This was not the outcome we were anticipating which makes the loss of the Presidency so hard but let's not forget the Democratic Party agenda got the majority of votes overall. We should take comfort in that fact and continue to build upon this positve from the election. We all need a break from politics so I recommend we cancel our November meeting to take the time to reflect on our efforts, spend time with our families and just enjoy some down time. There is plenty to do moving forward but a little time off to refresh our batteries is in order.
It is time for our biannual election of officers for our reorganization in January for the next cycle for 2017 - 2018. I call for a meeting on December 21, 2016 (probably Florence Library) to elect new officers: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, First Vice-Chair, and Second Vice Chair. We will also elect State Committee Persons as well. Only elected Precinct Committee Persons can be elected to these offices and voted on by Elected Precinct Committee Person's as well. Nominations will be accepted from the floor at this meeting. No proxies are allowed so you must be present to run and to vote. REGISTER HERE.
If interested please read the prescribed duties and responsibilities listed in our By Laws which are available on our website under the tab About Us and listed amoung the Party Documents.
It was a difficult election for us here in Pinal County as we lost our only member of the State Legislature (Senator Barbara McGuire) but managed to keep our one seat on the Board Of Supervisors with the re-election of Pete Rios. We had two other county-wide candidates who were not successful but they made an all out effort. Thank you Kaye Dickson, candidate for Sheriff, and Jacqueline Minto, candidate for Assessor. Both were first time candidates and faced heavy odds to win.
On the State Legislative front every office was covered and in LD16, for the fist time in recent memory, we had a full slate of candidates. Scott and Cara Prior made their third run at the senate and house, respectively, while first time candidate Sharon Stinard filled out the second house seat race. This heavily Republican district, including Mesa, is hard to navigate but our team did their best to shake things up and make an impact. They fell short, again, and seem to hit a ceiling that will be hard to break through but the effort is worth it.
Ralph Actue and Corin Hammond made an impressive run for LD11 senate and house, respectively. They both worked hard every day knocking on doors and doing whatever they could to break through the conservative noises in that district. They were outmatched as Dark Money interest poured massive amounts of money into this race as the Republicans took note of the quality of our candidates and their meassage as a threat to these seats. The single shot strategy of Corin in the house seat was marginally successful but wasn't enough to break the republican advantage in voter registrations.
Carmen Casillas rain for a second time in LD8, also as a single shot candidate for the house. This district was also heavily targeted with Dark Money and had the attention of the Govenor in their efforts to continue to hold control of the Senate.
On the positive side it looks lik Paul Babeu will be history in Pinal County as his bid for CD1 came up short with Tom O'Halleran winning that race. Pinal County wasn't much help in that victory, having gone for Babeu, but with this being his home court it wasn't a surprise. Another positive was that Secretary Clinton got within 4% here in Arizona which indicates an upward trend towards future success.
We put up a good fight and had all the resources we could ever hope for this election cycle but I'm afraid we got caught up in the Trump wave that increased the republican turnout while sadly our GOTV efforts fell short. Lesson's learned we need to develop a better infrustructure of activist that are working in every community in Pinal County to ensure our voters are engaged and ready to get out and vote. We need to encourage our younger population to get involved with the process as well as engage more with our latino communities and the unions. Recruitment and training of candidates must also be on the top of our list and I hope our current crop of candidates will help in developing others to follow in their footsteps or join in the fight alongside them.
A big to-do list faces us in the next cycle which will include state-wide offices up for grabs as well as the legislative and county-wide offices. So take the time to refresh and relax but think about what you can do to make this all happen. Have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.
It has been an honor serving as your County Chair this past two years.
David Coward, Chair
Pinal County Democratic Party