Arizona House / Arizona Senate
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Christine Marsh, Arizona State Senate District 28
The most important thing Christine Marsh has done in her life is raise socially-responsible, noble, and honest sons. Her goal as a mother was to raise kids who could make the world a better place. Some might call this idealistic, but it is what she expects, and sees, of them everyday.
Beyond being a mother, Christine is proud to say that she has dedicated her career to being a high school English teacher. There, she viewed her classroom as a place to provide skills and knowledge in her students that will equip them to make the world a better place by being contributing, powerful members of the workforce and their communities. She has tried to challenge them to reach beyond their own comfort zones as they strive to improve their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking.
After 25 years of being in the classroom every day, she was honored to be named Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year. Through that experience, she had the opportunity to travel across the state to see first-hand the issues that public schools are facing on a daily basis.
Christine is also a writer, runner, active member of her church family, education activist, friend, and daughter. Even though those roles are listed in one sentence, she takes each role very seriously and tries to contribute as much as she is blessed to gain.
Wade Carlisle, Arizona State Senate District 6
Wade Carlisle is a fourth generation Arizonan and a product of Arizona’s public education system. He is the father of two daughters and the proud husband of a great school teacher. He is a hard-working, middle-class American. He supports his family by working on the railroad, working cattle, as a substitute teacher, and running Holbrook’s hardware store for the past 10 years.
These experiences have taught him family values, the importance of hard work, and the devastating impact the underfunding of public schools has had on Arizona’s communities. That’s why he’s running for office.
He is currently the Vice Mayor of Holbrook and has been on Holbrook city council for 13 years. In his time as city councilor, he has seen what bad legislation can do to a city, and how to mend that legislation. He has continued to watch the Legislature let Arizona’s education and transportation go to the wayside.
Wade promises to look out for rural Arizona in the legislature.
Arizona is a ruby red state that Democrats have long had in their sights as a potential blue state, thanks to changing demographics.
Arizona is currently a Republican trifecta, with Republicans controlling the Governorship and both houses of the state legislature. Democrats have had some success in statewide contests over the years; Bill Clinton won the state in 1996, and Janet Napolitano won the Governor’s race in 2002 and 2006. Also, Republicans only have a four seat margin in the State Senate, controlling the chamber 17 to 13. Republicans control the State House 35 to 25.
This year could be the year Democrats wrest power away from Republicans in the State House, as there are strong pick up opportunities in both chambers that would put Democrats in the majority.
To win the majority, Democrats need to pick up 3 seats in the State Senate, and 6 seats in the State House. This year, Democrats have the opportunity to win back both chambers.
EveryDistrict’s Legislative District Index (LDI) ranks state legislative districts on a scale from 100 to -100, using statewide elections data. Districts with a score of 100 would vote for statewide Democratic candidates by 100 points (with the Democratic candidate receiving 100% of the vote); districts with a score of -100 would vote for statewide Republican candidates by 100 points (with the Republican candidate receiving 100% of the vote).
EveryDistrict divides winnable districts into three categories: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Tier I districts lean Democratic but are held by a Republican state legislator. Tier II districts lean slightly Republican, with a range of 0 up to -5. Tier III districts lean slightly more Republican, with a range of -5 up to -10. For more information about EveryDistrict’s LDI, please click here.
In the State Senate there is one seat that leans Democratic (Tier I): Senate District 28. Then, there are another three seats in the Tier III category: Senate Districts 6, 8, and 20.
Though Tier III seats tend to be more Republican, they are in play this year due to the dynamics we’re seeing in special elections across the country. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni made it a close race against Republican Debbie Lesko in the special election for Arizona’s 8th congressional district in April 2018. Cook’s PVI ranks the district as an R+13 (meaning the district generally votes for Republicans by 13 points), but Lesko only defeated Tipirneni by 5 points.
In the State House, there are two members per district. There are three Democratic-leaning (Tier I) districts, each with one Republican and one Democratic member: House Districts 10, 18, 28. There are three seats in the Tier III category (the same as the Senate Districts): House Districts 6, 8, and 20.
What’s At Stake
Fair maps are at the heart of why a Democratic majority in the Arizona state legislature is critical. In 2000, voters approved Proposition 106 and amended the state’s Constitution to take redistricting power away from the state legislature, creating the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). Since then, the IRC has been successful in its mission; Arizona has been ranked one of the least gerrymandered states. This, of course, has infuriated Republicans who have tried several different ways to re-exert control over redistricting. Their most recent attempt proposed changing the number of members on the Commission (to skew Republican) and changing the rules for how districts are to be drawn, which advocates say would lead to less minority representation.
Arizona is one of many Republican-held states that have refused to enact common sense gun safety measures. In the wake of the Parkland High School shooting, Democrats tried to force a vote on a measure to ban “bump stock” devices. Republicans thwarted that attempt and refused to even hold a hearing on the proposal.
Arizona is one of 13 states with a pre-Roe v. Wade ban. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Arizona still has laws on the books that would go into effect making abortion illegal.
EveryDistrict endorses candidates in competitive districts that are committed to moving their communities forward, have strong connections to their districts, and have a campaign strategy in place to win. In Arizona, EveryDistrict has endorsed: Wade Carlisle (SD 6), Christine Marsh (SD 28), Felicia French (HD 6), Hollace Lyon (HD 11), and Jennifer Jermaine (HD 18).