Pinal Primary Candidates Reviewed

VIA SBINSIDER| June 30th, 2024

Fourth of July fireworks will be ignited on July 4th and the next day, or shortly thereafter, those SaddleBrooke residents who vote by mail (70%) will receive their ballots in their mailbox. Note that Democrats are extremely disciplined in that they rarely allow for primaries in their party, giving them an advantage in the general election. Republicans seem to take delight in primaries with multiple candidates causing the winner to spend precious campaign dollars that could be used in the general election.

Voters will be selecting from candidates for the following primary races, which will determine the lineup for November.

For Republican US Senate:

Mark Lamb, Pinal County Sheriff vs. Kari Lake, TV anchor

Lamb jumped into the race after Lamb had been told by Lake that she was not going to run. Lake’s head was turned by the promise of a Trump endorsement and the Senate leadership jumping in line with big donors. Lake has a huge advantage in one of the other crucial metrics which is name identification in that she lost the race for Governor only 18 months ago. Her attitude toward campaigning outstate is dismissive. She has not traveled widely but polling results show a dead heat between her and Democrat Rueben Gallegos, so her strategy of not campaigning and not debating may work.

The rank and file activists are not happy about the way Lake is running and nearly all of the folks who attend meetings where Lamb speaks come away with this refrain “Lake is likely to win, but I am voting for Lamb anyway.”

For Republican Congressional District 6

Juan Ciscomani vs. Kathleen Winn

A rematch of 2022 which Ciscomani won easily and is likely to do so again. Winn’s campaign is based on her belief in Ciscomani’s vulnerability on the Right. CD 6 is a plus 3 Republican district which Ciscomani, won by a bit over 5K votes and assuming he wins, he will be again be facing Democrat Kirsten Engle.  The district since its creation has swung back and forth for 20 years.

Pinal County Races

Due to the overarching advantage in registration, Democrats generally do not field candidates at the county level. So, the action is July 30th vote. The contested races for which SaddleBrooke residents will vote:

Pinal County Sheriff
Ross Teeple vs. Kevin (Smith) Cavanaugh

When Mark Lamb decided to step and run for Senate, he anointed Ross Teeple as his successor, a former Navy submariner, Teeple has worked for 17 years in the Pinal County Sheriff’s office in ever more challenging assignments. Kevin Cavanaugh is a failed member of the Pinal County Board who decided that he could not win his Supervisory race and jumped into the Sheriff’s race. Cavanaugh also worked for a short time in the Sheriff’s office when Lamb was elected but refused to submit to a background test required for all staff with access to sensitive date.

The Democrats have put forth Patrick Melvin.

County Supervisor District 4

Jeff McClure vs. Pete Sabin

McClure was elected in 2020 after serving as President of the Oracle School Board. He had a long career in business and has focused on budget management in his tenure. The Board announced a property rate cut for 2025 while still providing services for a rapidly growing county. Sabin is a resident of Coolidge who objects to the number of solar fields in the county and the current permitting process. He is an engineer by training.

County Assessor

Douglas Wolf vs. Stormy D. Cox

Wolf is the incumbent elected in 2012 and a SaddleBrooke One resident.  He was in the real estate business for 35 years prior to running for office. He was voted President of the Arizona Assessors Association and endorsed by the Arizona Republican Assembly. Stormy is a disgruntled former employee of the Assessor’s office having been fired after 4 months. He also worked for Pinal County in the building maintenance department.

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County Attorney

Kent Volkmer vs. Brad Miller

Kent Volkmer was in private law practice for a number of years in Casa Grande before running in 2016 against incumbent Lando Voyles. He was unopposed in 2020. Miller is the former chief assistant to Supervisor Kevin Cavanaugh and veteran. Volkmer is credited with creating a successful diversion program for non-violent 1st time offenders but strongly prosecuting the truly deserving. Miller claims that he would be tougher on criminals.

County Superintendent of Schools

Jill Broussard vs. Tara Walters

Broussard was elected in 2012 and has an exemplary record as a teacher and Superintendent. Given opportunities to run for State Superintendent, she has refused saying Pinal County is where she wants to be. Walters taught in Florence Unified and has been mayor of Florence. She has indicated that the Pinal position is a stepping stone to the State Superintendent’s office.

County Treasurer and County Recorder

Michael McCord and Dana Lewis have no challengers and are re-elected.

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Tara Walter
Tara Walter
20 days ago

I believe in term limits. While the Town of Florence does not have term limits set, I am setting the example. I established my priorities and goals, accomplishing them over the past eight years as Mayor. At this time, I plan to utilize my background, experience, and knowledge of both education and government to make a positive impact for our Pinal County Youth.

I recognized the call to civic duty when I decided to run for Florence Town Council and was appointed to my first term in June of 2012. My council peers selected me to serve as Vice-Mayor in 2014. During the 2016 election, I was elected to a four year term to serve as the Mayor of the Town of Florence. In 2020, I was re-elected for a second term as mayor. During this time, I assisted in coordinating and engaging in the first NISL (National Institute of School Leadership) Academy with both elected and government members participating. In addition, I serve on the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable, Pinal Regional Partnership: First Things First Board, and Pinal County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Most recently, I was 1 of 28 statewide to be a Flinn-Brown fellow.

I have taught various grade levels from kindergarten through twelfth grade since 2000, serving the past twelve years as an administrator. I hold two master’s degrees in education from Northern Arizona University, graduating with high honors in Educational Leadership: Principal K-12 and Elementary Education; two bachelor’s degrees from the State University of New York in Elementary Education and English (Literature/Writing), and an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Herkimer County Community College. I was provided the unique opportunity to complete the second half of my student teaching experience abroad, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. During this experience abroad, I welcomed the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. This experience allowed me to learn and appreciate other cultures and ways of life.

As Pinal County Superintendent, I will prioritize efficient management with fiscal responsibility, school safety, and teacher support and training. I believe in providing top-notch education for our youth, and I am committed to ensuring that our students have the resources they need to succeed.

I believe that all students have the potential to be successful, and I am dedicated to creating an engaging and safe educational environment for them. I will challenge our students to reach beyond their expectations and become lifelong learners who will make the world a better place.

I am running for Pinal County Superintendent because I believe in the power of education to change lives. I ask for your support and your vote to ensure that our students and schools have the best possible chance for success. Together, we can create a brighter future for Pinal County. Vote for Tara Walter for Pinal County Superintendent.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Again, I thank you for your time.

Troy Vincent
Troy Vincent
20 days ago

Teeple for the people!!!!