Arizona State House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding has dedicated his professional life to helping people, first as a special education instructor in the Roosevelt Elementary School District, then as a clinical instructor to young teachers at Arizona State University.
Today, Rep. Bolding (D-LD27) is the House Democratic Leader in the Arizona State Legislature. A committed voting rights activist who has helped create organizations that have increased voter turnout in Arizona, Bolding has decided to run for Arizona Secretary of State.
While in the Legislature, Bolding has supported measures to:
- Fully fund education.
- Expand KidsCare for poor children needing health care.
- Protect public safety.
- Protect a person’s right to vote.
During this last legislative session, Bolding fought to stop fringe Republicans (including those running for Secretary of State) from adopting measures like purging the Permanent Early Voting List that is designed to make it harder to vote.
His goal should he win that office in the 2022 midterms: “to make sure people have their voices heard and are educated about the voting process” and “that everyone has the right to vote and to do so free of fear and intimidation.”
Bolding graciously took the time to discuss his candidacy for Secretary of State. The questions and his responses are below.
1) What are two to three reasons you are running for Arizona Secretary of State?
- I have been on the front lines fighting for equity, education, and civic engagement my whole life. One thing I know is none of these things are achievable without a strong healthy democracy. Voting and voting rights are an essential pathway to everything we care so deeply about in our communities.
- I’m running for Secretary of State because it is vital that we have someone leading this office who has a deep understanding of the political and policy issues voters are facing.
- Moreover, as a state and nation, we have seen people attempt to implement voting restrictions when we should be protecting and expanding voting rights to make democracy easier for all citizens to participate.
- As a legislator, I’ve been fighting for democracy inside and outside of the legislative chambers, and as Secretary of State, I’ll continue that same fight.”
2) If elected, what would be your top three priorities as Secretary of State?
- The next Secretary of State must be someone that can gain the trust of all Arizona. The reality is I have a record of integrity, respect, and trustworthiness. This is critical as there cannot be mistakes in this office.
- One major priority of mine is to restore trust in the system, so Arizonans know we truly do have free, fair, and secure elections. It is important for people to know their vote is counted absent any partisan or political influence.
- It is also extremely important that the next Secretary of State has a strong understanding and working relationship with the State Legislature. To expand voting rights and help craft legislation to protect voters the next SOS must prioritize legislation that will protect our communities from individuals attempting to take away our freedom to vote. I’m the most prepared to do that because I’ve been doing that for years.”
3) What are at least two reasons voters should pick you over the other candidates running for Secretary of State?
- Our next secretary of state is the top Elections Officer and next in line to replace the Governor in the order of succession. The Secretary of State serves as the Lieutenant Governor of Arizona. There is no other candidate in this race with the leadership experience I bring to the office to fulfill this duty.
- I have spent the last seven years in the state legislature, three in legislative leadership, and now as the Democratic Leader of the Arizona House of Representatives.
- I have stood firm for our values while negotiating deals with the Governor, Speaker, and President’s office on major legislation from water rights to tribal gaming to reforms to fight the opioid epidemic and everything in between. I have been a part of seven state budgets and sponsored more bills that became law than almost any other Democratic legislator since my time in office.
- I also run one of the largest civic engagement non-profit organizations in the state. We have been educating, registering, and turning out voters throughout Arizona for more than a half-decade. Last year, we successfully sued the state to extend the voter registration deadline.
- Lastly, it’s imperative that we do whatever we can to ensure none of the candidates in the Republican primary win. They have all embraced conspiracy theories, voter suppression mantras, and their election to this office will be devastating.”
4) Based on the Republican enabling of the BIg 2020 Election Lie through members of the legislature and what went on in Veterans Memorial Colosseum, to what extent do you think it will be difficult to restore voter trust across the political spectrum?
Everything is a challenge. The most important thing is, to be honest, truthful, and accessible to people, even to those that do not agree with you. Showing up and doing your job is half the battle. I have a record of fighting successfully under pressure and doing my job no matter how difficult it may appear.”
5) Is there anything not covered in the first four questions that you would like the voters to know about you and your candidacy for Secretary of State? Please explain.
I have been blessed to have a wife and two beautiful girls that mean the world to me. This fight for democracy is not only about you, but it’s about them as well. I want my daughters to grow up in a world where their voice and their votes matter. A world that values them as women. A world that allows them to achieve their dreams no matter their skin color. Democracy has made these things happen throughout our lifetime and I refuse to give an inch to allow that to slip away.”
For more information on Representative Reginald Bolding and his candidacy for Secretary of State, please click on the links below: