Arizonans in District 10 have the opportunity to send to the State Senate a man with a record of advocating for children and families as a lawmaker and professional, who builds consensus rather than picking fights and who sees firsthand how economic prosperity is connected to education, health care and public safety.

The Arizona Daily Star endorses David Bradley for State Senate in District 10.

Bradley, a Democrat, has served eight years in the state House, from 2003 to 2011. He has shown himself to be thoughtful and, through his work with the state foster-care system, plugged into issues that face far too many Arizona children.

"I have 10,000 reasons" to run, he told us, referring to the number of foster children he's worked with. He explained, in detail, how the security and future of Arizona's children is directly affected by violence, substance abuse and poverty - stressors exacerbated by unemployment and housing problems.

Bradley cited legislation he worked on with Andy Biggs, a Republican, that improved education for kids in the child-welfare system. Only 40 percent were graduating or receiving a high-school diploma - a number that impairs both the child and the larger community. Working together, Bradley and Biggs secured resources to enable the Department of Economic Security "to focus on where kids are educationally."

We are impressed with Bradley's thoughtfulness on myriad issues facing Arizona. It is clear from his opinions that he pays attention to the details and inner workings of issues. Take public education, for example. He explained how businesses looking to locate or expand in Arizona evaluate our educational system, so it's directly linked to economic improvement.

But he went deeper: "We should look at anything that enhances the relationship between the student and the teacher. Focus on the skill level of teachers and districts that educate their teachers," he said. "It is an art, and finding people who can work in that art" is key to better schools.

Bradley is running against Frank Antenori, a Republican who touts his confrontational style. Bradley's approach - leading with facts, an open mind and empathy for other people - yields greater long-term results for Arizonans of all political beliefs.

"There is this illusion that the budget is balanced and we have money in the bank" as a state, he said. "No, because there are ongoing problems. We have to get in front of the problems through prevention and investment."

We endorse David Bradley for State Senate.

Going incumbent route

For the Arizona House in District 10 we endorse Ted Vogt, a Republican, and Bruce Wheeler, a Democrat. Both are incumbents and while they have distinctly different views, we are confident based on their time in office that each man sees the problems facing Arizona and can confront them with workable ideas.

Vogt and Wheeler are effective spokesmen for their points of view, and we believe each possesses the ability to advocate passionately but with an eye toward practicality.

Also in the race are Stephanie Mach, a Democrat, and Republican Todd Clodfelter. Each offered wisdom, common sense and a collaborative spirit, and we appreciate that they made this selection a difficult decision. We encourage them to remain involved in the community and the political process.

Wheeler shared with us, as a person who has been in the legislative trenches, his assessment of where Arizona stands. "The state with all its promise is going on the wrong direction. We're closing schools, building private prisons. ... This state is losing the opportunity to educate children."

Wheeler is also a strong proponent of local control, a value he says the Republican majority says it supports but honors selectively in matters of women's health care and school-district policy. Wheeler's perspective on how state decisions affect local governments, from his time on the Tucson City Council is useful.

Vogt is conservative, without a doubt, but we believe he could be effective in moderating, to the degree possible, his more extreme colleagues' views on matters that speak to the necessity of government. "I believe in smaller, more efficient government - only have government do things that families or communities can't do, like roads, public safety, the social safety net and education."

It's vital that Arizonans elect people who can see past their own opinions and work effectively for their constituents. We believe Bruce Wheeler and Ted Vogt can do that.

Arizona Daily Star