Democracy is Hanging in the Balance, says Attorney General Candidate Kris Mayes

“I don’t know if we have ever, ever faced a year when it has been more important to elect a Democrat Attorney General. We absolutely know that democracy is hanging in the Balance in the state of Arizona,” said Kris Mayes, who’s running for Arizona Attorney General in 2022. “And it’s not just hanging in the balance in Arizona. It’s hanging in the balance in America.”

“Because what happens here, not just in 2022, but especially in 2024, is going to tell the tale for our next presidential election. And we know that the Republican Party is in full-fledged, full-on attack mode against our democracy.”

She spoke at the November 1, 2021, meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson.

Kris Mayes is an attorney and professor who served for seven years on the Arizona Corporation Commission. She is running to address several issues, including:

  • Climate change
  • Protecting voting rights
  • Protecting reproductive rights
  • Addressing elder abuse.

Mayes is a Prescott native, and she’s known for consumer advocacy work, particularly involving climate change and energy efficiency. Mayes serves as the director of Arizona State University’s Energy Policy Innovation Council and teaches energy law at ASU, where she earned her law degree in 2003.

Climate Change

“I want to be the first Attorney General in Arizona history to make fighting climate change a top priority. No attorney general has ever done that, and certainly, none of the Republican Attorney Generals have taken environmental protection and fighting climate change seriously. So from day one, I will appoint a lead attorney within the environmental division to help me tackle climate change across the board, including water conservation and water scarcity. We are in an epic drought,” she said. “Our water supplies have never been more threatened. We see that obviously in Pima County and the Republicans have done nothing on this. It is an absolute outrage.”

Criminal Justice

“We have an attorney general in Brnovich who has literally done nothing to tackle the epidemic of elder abuse that our state is facing. Literally nothing. I am told by plaintiff’s attorneys who practice in this area that they have sent hundreds of complaints to the attorney general’s office on elder abuse, and this republican AG has done nothing about that.

“How is it possible that we could see so few prosecutions coming out of the Attorney General’s Office on elder abuse, when we have a massively expanding elderly population and a virtually unregulated set of long-term care facilities? I mean, the regulations just don’t exist, and it is the wild, wild west when it comes to long-term care facilities. So terrible things are happening, and there are no prosecutions coming out of the attorney general’s office.”

She went on to lay out some of her plans for criminal justice reform in Arizona. “Criminal justice reform has to happen in the state of Arizona, and I would certainly start with bail reform and do everything I could in advocating for it. It makes sense. And I think we need it to happen.”

Regarding capital punishment, she said, “The first thing I would do is I would put a pause on all executions and understand what is happening, both inside the Department of Corrections and inside the attorney general’s office, and then come to some conclusions.”

“I think this is another example of what a disaster Brnovich and Gov. Ducey have been. We have both a governor and Attorney General who have attempted to politicize the death penalty to the degree that they were willing to speed up executions. They botched executions. They were willing to order lethal injection drugs or lethal drugs that had the wrong half-life.

She was also asked about what she, as attorney general, would do to fix some of the gun safety issues in the state. “It’s crazy that we don’t have greater regulation on semi-automatic weapons. I believe in that. I think the gun show loophole should be closed, and there should be greater regulation in that regard,” she stated.

Electricity on the Navajo Nation

“We still have 15,000 homes that have never been electrified. Never. 70% of all the homes in America that are unelectrified are on the Navajo nation in the state of Arizona. It is a historical injustice, one that has to be righted now.

“But, shame on Arizona and shame on these utilities for never electrifying homes that literally sit in the shadows of the extra high voltage transmission lines and power plants that have served Phoenix and Tucson and have allowed us to prosper for decades. We would not be who we are as a state if it weren’t for the Navajo Nation, and the fact that we allow those coal plants to sit on their land, pollute their air, use their water, use their labor, and still 15,000 of their homes have never been electrified. Shame. Shame. Shame,” she said.

“I’m working with the Navajo Nation, and I just helped negotiate a deal with APS that would start the process of electrification. We negotiated a package that’s worth north of $200 million, and APS agreed to buy 600 megawatts of renewables from the Navajo Nation and start this electrification process of homes.”

So that has to change, and that’s something that I know the Corporation Commission can change, especially if we get a third Democrat. If you think of nothing else when you’re voting and talking to your neighbors, think about this issue. If we get one more Democrat elected, we can solve that problem. We can solve that injustice.”

GOP has lost its mind.

“At the end of the day, we have to win,” she wrapped up by saying. “We just have to win because right now the Republican Party has lost its way, it’s lost its collective mind, and there is no way around it. So they have to hit rock bottom, which means they have to lose every single one of these statewide races. And we have to make them lose.”

“The candidates that the Republican Party is putting up for attorney general are a total and complete disaster. When you hear them talk, it is clear that the Republicans running for attorney general want to be Donald Trump’s lawyer. Instead, they want to serve a guy who lives in a place called Mar a Lago.

“I want to serve as the people’s lawyer, the lawyer for the people of Arizona. I want to serve the people in Prescott and Peoria, and Phoenix and Pima County and Patagonia, and Sierra Vista and Lake Havasu. That’s who I want to serve. It is long past time that we had an attorney general who was focused on the state of Arizona rather than his own political ambitions.”

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