Legislative District 29: Elections Happen

With 97 percent of the precinct votes and 4,600 early ballots counted, only 3,000 provisional ballots and roughly 10,000 late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots remain. It looks like the surprises are over for Legislative District 29.

The big surprises last night in LD29 included Patricia Puig and Eric Carbajal Bustamante practically tying for the fourth slot of this Seven-Way Super-Slam, while Ephriam Cruz came in sixth place, ahead of only Gil Guerra.

Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson seem to have locked down seats in Legislative District 29, while Rep. Tom Prezelski appears to be on his way out.

Although more than 30,000 registered Democrats live in LD29, voter turnout is at about 24 percent, with roughly 7,400 ballots having been counted so far.

Matt Heinz: 25.4 percent

Daniel Patterson: 17.6 percent

Tom Prezelski: 15.4 percent

Eric Carbajal Bustamante: 12.3 percent

Patricia Puig: 12.3 percent

Ephraim Cruz: 9.9 percent

Gil Guerra 6.9 percent

LD29 Speed-Dating: No Love at First Sight

Several of the candidates for House of Representatives in LD29 met at a bar on Thursday night to talk over their differences.

The meeting, organized by Tucson Drinking Liberally, was originally marketed on the website as an “LD29 Candidate ‘Speed Dating’ Forum” but since most of the candidates got cold feet, it was just another night drinking and talking politics at The Shanty.

The three candidates who did make the date each gave a short speech and took questions from the rowdy crowd of a few dozen political junkies.

Representative Tom Prezelski started off the event and, though he didn’t appear tipsy, his tongue was definitely loose. His relaxed performance included calling a Republican lawmaker a dick and one candidate from another district “full of shit.”

Besides bashing the Legislature, he called for reform of Health Care Group and explained the benefits of bonding for school construction, invoking his experience as a tribal planner and the example of Sunnyside High School, which he says was built cheaply, piece by piece as the money became available, and now needs Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Tom Prezelski on Crime

Democratic incumbent Tom Prezelski is one of seven candidates running for two seats in the Legislative District 29 House of Representatives Democratic primary that voters will decide on Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

Only if we analyze the reasons why there’s a need for so many prisons and address those issues as well. Issues like mandatory sentencing, do we prepare prisoners for life on the outside, those sorts of issues–we have to address those issues as well.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

No.

Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Tom Prezelski on Education

Democratic incumbent Tom Prezelski is one of seven candidates running for two seats in the Legislative District 29 House of Representatives Democratic primary that voters will decide on Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about education policy.

Should the AIMS test remain a requirement for high-school graduation?

No.

Do you favor any changes to the AIMS test or just do away with it completely?

I supported a bill this session that provided alternatives to the AIMS test so you could do some extra course work or something else to kind-of substitute the requirements of the AIMS test. That I would support, I would continue to support.

Do you support state-funded vouchers for private or religious schools?

No.

Does the state need to spend more money on school construction?

Yes.

Should school construction funds come from the general fund or would you prefer a new revenue source for school construction?

Well, right now I prefer that it comes out of the general fund but if someone could come up with an alternate revenue source Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Tom Prezelski on the State Budget

Democrat incumbent Tom Prezelski is one of seven candidates running for two seats in the Legislative District 29 House of Representatives Democratic primary that voters will decide on Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about the state budget.

Is state spending too high, to low or just right in these areas?

Education (K-12)

Too low.

English Language Learners Program

Too low.

Emergency preparedness

That’s just right. Of course, most of that money comes from the federal government anyway.

Environment

Too low.

Health Care

Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Tom Prezelski on Taxes

Democratic incumbent Tom Prezelski is one of seven candidates running for two seats in the Legislative District 29 House of Representatives Democratic primary that voters will decide on Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the permanent repeal of the state property tax?

I’m in favor of letting the repeal lapse. It’s a tax that doesn’t cost most taxpayers very much but it has a tremendous impact on the budget.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes. Basically because if you pay upfront for construction, you tend to make less responsible decisions about issues like conservation measures, renewable (energy), different kinds of building designs, that sort of thing, so in the long run the state can actually save money by borrowing for school construction because people will be encouraged to make more creative decisions in that regard.

Would you vote for the TIME initiative, which increases the sales tax by a penny per dollar to fund highway, rail and local transportation projects?

Yes, it adds about $6 billion dollars to Pima County (including) $3.4 billion for alternatives, for transit, rail, pedestrian improvements, bicycle improvements–so you have to explain where that $3.4 billion for those important things is gonna come from without the T.I.M.E. initiative.

Six Pack: A Not Quite LiveBlog of the Legislative District 29 Debate

Voters in Southside Legislative District 29 will have choose between seven candidates for two House seats in the Sept. 2 Democratic primary. Incumbent Rep. Linda Lopez is seeking the Senate seat that Democrat Victor Soltero is giving up, while incumbent Tom Prezelski is seeking re-election.

Six of the seven candidates met last week in a Clean Elections debate. (Gil Guerra was a no-show.) Watch it yourself courtesy of Clean Elections or check Sonoran Alliance for a different analysis. (We wish Clean Elections would put these things on YouTube so we could just embed them right here on ScrambleWatch. There’s a chance John Kromko could go viral!)

Here are highlights:

7:05 p.m.: Moderator Christopher Conover of KUAT-TV gets the show on the road by telling us about Clean Elections and how anyone who gathers 220 $5 contributions can get a fat check from the government to run for office. He also tells us that sign-language translators are in the audience. They’ll get a workout tonight.

7:09 p.m.: The candidates begin introducing themselves. First up: Eric Carbajal Bustamante, who, at 24, is not yet old enough to serve in the Legislature. Bustamante is making his first run for office. He grew up in Southern Arizona and teaches phys ed at a charter school.

7:10 p.m.: Ephraim Cruz is a former Border Patrol agent who got crosswise with the agency and ended up beating federal charges of Continue reading