"A conversation with gubernatorial

candidate Fred DuVal"

 
"The Observer Weekly"
First Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
By: Robert Rowley, Guest Columnist
Click here to view archived article.
 

Victoria Steele, LD-9 Democratic incumbent, with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal at the opening of DuVal's Tucson campaign headquarters.

 

Recently, Stonewall Democrats of Arizona’s Richard Adams, Jeff Rogers and myself had a chance to speak with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal on a wide range of topics.  Here’s what was said:
 
Q: Do you support marriage equality?
 
A: I support marriage equality because love is love. All of us know friends and family members who have been in decades-long committed relationships, but right now, their love is deemed “less than” the love Jennifer and I share for each other. That’s wrong and it’s unacceptable. As governor, I’ll do everything in my power to make marriage equality a reality in Arizona. My opponent, Doug Ducey, opposes marriage equality. 
 
Q: What about adoption rights for same-sex couples?
 
A: Troubles at CPS are a continuing reminder that we have too many children in foster care waiting for a loving home. As governor, I will work to end Arizona’s adoptive preference law because I won’t let Cathi Herrod stand in the way of children who need loving parents. 
 
Q: If you were governor, how would you have handled Senate Bill 1062?
 
A: Unlike Gov. Brewer, I wouldn’t have waited a week to decide on the bill. I was the first candidate to come out against SB 1062, and I said then that I wouldn’t have waited for the bill to get to my desk, I would have gone down to the legislature and vetoed it there to send the message that SB 1062 isn’t who we are as a state. My opponent, on the other hand, says he wants to give SB 1062 another try.
 
Q: What will your priorities be as governor?
 
A: The two biggest problems facing Arizona are jobs and education. Right now, too many of our children aren’t getting a good enough education, and working families who were crushed by the recession either can’t find a job or their new one pays less than the one they lost. I will stop the cuts to our schools -- not another dollar; not another dime. And I’ve got a detailed blueprint for how to get Arizona’s economy moving forward again that starts with giving tax relief to small businesses to help them grow and hire new employees. 
 
Q: What’s your plan for creating jobs in Arizona?
 
A: The 21st century economy is all about talent, and Arizona can’t afford to put up a stop sign to talented people that want to come here and start a business or family. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we need to do everything we can to help them grow. Arizona is blessed with great universities and community colleges, but we need to create more career pathways to help our community college and university graduates find jobs and start careers. And I want to make Arizona a leader in innovation by investing in 21st century industries like solar and renewable energy. 
 
Q: What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent?
 
A: This election is going to be all about education, and there couldn’t be a clearer contrast between Doug Ducey and me. I’m going to stop the cuts to our schools, while Doug continues to support the underfunding of our schools to the tune of at least $300 million! I want to immediately start reinvesting in our schools, while Doug wants to give huge tax giveaways to the wealthiest Arizonans. And I want to improve all of our children’s schools, not just some of them. 
 
Q: How can you help make higher education more affordable?
 
A: I recently served on the Arizona Board of Regents, the organization that oversees Arizona’s three public universities and we worked hard to make college more affordable and accessible for Arizona students. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts from Gov. Brewer and the legislature, we kept the doors open and increased financial aid so more low and middle-income students could get a college education. As governor, I will work to create more connections between community colleges and universities to provide more points of access for students. 
 
Q: What qualifies you to be governor?
 
A: I have more than forty years of experience working across the aisle at both the state and federal level to get big things done. When I worked in Gov. Babbitt’s office, we created Arizona’s Medicaid program -- AHCCCS -- which is now a national best practice, and raised education funding to its highest level ever. And during the Clinton administration, I worked with Republican and Democratic governors to implement welfare reform and helped negotiate the national tobacco settlement, which provides millions of dollars for children’s healthcare. My whole life has been about big change, and Arizona needs big changes right now. 
 
Stonewall Democrats enthusiastically endorses Fred DuVal for governor and would encourage Arizona’s LGBTQI community, its friends, family and allies to vote for Fred.  Not registered to vote?  You can register all the way up to Sept. 6 at http://servicearizona.com/voterRegistration.  

For more on Arizona’s 2014 general election candidates visit http://stonewalldemsaz.org.  Care to hear Fred DuVal in person and meet the man himself?  This Saturday “FREDSTOCK 2014” comes to the patio at Club Congress.  Festivities begin at 8 p.m. with a live band, a DJ and of course Fred.  If you are on Facebook, details can be found at “Save the Date: FREDSTOCK 2014 (A Party for Fred DuVal)”