Sen. Tim Bee has reached his four-term limit, so he’s off to face incumbent Democrat Gabrielle Giffords in Congressional District 8.
Rep. Jonathan Paton, a Republican first elected in 2004, is looking for a promotion to the Senate. Paton, who has served two terms in the House and spent his last re-election campaign serving in Iraq as a member of the Army Reserve, says his top priorities include pushing for accountability in government, addressing the problems caused by illegal immigration and protecting funding for programs in Southern Arizona.
“I kept my promises and I got results,” Paton says. “We’re going to have a colleague leaving and I think we need someone with that kind of experience to stand up for Southern Arizona and the future. I don’t want to balance the budget on the back of Southern Arizona.”
To learn about Paton’s interest group ratings visit Project Vote Smart.
Paton will face Democrat Georgette Valle, an 83-year-old Green Valley residents who served in the Washington state legislature for 24 years and has fond memories of working with on John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.
“I’m no spring chicken,” says Valle, “but people seem trusting and happy to support me.”
Valle is one of the first candidates in Southern Arizona to qualify for Clean Elections funding. She’s already received a check for $12,921.
Paton, who is accepting private contributions rather than using public funding, reported a total of $37,468 in his campaign account at the end of 2007. A new report is due June 30.
Valle says “the issue of water … has propelled me to run,” and says she’d also focus on programs that support solar energy and science education. She adds that local government needs more transparency.
House of Representatives
With Paton making a run for the Senate and Marian McClure aiming for the Arizona Corporation Commission, there are two open House seats.
Two Republicans emerged from a four-way primary:
Frank Antenori, a former Green Beret, made his debut on the political stage two years ago with a run for Congress in District 8. Antenori, who works as an engineer for Raytheon, came in fourth in the five-way primary, capturing less than 5 percent of the vote, but he established political credentials that have laid the groundwork for his legislative campaign this year.
Learn more about Antenori’s political and professional experiences at Project Vote Smart.
• David Gowan says he decided to run because he wanted to keep his district in “good conservative hands.”
Gowan, a magazine distributor, says illegal immigration is the most important issue facing Southern Arizona. His other issues include parental school choice, halting the budget crisis and securing the border.
“I’m a true Republican conservative,” says Gowan who has lost two previous bids for Arizona House of Representatives.
Gowan has been a precinct committeeman for four years, part of the Cochise County Republicans League and teaches martial arts in his spare time.
The GOP candidates will face Democrat Andrea Dalessandro, who relocated from New Jersey to Sahuarita after retiring from a career in accounting.
Some of Dalessandro’s top campaign issues include consumer protection from pay day loans, improving public education and stimulating the business climate, especially for small business owners.
Legislative District 30, which includes eastern Tucson, Green Valley and Sierra Vista, is home to about 44,200 Republicans, 31,300 Democrats, 500 Libertarians, 100 Greens and 26,100 voters who aren’t registered with those parties.
Candidate Web sites
Republican Jonathan Paton
Democrat Georgette Valle
House of Representatives
Republican Frank Antenori
Republican Sharon Collins
Republican David Gowan
Republican Doug Sposito
Democrat Andrea Dalessandro