PRESS RELEASES / August 6, 2020

Primary Results Show the Power of the State’s Growing Progressive Base

Thursday, August 6, 2020 

Contact: Emily Kirkland, emily@progressarizona.org

With most primary ballots now counted, it’s clear that business and GOP-aligned groups have failed in their bid to elect their preferred candidates against progressive incumbents in state legislative districts across Arizona. 

Arizona Integrity PAC, the Greater Phoenix Leadership Committee, and Better Leaders, Better Better Arizona collectively spent more than $280,000 on Democratic primaries in LD26, LD27, and LD3. They sought to unseat incumbent progressive champions like Andres Cano and Athena Salman and backed challengers like Catherine Miranda, an anti-choice, pro-corporate former legislator who endorsed Doug Ducey in 2014. Funding for the PACs came from corporate interests like APS, Southwest Gas, and the Arizona Realtors. 

Revitalize Arizona, a PAC funded by the Arizona Pipefitters and run by political consultant Israel Torres, also spent heavily in many of the same races, as well as in LD29.

Despite the aggressive spending, incumbents Diego Rodriguez and Reginald Bolding won against Catherine Miranda in LD27, Athena Salman, Melody Hernandez and Juan Mendez won against corporate-backed challengers in LD26, incumbent Richard Andrade won against Teddy Castro in LD29, and incumbent Andres Cano won in LD3.

Progressive groups mobilized grassroots volunteers and members in these districts and reached tens of thousands of voters through phone and text, as well as mail and digital ads. They celebrated this week’s win as an indication of the growing power of the state’s progressive base. 

“Business interests and GOP-aligned groups thought they could buy their way into having influence in an eventual Democratic majority,” said Emily Kirkland of Progress Arizona. “Voters saw right through that, and supported candidates who would fight for working people.”

“Yesterday, voters turned out in historic numbers and demonstrated that they will not accept special interests attempting to buy our elections. We’re ready to move into November and flip the Arizona legislature this fall,” said Alejandra Gomez, Co-Executive Director of Living United for Change in Arizona. 

“When you live and organize by the progressive values of our communities, our voters will show up for you. We are proud to have worked side by side with so many great organizations in the field and are looking forward to November when we will make our vote felt decisively,” said Eduardo Sainz, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota. 

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