About 35 Coconino County Democrats got a first look Saturday at three announced candidates for Legislative District 6, which includes Flagstaff, Sedona, much of the Verde Valley and the eastern Mogollon Rim.
Attending the annual Monsoon Picnic at Fort Tuthill were Wade Carlisle, vice mayor of Holbrook, who is running for the state Senate seat, and Robert “Bobby” Taylor, mayor of Holbrook, who is running for one of two House seats.
Also running on the Democratic ticket for a House seat from LD6 is Felicia French of Pine. French was unable to attend the picnic.
Before Carlisle and Taylor addressed the crowd, Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans said a few words about the 2018 election.
“I am very worried that what happened to us in 2012 is about to happen again…everything seemed fine…so we as Democrats didn’t vote, we didn’t really participate in the democratic process. We cannot do that again.”
Three Republicans hold the LD 6 offices. Sylvia Allen of Snowflake is the current state Senator who has announced her plans to run for reelection along with Representative Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff.
The second Republican House representative, Brenda Barton, has not responded to inquiries about whether she will be seeking reelection.
In his speech Carlisle identified some of his campaign planks, which include no mining at the Grand Canyon, fixing infrastructure and improving the education system.
“I don’t like the idea of mining at the Grand Canyon -- when it comes to things we need to protect, we need to protect them.”
Taylor’s campaign platform mirrored Carlisle’s but included improving the healthcare system and creating new opportunities for Northern Arizona’s workforce.
“We have this vision of trying to bring more jobs and opportunities to the Northern part of Arizona,” said Taylor
Carlisle, who has 13 years of experience in local government, believes that he will be able to appeal to voters across the district and not just Democrats.
“I am a hunter and I am pro gun,” said Carlisle “I can’t change that so I’ll be walking that line -- I am moderate. Independent and Republicans I think will identify with me because they drive the same roads we do and they understand something needs to be done.”
Taylor thinks that having two candidates from the same local government will show the voters that both are able to work together and put differences in policy beside them.
Many of the Democrats in attendance were excited to talk about the upcoming election season and to find ways they can get involved.
“I don’t think we have seen energy like this in a really long time and it is statewide” said Charlie Burgin Director of Operations at Coconino County Democrats “Definitely in Coconino County our base is more invigorated than ever.”