Dear editor,

There is an adage to the effect: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Applied to this year’s election, it could go: “Tell me who your donors are, and I’ll tell you how you’ll vote.”

While reviewing my opponent, Senator Gail Griffin’s, campaign finance filings on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, I came to a startling conclusion. Of the $42,179 that she has raised to date, 62% comes from special interest Political Action Committees (PACs) with legislation in front of the legislature. Only $15,900 of her campaign funds have been raised from actual voters. More shockingly, when you look at those individual donors to Griffin’s campaign – only four are from our district! You read that correctly, our incumbent senator has only received campaign contributions from four people who could vote for her. The remainder of her individual contributions are a” who’s who” of special interest lobbyists and CEOs in Phoenix.

Taking this into consideration, it explains a lot about Gail Griffin’s voting record at the Legislature. Earlier this year, Griffin voted against Kidscare, which would have provided healthcare to 30,000 low-income children at no additional cost to Arizona taxpayers. While Arizona ranks 49th in the nation in school funding, Griffin had a chance to use surplus dollars to increase school funding, instead she supported private prisons and more special-interest tax breaks. Now that Arizonans have a chance to receive a well-deserved raise with an increase to the minimum wage, Gail Griffin is against that too. The fact is that Gail Griffin has decided to stand with Phoenix lobbyists and special interests over Southeastern Arizona’s working families.

I decided to run for the State Senate, because as a school volunteer I saw first-hand how devastating years of budget cuts have been to our schools and the children who attend them.  Five years ago, when I retired as an auditor at Fort Huachuca, the thought of running for office had never crossed my mind. Now, when I look at my grandchildren and I think about the opportunities I want them to have, I can no longer stand on the sidelines.

During this campaign, I have spent my time by travelling and listening to folks across the district. What they want in their leaders is simple. They want people who will cut the partisan bickering and get things done. They want our schools funded properly, and they want someone who will always do what is best for the people in the district. I’m running under Arizona’s Clean Elections system because I share this same vision. My campaign is not funded by special interests or lobbyists. In fact, to qualify for funding I had to earn the trust of over 300 District 14 voters who gave me a small qualifying contribution. As your State Senator, I will spend my time being your voice instead of trading favors and endlessly raising campaign funds. I humbly ask for your support on November 8th or earlier.

Jamie Alvarez ,

Democratic candidate for Arizona State Senate, Legislative District 14.

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