LUCHA Blue: Our (First) 2020 Candidate Endorsements

By Randy Perez, Democracy Director

Published: June 30th 2020

It’s finally here! Our team and our members have been waiting for this moment for a while, and today, LUCHA is proud to announce our first round of endorsements for the August 4th, 2020 Primary Election. Before we share with you our candidates, I wanted to talk a little bit about our process and why these endorsements are so important to us, the community we serve, and to the vision of co-governance we share with these candidates.

LUCHA has never done a large endorsement process. Over the last decade, our organization has built power by, for, and with the most impacted members of our community. Our goal has always been and will remain the same-to radically transform the systems that define our society, from white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, and more, into systems that actually benefit those who have been oppressed for far too long. It is not enough for our people to simply survive, they must be able to thrive.

Government agencies and politicians have never been friends to our people. From Joe Arpaio to Jan Brewer to Russell Pearce, politicians have sold us out for political gain time and time again. It is no wonder that our people do not trust government institutions, and as evidenced by the failed COVID-19 response by Governor Ducey, his allies, and President Trump, this is for good reason. Yet, glimmers of hope have emerged in the decade since SB1070.

Over the last 10 years, as we’ve knocked on millions of doors, collected hundreds of thousands of voter registrations, power dynamics have begun to change. More people of color are running for and winning elections than ever. We passed Proposition 206 against all the odds, raised the wage for hundreds of thousands of Arizona families, and then worked diligently with partners for three years to beat back every attack on its implementation. When Governor Ducey opened his State of the State this year by promising a hateful, unnecessary, and divisive sanctuary city ban, we successfully beat back the threat before it could hurt our community. That’s power, and as we inch closer to governing power in 2021, we’re proud to be committed to co-governing with elected officials who truly represent us, the people.

All of the candidates you see on this list have gone through a rigorous endorsement process, driven by our members. They answered difficult questions on each of the four LUCHA Pillars:

Economic Justice

Fighting White Supremacy

Mass Liberation

Democracy

Our Endorsement Committee is made up of impacted people from across Arizona. Students worried about mental health support and the skyrocketing cost of higher education. A Doctor concerned about access to reproductive care and racial disparities in healthcare. A working mom who wants to know why we’re only fighting for a $15 minimum wage when it should be $25. And most of all, our Endorsement Committee is made up of leaders who are committed to a more just and equitable future for themselves and their families. We couldn’t do this work without them, and we are all so grateful.

With that, we present the first round of LUCHA Blue Endorsements for the August 4th, 2020 Primary Election. More endorsements will be announced in August/September 2020 for the November General Election.

Incumbents

State Representative Raquel Teran Legislative District 30

House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez District 4

State Representative Reginald Bolding Legislative District 27

State Representative Diego Rodriguez Legislative District 27

State Representative Athena Salman Legislative District 26

State Representative Andres Cano Legislative District 3

State Senator Juan Mendez Legislative District 26

State Senator Martin Quezada Legislative District 29

State Representative Domingo DeGrazia Legislative District 10

Candidates

Melody Hernandez: Arizona House of Representatives District 26

JoAnna Mendoza: Arizona State Senate District 11

Gabriella Cazares-Kelly: Pima County Recorder

Adelita Grijalva: Pima County Supervisor District 5

Will Knight: Maricopa County Attorney (Endorsed by Mass Liberation Project AZ)

Ballot Initiatives

Healthcare Rising Arizona

Invest in Ed