Legislative District 11 candidates

June 02, 2014 12:00 am

The political aspirations of all three current members of Legislative District 11 has led to three empty seats, with two Democrats and four Republicans vying to fill them.

LD 11 Rep. Steve Smith is looking to fill the seat left by the current LD11 Senator Al Melvin. Melvin is one of seven candidates vying to be the state's next governor.

Smith will face a primary fight against Scott Bartle, a governing board member in the Maricopa Unified School District. The winner of the August 26 primary will face retired scientist Jo Holt, a Democrat, in November.

With Smith running for a seat in the Senate and fellow LD11 Adam Kwaman running to replace Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in Congressional District 1, there are three Republicans and a Democrat running to fill the empty seats.

Realtor Mark Finchem, small business owner Vince Leach and a former legislative coordinator for the Arizona legislature, Jo Grant - all Republicans - will square off in the August primary with the two with the most votes facing off against retired US Air Force Colonel Holly Lyon, a Democrat, in the general election.

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  • Age: 61

    Employer and position: Retired scientist

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Texas A&M University, Ph.D. in biochemistry from Colorado State University

    Political experience: Ran for State Senate in 2012, precinct committee person, past chair of LD11 Democratic committee

    Top priorities: Funding for public education for our locally controlled neighborhood public schools. Public education supports local businesses.

  • Age: 42 

    Employer and position: Publisher, InMaricopa.com; President, Outside the Box Marketing

    Education: Bachelor's, Indiana University

    Political experience: Governing Board Member, Maricopa Unified School District

    Top priorities: Jobs/Economy


  • Age: 37

    Employer and Position: State Senator and Director of Phoenix-based Talent Agency

    Education: Bachelor's degree in marketing and cognate in business Law, Michigan State University

    Political Experience: Current State Representative, LD11

    Top priorities: Limited government

  • Age: 57

    Employer and position: Retired Air Force Colonel

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the College of Idaho, Master’s degree in computer resources management from Webster University, Master’s degree in strategic studies from the Air Force

    Political experience: Campaign manager for Jo Holt’s State Senate campaign in 2012, past president of the Saddlebrooke Democratic Club, executive council for the Pinal County Democrats

    Top priority: Build a quality infrastructure, including public education, to attract quality businesses with quality jobs.

  • Age: 57

    Employer and position: Realtor, Long Realty

    Education: Associate's degree in Criminal Justice, Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

    Political experience: Never held elected office

    Top priorities: Education reform

  • Age: 62 

    Employer and position: Retired. Former legislative coordinator for the southern Arizona office of the Arizona State Senate and House of Representatives.

    Education: Graduate, Mesa High School 

    Political experience: Governing board member, Amphitheater School District

    Top priorities: education and economic development/jobs

  • Age: 65

    Employer and position:  Owner, Diversified Options LLC

    Education: Bachelor's degree in political science/history from the University of Wisconsin 

    Political experience: Never held elected office 

    Top priorities: Jobs

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