Campaign Q&A

Why Tonya?  

I am ready to lead Arizona into the future. I understand the importance of properly written laws and budgets that reflect our priorities. As an attorney, I understand our Constitution and know that crossing into unconstitutional territory is a useless publicity stunt. Instead, I value equality and am ready to stand with Arizona to protect against discrimination in every form, to provide the legal protections necessary to end housing, credit, and employment discrimination for all. I am ready to stand against government intrusion by supporting access to reproductive healthcare and the elimination of unnecessary regulatory schemes that stifle innovation. As a former small business owner, I understand the needs and challenges of growing a business. And, as a mother, I understand that our schools are in crisis and change is necessary to ensure our long-term success.

Should we shine the light of day on private prisons and complete an independent examination of claims about cost-savings and private prisons?
As an attorney, I rely upon evidence to prove my cases. I fully support a fact based analysis of private prison costs so that lawmakers and Arizonan’s can evaluate the proponent’s claims. Additionally, I support a serious look at the State’s guarantee of a 90% occupancy rate in order to determine the size of the profit margin provide by empty beds and the market value of its reduction in fiscal risk for the operators. I am unaware of any other private business that receives such favorable contract terms from Arizona. It certainly encourages lawmakers to favor increased incarceration rates and lengthy sentences to justify the costs of the contracts provided to the private prisons.

Should we keep KidsCare, the state’s child health program?
Absolutely. The refusal to participate in KidsCare was morally and fiscally reprehensible. The rejection of federal dollars to provide health insurance and health stability to children in families with incomes that fell between AHCCCS and federal ACA subsidies was a political position that rejected the needs of our communities. Further, Arizona’s taxpayers sent their tax dollars to the federal government, and the benefit was spread out to the other 49 states with KidsCare, while uninsured children either went without healthcare or their parents were chased by debt collectors for the unpaid bills. We know how every legislator voted in the 2016 expansion of KidsCare. We can use that single vote to test their character.

Should we fund our Universities and community colleges?

The Arizona Constitution, Article 11, section 6 requires that “instruction shall be as nearly free as possible.” Our current budget does not provide any funding for community colleges, and very limited funding for our universities. Many Arizonans rely upon our education system to obtain vital job-skills and technical training. Our businesses would benefit from a skilled workforce. The legislature should refocus our priorities to support students and businesses by funding education. There is room in the budget to provide for education. Instead, the legislature continues to favor funding private prisons and guaranteeing 90% occupancy.

How Can You Help? Just $5 & a Signature

The Clean Elections race is on!  All you need to do is make a $5 contribution and SIGN the petition! Once the qualifying number of contributions are in, the campaign will receive funding to make the campaign possible.

It so easy–Just click this link to contribute:  $5 QUALIFYING CONTRIBUTION    Yes, if you make a contribution electronically, it costs an additional forty-six cents for processing.

Click this link to sign:  AZ SOS SIGN A PETITION     While you’re on the site, you’ll need your drivers license number and it will tell you ALL the candidates you are eligible to sign their nominating petitions–federal and state-wide elections!  Go ahead and sign those while you are on the site.   Send me an email and I will make sure you have the chance to join the crew.  


What Does “Participating” Mean in the Voter Guide?

Many of you have asked what does it mean in the Voter Guide when it says “Participating” or “Traditional” next to the candidates name?

“Participating” means that I have qualified for campaign funding through the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.  In order to qualify, I ( and my volunteers) obtained 296 contributions of $5 each from Democrat or Independent voters who live in my district.  Those individual contributions signify that the voters support my candidacy.

Why run a clean campaign? I chose to run a “participating” or “clean” campaign.  I wanted to send a signal that this district is ready for change.  Knocking on doors to convince people to hand you $5 in exchange for a sheet of paper isn’t easy.  But when they do, there is a contract between you–they have invested in the idea of a candidate who is ready to give them a voice in the legislature, and I am committed to represent their interests at the Legislature.

Some people wrongly believe that clean elections funding is taxpayer money–It IS NOT. In fact, the funding comes from the $5 contributions, a 10% surcharge on civil and criminal court penalties, fines paid by those who misuse the system and voluntary contributions.  The Clean Elections system was put into law by voter initiative.

For me, the most important aspect of Clean Elections funding is that it allows candidates to focus on speaking to voters, not collecting contributions from big donors.  I chose to participate in the system and voluntarily limited my ability to fund raise to around $4000 in “early contributions”  it is seed money to get the ball rolling on the campaign. This choice limits my ability buy signs and send mailers, but I wanted my focus to be on the voters.

What am I up against?  My opponent is “Traditional.”  This means that she has no limit on her ability to seek donations from lobbyists, individuals and businesses.  As an incumbent, she has a direct line to many donors.  She has used that pipeline and raised around $50,000 last election–even though she didn’t have an opponent.  Since she first ran for office, she has raised over $289,000 to obtain and keep her post–one that pays a base salary of $24,000 per year. (

On the other hand, I have great job– one that will be waiting for me at the end of the legislative session.  I am interested in joining the legislature to assure that Arizona does what is right for its citizens and its long term economic growth.

Here are a few volunteers after a long session of knocking on doors around Acoma Park!  They did a great job and I am grateful for their work!