Arizona State Candidates

West Valley voters have the chance to narrow down the field of candidates as their state representatives.

The primary is Aug. 4. Those voting by mail should send ballots by July 29 to make sure they are counted.

For polling locations, visit recorder.maricopa.gov.

Arizona District 13 includes Buckeye, Litchfield Park and other parts of the West Valley.

Tim Dunn and Joanne Osborne, both Republicans, are the current representatives of Legislative District 13. Dunn, Osborne and Steve Montenegro are candidates in the Republican primary.

Mariana Sandoval is the lone Democrat on the primary ballot for District 13.

Incumbent Sine Kerr of Buckeye, a Republican, is the only candidate from either party for the District 13 state senator position.

In Avondale-Tolleson District 19, incumbent Sen. Lupe Contreras was the only Democrat to file; Steven Robinson of Phoenix is a write-in Republican candidate.

Legislative District 19 has a crowded ballot, though on the Republican side Shelby Busch is the lone candidate, and a write-in at that.

The Democrat primary ballot will have four names for District 19: incumbents Diego Espinoza and Lorenzo Sierra as well as challengers Leezah Sun and Arturo Ramirez. (Ramirez has withdrawn from the race.)

The West Valley View emailed questions to state candidates. Here are the answers of those who responded:

 

Please briefly describe your background including any relevant education and work history.

Steve Montenegro

Family:  My extraordinary wife, Melissa (married 11 years), and two amazing girls, Adelynn, 8 years old, and Emalynn Hope, 8 months. Small-business owner. Bachelor of Science in political science, associates degree in theology. I have served in the Legislature, both House and Senate, where I voted for the largest tax cuts in state history, the Arizona Jobs Bill and SB 1070. I authored Arizona’s transparency laws, the American Civics Act and the ban on affirmative action. I maintained a 100% pro-life, pro-family, pro-Second Amendment (NRA-endorsed) and pro-border security voting record, and won the Hero of the Taxpayer and Friend of the Family awards.

Joanne Osborne

Owner—30 years Osborne Jewelers. Arizona State Representative—current. City of Goodyear vice mayor and city council member 2007-18. Harvard Kennedy School—executive education  state and local government. Gateway Community College—biology. Phoenix College—AA 1985.

Sine Kerr

After my father’s retirement from the Army, our family moved to Buckeye in 1964. I was 3 years old at the time and have lived in Buckeye ever since. I married my high school sweetheart, Bill, and together we started our dairy farm in 1980. We are now a fourth-generation family farm. We have one son, and three daughters who are all married and we’ve been blessed with 11 grandchildren.

Lorenzo Sierra

I am an Arizona native who received my K-12 education in the Sunnyside School District. I am a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. After college I worked in a few Fortune 500 companies in the communications and HR fields. I served on Avondale’s City Council.

 

What neighborhood do  you live in and for how long have you lived there?

Steve Montenegro

I live in Palm Valley Phase V. We have lived here for the last three years, and prior to that we lived in Litchfield Park Dreaming Summit.

Joanne Osborne

Palm Valley—19 years.

Sine Kerr

My neighborhood is beautiful farmland with a few homes nearby. I have either lived at the dairy or the heifer ranch, both in Buckeye, for the past 40 years.

Lorenzo Sierra

I have lived in Avondale’s Starlight Trails neighborhood for 10 years.

 

Why did you choose to live here?

Steve Montenegro

We love the West Valley. We moved here as kids due to our parents’ jobs: my dad a pastor and Melissa’s dad in the U.S. Air Force. Melissa went to Agua Fria High School, and I went to Dysart High School. The West Valley is a wonderful place to raise a family.

Joanne Osborne

In 1996 my husband and I chose the rural town of Goodyear, with an inspiring and bright future, as the city to expand our business—this was the greatest decision we made for our business and family.

Sine Kerr

My roots are securely planted here, and I can’t imagine ever moving!  I love the people, its rich history and the surrounding beauty that makes Buckeye a special place in my heart.

Lorenzo Sierra

I fell in love with an amazing woman who lived in Avondale and moved in when she agreed to make me the luckiest man in the world and marry me.

 

What are the three biggest issues of this local election?

Steve Montenegro

When I left office we had the strongest economy in the country, we had boosted our rainy-day fund to prepare for possible emergencies, and we were creating an amazing number of jobs. COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our state’s economy, and so we are going to have to roll up our sleeves and get back to what was working before. I think we are going to have to examine our health care system and infrastructure so that we can look at the strains that this pandemic placed on it and ensure that we have systems in place to deal with future events like this one. Other issues like education and border security and issues that relate to our constitutional rights are always going to be important to large segments of our citizens as well, and so they each deserve our attention. 

Joanne Osborne

1) As a state representative, I represent an incredibly diverse and large district, but know that my decisions affect the full state. Our state’s financial forecast is one that will take a great deal of thought, priority and tough decisions. 2) Health care and COVID-19-related matters will be top of mind and discussion. 3) Education.

Sine Kerr

Protecting lives and saving livelihoods through the pandemic. Job growth, the economy and the state budget. Defend and protect our constitutional rights and liberties. Ensuring Arizona has a secure water future.

Lorenzo Sierra

COVD-19: defeating the virus and securing the resources to do so. Jobs: continuing to secure good jobs that ensure a robust economy. Education: ensuring our educators and students have the resources they need to provide a high-quality education.

 

What experience do you have with managing spending?

Steve Montenegro

When I was first elected the state was in a terrible state, facing a $3 billion out of a $10 billion budget.  That was an incredibly deep hole to get out of, and the most important ingredient in our success was eliminating wasteful programs and spending that we could not afford. We successfully managed spending for many years, while passing the largest tax cut in state history, and still had enough money left over to fund a massive rainy-day fund.

Joanne Osborne

I have been a business owner of Osborne Jewelers for 30 years. I also have had in-depth financial and budgetary responsibilities as an 11-year Goodyear City Council member, two years as an Arizona State representative, and board member for multiple nonprofits.

Sine Kerr

Forty years as business manager for our farm. Proven fiscal conservative negotiating and voting for Arizona’s nearly $12 billion budget the past three legislative sessions.

Lorenzo Sierra

In the corporate world I managed departmental and office budgets. On the Avondale City Council I worked on a budget that saw significant increases year over year. Our smart investments have created wonderful parks and a strong community. At the state I sit on the Ways and Means Committee, where I was a swing vote on a bill that allowed for economic expansion in LD19.

 

What new ideas do you have? 

Steve Montenegro

We need leadership and vision in education. We are an education family, and it’s evident that there will be long-term effects on our education system from this pandemic. It is potentially exciting to be at the start of an evolutionary tipping point, because it is quite likely that how we school our kids in five years may be quite different from how we schooled our kids five years ago.

Joanne Osborne

Our legislative session was cut short last year and my bills that had been voted on in the House were just sent over to the Senate and they (adjourned) sine die. I will be starting all over again with those items. They were on vaping; military, spouse and veteran occupational license fee waivers; an arts license plate business tax credit for people who hire severely mentally ill, released prisoners, teens; and dental coverage for pregnant women on AHCCCS.

Sine Kerr

As a farmer and chair of the Senate Water and Agriculture Committee, I would like to establish a Food Supply Chain Emergency Command Center to ensure Arizona has an adequate and uninterrupted supply of local food in the event of food supply disruptions. 

Lorenzo Sierra

I  am continually adapting to the needs of our LD19 community. In the past session I introduced a bill that would have secured free, high-quality pre-kindergarten programs for hundreds of low-income LD19 families. The bill had traction, but the session was cut short due to COVID-19.

 

What is your track record and style of responding to questions from the public? 

Steve Montenegro

Being a conservative Hispanic Republican has always made me something of an oddity in elected office, and I have always tried to use the opportunities given to me to reach out to as many people as possible and talk about our party and our values and vision that we share for a truly United States of America where everyone is free and equal and treated with the respect they deserve. 

Joanne Osborne

I have a long history of engaging with our citizens with phone calls, emails, coffee talks, Zoom meetings and social media.

Sine Kerr

I make every effort to respond to public requests and concerns. Constituent phone calls and emails are a priority in my office. It’s very important to me that my constituents have access to me and they are being listened to and understood and their issues resolved. The best way to reach me is at skerr@azleg.gov.

Lorenzo Sierra

Every day I receive many notes from constituents. My team and I do our best to help everyone. Over the years, I have helped people find jobs, navigate governmental systems, secure immigration help, receive earned military benefits/awards, feed the hungry, and raise money for college scholarships. Last year, I attended more than 400 meetings and community events. This was outside of my legislative duties. It was an opportunity to have hundreds of conversations with constituents.

 

How do you define integrity? 

Steve Montenegro

For me it’s the quality that makes me keep my promises to people when I ask for a vote, and in return they asked me to do what I said I would do. It is an awesome responsibility to have people entrust you with their liberty and the long-term future of the state where they live, where their kids live, often where their grandkids live. So I want them to know that I do what I say I will do. 

Joanne Osborne

Doing the honorable thing when no one is watching. Holding true to a moral compass of honesty and a belief in God.

Sine Kerr

Doing the right thing when no one is looking.

Lorenzo Sierra

I define integrity as working hard day in and day out with little fanfare to leave the community a better place than when I found it.

 

Why should someone vote for you? 

Steve Montenegro

My campaign signs say “Proven Conservative” on them because it’s the shortest and most accurate description of me as an elected official. Everybody calls themselves a conservative, and every piece of mail that shows up in your mailbox says conservative, even though we all know that is not always true. In my case it’s the real deal, with a long, 100% pro-life, pro-taxpayer, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Constitution, pro-border security, pro-school choice, pro-family voting record. I was named Hero of the Taxpayer and won the “Conservative Hero” award. So if you want a genuinely conservative legislator and someone who will not just vote right but lead the effort, then vote for the candidate who sponsored and passed landmark legislation, like the Arizona Civics Act, the elimination of affirmative action in Arizona so that we may all finally be treated equally, and the nation’s first ban on abortions for the purpose of race or sex selection. It takes political skill to get these things done, and I am proud to have been able to accomplish so much. I would be honored to return to the fight on behalf of the voters of my district.

Joanne Osborne

I have been blessed as a business owner and mother of four. I have been honored with many leadership roles, from being elected four times by our citizens, serving on the Abrazo hospital board, the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce, Homeless Youth Connection, mentored hundreds of teenagers, YMCA and currently am the vice chairman of Military and Veterans Affairs, Arizona’s Workforce Council and serving on the Ways and Means and Land and Agriculture committees gives me ample experience to make the best decisions for our state.

Sine Kerr

I have a heart for service. As a wife, mother, grandmother and business owner, I care deeply about our future and I place a high priority on the long-term vision of success for our state. I believe when people prosper individually, our communities and state prospers as a whole. This happens best when the government is small and efficient and the people have true power and representation.

Lorenzo Sierra

LD19 voters should vote for me because I have a proven track record of providing real results for real people. Since entering public life I have secured more than 45,000 new, free books for students, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships, secured a computer lab for a neighborhood community center, brought back Billy Moore Days, to name a few. They should vote for me because I have been working to ensure our groundwater is clean and the State Route 30 becomes a reality. They should vote for me because my family and I have dedicated our lives to working 24/7 for them and their families.