Candidates for the state House of Representatives in LD11 are (from left) incumbent Mark Finchem (R), Bret Roberts (R), Hollace Lyon (D), Barry McCain (D), Howell Jones (R)and Marcela Quiroz (D). Photo by Alayja Reynolds

Three Democrats and three Republicans are running for two seats in the state House of Representatives in Legislative District 11. Meet the candidates:

 

Republicans

Mark Finchem (incumbent)

Mark Finchem (submitted photo)

City of residence: Oro Valley
Years in the District: 10
Previous cities: Detroit and Kalamazoo, Michigan
Occupation/previous occupations: Legislator, Realtor, software manufacturing, firefighter/law enforcement
Family: Married with 4 children
Political background: Currently serving second term as representative for Legislative District 11.

Mark Finchem supplied the following information:
As a two-term Representative in LD-1 Mark Finchem has stood firm for personal freedoms, economic security, quality education and a debt-free future for constituents. Originally from the mid-west, Mark has leveraged his work experience in law enforcement, computer software security and real estate to serve people in many different ways. As the front runner for House Majority Leader in the coming legislature term, he will give southern Arizona a seat at the leadership table.


Howell Jones

Howell Jones (submitted photo)


City of residence: Rural Pinal County (Maricopa)
Years in the District: 5
Previous cities of residence: Phoenix
Occupation/previous occupations: Retired carpenter
Family: Four grown daughters and grandchildren.
Political background: None
Other community service: Served on the Michigan City Urban Enterprise Board of Directors.

How will your election benefit the residents of Maricopa?
I am the outsider who owes no one anything. I am able to act in the best interest of the people to promote growth in the area.

What do you think was the best accomplishment of the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
I know the budget was a big issue but for me it would have to be S.B. 1394. I am pro-life and anything that can be done to save one I think is very important.

What was your biggest disappointment in the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
The reason I am running is to stop the Legislature from putting out bills that look good on the surface but do nothing to fix the problem they were meant to address.

In the wake of the #RedForEd movement and the education bill, how would you describe the current relationship between Legislators and Arizona teachers?
From what I have seen in the news the relationship is not very good.

What is the greatest change you would like to see in any department of Arizona government?
I believe there is always room for improvement in all departments but I think ADOT could use special attention. They are doing a good job but without constant improvements thing can get decline quickly.

How are you more qualified for a House seat than your Primary Election rivals?
I am not saying I am more qualified but that I bring a different perspective to the seat and I believe in term limits.

How will you stay connected with the concerns of your constituents during your term?
I will encourage people email me with their concerns and problems. I will also be looking at town hall type meetings if I can get enough people to participate.


Bret Roberts

Bret Roberts (submitted photo)

City of residence: Maricopa
Years in the District: 9.5
Previous cities of residence: Gilbert, Chandler & Tempe
Occupation/previous occupations: Pinal County Constable
Family: Married with 3 grown children and a two-month-old baby girl.
Political background: I am a Precinct Committeeman, State Committeeman and have been State Delegate, Presidential Elector, Sgt. At Arms for the Pinal county Republican Committee as well as the District 4 Vice Chair
Other community service: 2013 Graduate of Maricopa Leadership Academy, the second person to achieve Platinum Status in the Maricopa Advocate Program. I have also volunteered for the F.O.R. Food Bank, For Our City Maricopa, Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society & The Streets Don’t Love You Back a charitable organization.

How will your election benefit the residents of Maricopa?
First and foremost, my family and I have lived in the city of Maricopa since January of 2009. I have been serving, (pun intended) the city of Maricopa and the surrounding area as your elected Constable for going on four years now. As much as I can I intend to serve the constituents as equally as possible however, as a resident naturally you are a little more in tune with your immediate surroundings. Once elected I will continue to serve Maricopa’s residents in what I believe to be a more impactful position as their Representative at the legislature.

What do you think was the best accomplishment of the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
I am a supporter of education, and truly believe that education is one of the most critical issues in this state especially when it comes to economic development. Seeing that the legislature was able to get considerable additional revenue into Arizona’s education system with out raising our taxes is an impressive accomplishment.

What was your biggest disappointment in the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
One of Arizona’s most critical issues going on right now is most likely going largely unnoticed by most individuals outside of the agricultural community. To start it is a very complex issue, there are careers made on this one issue alone. For one reason or another one could say it doesn’t have that media spark to it like firearms or immigration. However, it is extremely important and only getting more so as time goes on. That issue is, water. We all need and use it. Even though I would like to have seen this issue resolved. It is a good thing that the proper time, care and consideration is being given to it. As the old saying goes “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.”

In the wake of the #RedForEd movement and the education bill, how would you describe the current relationship between Legislators and Arizona teachers?
It’s a work in progress. I believe that almost all of us care about education. Where we may have a difference of opinion is how do we go about achieving the goal.

What is the greatest change you would like to see in any department of Arizona government?
This is a personal issue for our family and I would like nothing more than to find a way to make it easier, even if it’s only a small percentage of the approximately 17 thousand children in the foster system in Arizona.

About two years ago we attempted to adopt a child from an out of state family member. Unfortunately it didn’t work out. During that time, we were told that we were not closely enough related to avoid all the red tape even though the mother was willing. Essentially, we had to go through everything like we were strangers. I understand the system must look out for the welfare of the child, however if there is a family member willing to take a child even if they are ten times removed I believe they should be able to do so and be allowed to complete all the needed details after. Especially if this will keep the child or children with family instead of being placed in the foster system.

How are you more qualified for a House seat than your Primary Election rivals?
My diverse background which includes past business ownership, the financial sector, transportation and currently your elected constable will all afford me the opportunity to see the issues that come across your representative’s desk with the capability of seeing these issues from many different perspectives. I believe this will be an advantageous skill set to a legislator. I am involved all year round and not just when the election seasons rolls around. You see me at Fry’s and at Native Grill. I am a part of this community as much as it is a part of me.

How will you stay connected with the concerns of your constituents during your term?
I have been involved in the Maricopa community in many ways for several years now. I intend to continue to do so. Naturally, I have broadened my involvement to include the rest of legislative district eleven and I Have been to Marana, Oro Valley, Saddlebrooke, Arizona City & Picture Rocks numerous times over the past year. All while maintaining the responsibilities of my current role. I will continue to make myself available once elected.

Democrats

Hollace Lyon

Hollace Lyon (submitted photo)

City of residence: Pinal County with a Tucson address
Years in the District: 10
Previous cities of residence: All over the U.S. and in Belgium
Occupation/previous occupations: 7th grade math teacher, Retired Air Force colonel, IT consultant
Family: Married, no children, care for my 90 year old mother
Political background: Previously ran for the AZ House in 2014
Other community service: Co-founded and ran for four years, a charity golf tournament which raised over $60K for a Tucson non-profit. Member of Oro Valley American Legion, Post 132, member of NAACP.

How will your election benefit the residents of Maricopa?
Maricopa is a great community growing by leaps and bounds. Challenges are inherent with such rapid growth and the state must provide the investments in public education and modern infrastructure to help deal with those challenges. I will work to ensure real fiscal responsibility, where the taxpayers get what they are paying for, so that Maricopa has what it needs to manage its growth.

What do you think was the best accomplishment of the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
The increases to funding for public education. The continuance of Prop. 301 ensured our schools weren’t facing another cliff of lost funding in 2021, and the nine percent raise for teachers helped to begin to more appropriately compensate the most critical in-school factor for student achievement.

What was your biggest disappointment in the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
The inability of the Governor and Legislature to make any progress on dealing with our water crisis. Arizona is now in its 21st year of drought conditions, our mountain watersheds had the driest winter on record, flows in the Colorado River are well below normal this year, and Lake Mead is now reportedly less than two years away from hitting the 1,075 foot level which will drive significant cuts to the water supply for Pinal County agriculture and the state water bank.

Instead of actually working the solution, by refusing to develop an in-state plan with all stakeholders and not being fully engaged with the Western States Water Council, we risk not being at the table when decisions are made. Our state must speak with one voice and collaborate as a good partner with our neighbors to ensure we will have water when we need it.

In the wake of the #RedForEd movement and the education bill, how would you describe the current relationship between Legislators and Arizona teachers?
Teachers have a much better understanding of why our schools are still underfunded. They also know which legislators care about public education and which ones don’t, and they intend to hold those who don’t, accountable.

What is the greatest change you would like to see in any department of Arizona government?
If government is to do the work it needs to do, it must operate in an ethical manner with full transparency and accountability. That’s why I intend for my first piece of legislation to be about ethics reform.

How are you more qualified for a House seat than your Primary Election rivals?
I served 26 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Colonel. I commanded twice, taught war planning and while serving at NATO, and negotiated the deployment of nuclear planning assets between Turkey and Greece. While assigned to the Pentagon, I also negotiated a worldwide deal with Microsoft, which saved the Air Force $200 million and was lauded by the U.S. Senate as a model for our federal government.

I am a proven leader who knows how to reach across the aisle to get things done. I also understand the meaning of service and want to continue to serve, for the people of Maricopa and LD 11.

How will you stay connected with the concerns of your constituents during your term?
I’m glad you asked this question, because this is important to me. If elected, I will never forget that I work for my constituents. I intend to make myself available and responsive to my constituents in a variety of ways such as meetings on a rotating basis each Friday in LD 11’s various communities, regular email campaigns to keep constituents informed. I will also have an open door policy that encourages constituents to visit me at the Capitol.


Barry McCain

City of residence: Arizona City
Years in the District: 12
Previous cities of residence: Chandler
Occupation/previous occupations: Registered lobbyist for Arizona Veterans with Disabilities, U.S Navy (retired)
Political background: Ran for LD 11 in 2014 as a write-in candidate
Other community service: Pinal Partnership Transportation Committee

Barry McCain supplied the following information:
My name is Barry McCain. I am a born, raised and drafted out of Chandler High School. After a Navel Career I returned to my Arizona roots. Now, I am a Clean Elections Candidate for The Arizona House of Representatives in LD11; a Registered Lobbyist for Arizona Veterans With Disabilities and made sure the 347 was funded’ with the Mayor, at the State level because it is important to Maricopa. I also participate in Water and Transportation issue for the state.


Marcela Quiroz

Marcela Quiroz (submitted photo)

City of residence: Maricopa
Years in the District: 12
Previous cities of residence: Glendora and Colton, California
Occupation/previous occupations: Optician, Bank Teller, Substitute Teacher, SEI Teacher Coach, ELL Coordinator, Teacher.
Family: Married for 14 years, two adult children, a ten year old and legal guardian for special needs sibling.
Political background: N/A
Other community service: Religious Education teacher for 4 years. Volleyball Coach, Track Coach, and Club Sponsor. FOR volunteer. Maricopa Food Pantry Volunteer. Volunteer at Our Lady of Grace.

How will your election benefit the residents of Maricopa?
As a resident, I’m more than aware of the problems we face with the 347 and not having a 24-hour emergency room. I will support legislation that allows for 347 expansion, as well as legislation that creates opportunities for more medical businesses to come into Pinal County.

What do you think was the best accomplishment of the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
I’m a huge fan of Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, who sponsored senate bill SB 1390 renewing Prop. 301, a six-tenths of a percent sales tax for public schools.

What was your biggest disappointment in the most recent session of the Legislature and why?
My biggest disappointment was that the 20 by 2020 Teacher pay increase is not a permanent solution and was short sighted in how it defined a teacher, with no impact to everyone that works in public education, like district employees, front office staff, para professionals, therapists, coaches, or bus drivers.

In the wake of the #RedForEd movement and the education bill, how would you describe the current relationship between Legislators and Arizona teachers?
I think voters, not just teachers are ready to embrace legislators that are not working for special interest groups. Teachers have been open minded all along but are also now paying attention with eyes wide open.

What is the greatest change you would like to see in any department of Arizona government?
I would like to make sure departments other than the governor’s office are well paid as well as fully staffed, particularly in the area of corporate auditors.

How are you more qualified for a House seat than your Primary Election rivals?
I don’t see any of the candidates as rivals. I think we’re all very qualified. We’re all good people.

How will you stay connected with the concerns of your constituents during your term?
I will stay in contact as much as possible with the different LD11 Clubs and use google forms when I can to get feedback, but mostly, I would talk to the people.

 

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