Salomon Baldenegro Jr., left, is challenging Olivia Cajero Bedford for a state Senate seat in Legislative District 3.

Courtesy candidates

A longtime state legislator and a political newcomer will debate at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pima Community College’s West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road.

The race is on between state Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford and opponent Salomon Baldenegro Jr. in the Democratic primary election in Legislative District 3. With no Republican challenger running in the general election, the primary winner will likely hold the seat. 

Bedford has served 12 years in the Legislature: eight in the House and four in the Senate. Baldenegro is a media-center technician and boys soccer coach at Desert View High school.

Both candidates are Tucson natives. Bedford grew up on the south side; Baldenegro on the west side.

Bedford’s platform includes restoring funding for public education, funding the Department of Child Safety, providing cities and counties money to repair roads, and improving women’s health-care rights.

Baldenegro is running on a platform that includes replenishing funding for the public school system and restoring the local and state economy through jobs and support for small business.

Nicole Thill is a University of Arizona journalism student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at