Arizona is “trending Democratic” and a Democratic pro-choice woman is just waiting to announce that she’ll run for Governor in 2022, according to Claire Knipe, Political Director for Arizona List.

“The governor’s race will be messy because there will be an open primary,” she said at the February 22, 2021 meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson. Katie Hobbs, the Democratic Secretary of State in Arizona is widely-presumed to be the candidate. She is popular with Arizona voters and became well known for defending the electoral system against bogus “voter fraud” conspiracies.

Arizona List is an organization that supports pro-choice Democratic women running for office in Arizona. The organization works to recruit, train and elect qualified candidates at all levels of state and local elections. In 2018, half of all Democrats elected to the State Legislature were Arizona List candidates.

Arizona List celebrated 75 wins in the November 2020 elections, sending 37 pro-choice Democratic women to Arizona elected positions.

The organization is working now to turn Arizona blue, by focusing on fundraising for 2022 candidates now. “We really need to flip the state legislature, and then we will able to get things done,” she said. “When Republicans run it, Democratic bills never get heard.”

Claire was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from the University of Arizona. She first became involved in politics when she started a Young Democrats chapter at her high school and started volunteering at Pima Dems and has been involved ever since.

Closing in on GQP territory

She said the increased voter turnout was good for Democratic candidates, including in LD14, LD8 and LD16. As for Republican-held LD11, where GQP extremists Rep. Mark Finchem and Sen. Vince Leach are in office, “we are getting closer and closer every year” to ousting them. She said the trick is to run candidates who are closely connected to the community.

She said women need to be asked to run for office an average of seven times before she proceeds. Three traits make for a good candidate:

  • Being active in many community groups so that the candidate has many connections.
  • Candidates who have won a local office before.
  • Candidates who are passionate about a specific issue.

For new candidates, Arizona List provides training workshops. Effective tactics include attending meetings involving the elected position and finding a community that the candidate wants to represent.

Claire said the top issues for voters are education and healthcare.