this initiative would go toward schools, and he replied that he does not believe so.

Prop 208 “Invest in Ed” passed, with a very robust campaign. It will go into effect in January, and they’ll start collecting taxes in January – so schools are not likely to see resources realized in that school year. Charter schools are included in 208. Mr. Logan mentioned he does not know how much it means at a school level, but he provided a few estimates.

What’s Next

The Election Results will be certified at the end of November by the Secretary of State and the Governor – at which point the results will be official. House and Senate caucuses will elect their leading teams.

In the Arizona House of Representatives, Michelle Udall — a former member of the Mesa school board — and Representative Russell Bowers are both keeping their positions as Speakers. Russell Bowers began serving as state House speaker in 2019.

The JLBC (Joint Legislative Budget Committee) will then start working on a budget, likely announced in January.

In terms of charter schools, the Association will be sharing updates, especially in terms of mandates concerning COVID-19. Mr. Logan mentioned the Association would hold additional calls to update charter schools on any changes.

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