Oct 12, 2022 - Politics

Underrated Arizona races: Treasurer, corporation commission and more

Illustration of a row of voting booths casting long shadows, the side of the booth reads "VOTE" with a checkmark as the V.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

If you watch TV or have a mailbox, you've likely heard more about the Arizona's governor and U.S. Senate races than you'd like.

  • Yes, but: Your ballot will be full of other important races that you probably haven't heard about, but should know about before you vote.

Corporation Commission

Why it matters: The commission regulates public utility companies and approves the rates they can charge you for power and water.

  • It also registers corporations, regulates railroad and pipeline safety and governs securities sales.

Who's running: Four candidates are running for two seats.

  • Sandra Kennedy (D): Kennedy is a current Corporation Commissioner and former state lawmaker. Her priorities include moving to 100% renewable energy to keep electric prices low and increasing solar energy.
  • Lauren Kuby (D): Kuby is a Tempe City Council member and a sustainability scientist at ASU. She's pushing for expanded access to solar power and investments in energy efficiency.
  • Nicholas Myers (R): Myers has experience in software engineering and water delivery and currently serves as a policy adviser to Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson. He says he's campaigning on affordable, reliable utility service.
  • Kevin Thompson (R): Thompson is a Mesa City Council member and owns a government consulting firm. He's looking to keep utility rates low by keeping Green New Deal and "California-style" policies out of Arizona.

State Treasurer

Why it matters: The treasurer oversees the state's finances and, along with the Board of Investment, determines how state and other government revenues are invested.

Who's running:

  • Kimberly Yee (R): Yee is seeking re-election as treasurer. She's a former state legislator who worked in the Treasurer's Office under former Treasurer Dean Martin. She has advocated for financial literacy in high school and for safe investment strategies
  • Martín Quezada (D): Quezada is an attorney who has served in the legislature since 2012. He is running on protecting state investments and removing politics from investment decisions.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Why it matters: The superintendent oversees Arizona's public education system by enforcing curriculum standards, distributing funding, issuing teaching certificates and auditing school systems.

Who's running:

  • Kathy Hoffman (D): Hoffman is the incumbent and former teacher and speech-language pathologist. Her priorities include reducing class sizes and increasing teacher pay.
  • Tom Horne (R): Horne previously served as superintendent and Arizona attorney general. He's campaigning on increasing patriotism in schools and fighting "critical race theory."

Maricopa County Community College Board

Why it matters: The governing board sets policies for the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.

Who's running: Two candidates are vying for one at-large seat on the nonpartisan board.

  • Kelli Butler: Butler is a state lawmaker and is advocating for increased affordability and accessibility at community colleges.
  • Randy Kaufman: Kaufman is a former Arizona Department of Corrections employee and is campaigning on protecting taxpayer money and lowering tuition.
  • Of note: Kaufman suspended his campaign on Oct. 18 when his Oct. 4 arrest for public sexual indecency made headlines.

Central Arizona Water Conservation District

Why it matters: The Central Arizona Water Conservation District oversees the 336-mile long canal that brings water from the Colorado River to Central and Southern Arizona.

Who's running: The board is made up of 15 people. Ten Maricopa County residents are running for five open seats.

Editor's note: This story was updated Oct. 19 to reflect Kaufman has suspended his campaign.

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