LD29: Seven-Way Super-Slam!


After eight years in the Arizona House of Representatives, Democrat Linda Lopez has hit her term limit and has her eye on the Senate seat now held by Sen. Victor Soltero, who is not seeking re-election. Lopez, 60, served four-and-a-half terms on the Sunnyside School District board and worked for the social-services agency La Frontera for 18 years. Her top priorities include quality education at all levels, protecting women’s rights and improving economic development. She faces no Republican opponent in the heavily Democratic district.

House of Representatives

The open seat left behind by Lopez triggered a seven-candidate Democratic primary. The winners were Dr. Matt Heinz, who took in 25 percent of the votes and Daniel Patterson, who scored 17 percent of the votes, narrowly beating the incumbent.

•Physician Matt Heinz ran a landslide primary campaign while still pulling his shifts at Tucson Medical Center. Heinz, who first came to Arizona from Michigan to complete his medical residency, says health care reform is at the top of his agenda, along with public education and renewable energy. Heinz says working in health care spurred his interest in politics. “This is a natural extension of what I’ve been trained to do,” he says.

This is Heinz’s second campaign for a House seat; he came in third in a four-way primary race for a House seat in 2006 in District 28. 

•Environmentalist Daniel Patterson is a former staffer with the Center for Biological Diversity who now works for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a non-profit that represents federal and state employers who speak out against the government. Patterson has served as president of the Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association, has been on the city of Tucson’s Planning Commission since 2005 and is the District 2 appointee on the Pima County Board of Adjustment. He also pens a local blog.

Patterson, who says the Legislature’s focus is “way out of wack,” says he would focus on the environment, education, health care and the economy at the Capitol. “I’d like to find a way to build bridges and change the tone,” he says.


The two winners of the Democratic primary will face Republicans Pat Kilburn and Juan Ciscomani in the General Election on November 4.

After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2005, Juan Ciscomani was invited to participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, a program that took him to Capitol Hill, where studied policy making at the federal level. He hopes to bring his experience to the state and local level.

Ciscomani decided to embark on his rookie campaign because he felt there wasn’t anyone putting up a big enough fight for the public education system. He feels the major issues affecting the state are a direct result of a lack of education standards.

“The standard we hold our students to is low,” he says, adding that poor education ratings scare away businesses and hinder economic growth.

The conception of his first child, expected on Election Day, ultimately inspired him to run for House of Representatives. He plans to fight for a stronger education system for his community, economic growth and public safety.  He won 36 percent of the vote in the GOP primary.


Pat Kilburn, a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, became involved in the Republican Party after he retired in 2002 from a long string of Federal careers, including: Park Ranger, Border Patrol Agent, and more recently, Treaty Liaison Officer with the Defensive Investigation Service, where he learned the art of give-and-take.  “After six years of working with the Russians,” he said. “I can work with anyone.”

Besides the negotiation skills he picked up as a negotiator and the knowledge on immigration issues he acquired at the Border Patrol, he hopes to use his degree in Political Science and Economics from the University of Montana in the Legislature to improve Arizona’s public education system and fix the economy by lowering taxes, cutting spending and attracting big alternative energy companies to Arizona.

Kilburn, who won 64 percent of the GOP vote in the primary, says he watched 100’s of hours of legislative sessions online and spent three days at the Capitol getting a taste of the Legislature in preparation for the job, adding, “I don’t come out half-cocked.”

LD29 Fun Facts

Legislative District 29, which includes South Tucson, southeast Tucson and Littletown, is home to about 30,600 Democrats, 15,200 Republicans, 550 Libertarians and 20,000 voters who aren’t registered with those parties.

Candidate Web sites


Democrat Linda Lopez

House of Representatives

Democrat Matt Heinz

Democrat Daniel Patterson

Republican Juan Ciscomani

Republican Pat Kilburn


10 Responses

  1. 1) Matt Heinz
    2) Daniel Patterson

    Those are my votes. Tom isn’t a bad Rep he just isn’t very motivated and after seeing what Farley does, we need someone who challenges the status quo and keeps his constituents informed.

  2. Although he’s a rookie, Juan Ciscomani has my vote. It’s about time someone stood up for our kids.

  3. I’m a father and family man, with a proven record of leadership.

    I just won the endorsement of the Arizona Education Association. I’m honored and proud to be backed by AZ teachers and school employees.

    Dems and Independents, I ask for your vote in the primary election July 31-Sept 2.

    Thank you,

    Daniel Patterson
    for State Rep. (D-LD29)

  4. Looks like Juan Ciscomani will get my vote as well. Nothing wrong with being a rookie and he did not get the endorsement of the AZ. Education Association.

  5. I have experience that counts. I was a decorated combat VETERAN in Vietnam awarded the Purple Heart. I am a retired Federal agent with 30 years of service and for the last six years a small business owner. I ask the voters to look at my service, my experience and website.
    Pat Kilburn
    Candidate for State Representative(R-LD29)

  6. As a life long Democrat, I am supporting Eric Bustamante for State Representative in District 29. Eric is energetic and forward thinking. He has worked in campaigns and for the party and knows what it takes to push issues and foster progress.

    Mr. Bustamante’s focus on education comes from his experience working hands on with youth in District 29 and across Pima County. He understands that in order to improve the state of Arizona, we must focus on creating a healthy, educated community through programs and funding for youth, families and seniors. The State Legislature needs strong ideas, steadfast patriots and agents of progress to truly move this State forward, Eric Bustamante is the entire package.

  7. Prezelski is a smart guy with the personality of Bert from Sesame Street. He gets about as much done as Farley without the newsletter. Which ain’t much. Outside of Marsha Arzberger name a democrat that has gotten anything done at the legislature in the last two years. Any bills that managed to do anything? Crickets? Yeah, I thought so. Bradley even got a bill vetoed.

    Cruz apparently can’t take care of his own kids, so he should be eminantly qualified to run the state.

    Patterson is skulking about trying to trash his opponents while not reporting expenditures on his finance reports. Meanwhile he wants to replace HURF funding with impact fees or some such nonsense. It’s a weird amalgum of environmentalist and opportunist. Kind of like if Eddie Haskell joined Earth First.

    Heinz seems to be hustling as hard as he can. As a doctor running for the legislature, either he’s a true do-gooder and he has no intention of ever paying off his student loans or just bad at math. If it’s the latter he’ll fit right in at the legislature.

    I don’t know anything about the Puig lady. If she’s the only female she might have a chance. I don’t know anything about anybody else, which means the voters prolly don’t either.

    They all suck. Patterson sucks more than the rest of them.

  8. Ok, it’s been about a week now, and some of us are wondering where the heck the coverage is on the LD-29 debate. A few of the candidates did very well, and a few not so good. But, as a site that promotes itself as the ‘go-to’ place for local coverage, there needs not to be a black out on such a local contested race. And, Nintzel, you were there along with your interns, so where’s the coverage?

    Patterson did very well, and most people there agreed he handily came out on top. But, to see for yourselves, since Ninztel for some unknown reason missed the ball here, go to http://dpatterson.blogspot.com/2008/07/watch-patterson-at-ld29-democratic.html

  9. Patience, young Jedi. The Super-Slam coverage will be coming later today. I would have had it up last night, but I was off at the totally awesome Steely Dan show. (That and Monday’s Wolf Parade show at the Rialto are the unknown reasons, if you must know, Sarah.) Plus, a shorter version will be in our print edition.

  10. At this point, don’t kill yourself. It’s already up on the web. I just expected better on this site.

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