JoAnna Mendoza Will Improve Covid Response, Education and Healthcare in Tucson’s LD11

Gunnery Sergeant JoAnna Mendoza is the Democratic candidate for the State Senate in Arizona’s Legislative District 11

Gunnery Sergeant JoAnna Mendoza, the 2020 Democratic candidate for the State Senate seat in Arizona’s Legislative District 11 (Marana, Catalina, Oro Valley) is ready to advance policies supporting healthcare, education and the coronavirus response.

Mendoza is a 20-year military veteran and staple of the LD 11 community that will use her seat in the State Legislature to actually work for the people, not the reactionary special interests that Leach caters to.

She, unlike incumbent Vince Leach, will work to help people:

  • Get quality and affordable health care.
  • Attend high performing schools.
  • Combat the Coronavirus and work in a safe environment.

Gunnery Sergeant Mendoza graciously took the time to discuss her candidacy.

The questions and responses are below.

Please tell the voters three reasons they should pick you over Vince Leach.

“I am a local resident and served my country for 20 years. I was raised in our communities in the district and I understand the struggles of working families. No one is going to work harder than me to help the people prosper and ensure their needs are met.”

“Mr. Leach does not serve the people in our community. He only supports those that align with his political values. I will work for everyone and the government should do so as well, in instead of the select few.”

“I am focused on solving problems and not creating them. Mr. Leach likes to create problems. We need legislators who will work across the aisles and work on common ground solutions without sacrificing democratic values. Building relationships and team building is key to working across the aisle. You have to be persistent and build from the first foundations.”

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This article first appeared on the Blog for Arizona,

Please tell the voters at least three ways Leach does not reflect the vision or direction of LD 11.

“He does not reflect Arizonans at all. He wants to take health care coverage away from people during a pandemic. Ensuring health care should be a priority.”

“He’s interested in protecting dark money and special interests. We need to fight for our neighbors, the little guy, the vulnerable and take care of each other. Mr. Leach does not believe in that.”

“He is totally anti-democratic and opposes any ballot initiative, like Invest in Ed, which is very alarming because he is supposed to be the voice of the people.”

Please tell the voters at least three public policy issues you will advance if you are elected to the State Legislature.

“First of all, we have to put a COVID lens on everything.”

“We need to have a responsive government that follows the science and data. We need to make sure our economy recovers and that our workers and our schools have the necessary PPE to be safe. When COVID first hit, workers like my mother had to buy their own masks. That is not right.”

“Education. You cannot have an economic recovery without education and taking care of our teachers, children, and staff. We should invest in broadband to bridge the digital divide. Our children should get the same quality education regardless of the zip code they live in. I don’t hear that from Leach.”

“Health care: lower prescription costs, increase access, and address health care staffing shortage. Expand Medicaid for those that need it and telehealth in our rural areas.”

JoAnna Mendoza comes from a family of farmworkers and grew up in poverty. She worked in the cotton fields from a very young age, until she could legally get a job at age 16.

Please tell the voters if you feel Doug Ducey should open a special session to deal with the urgent problems (like COVID 19, assistance to the most vulnerable, funding schools to safely reopen, legal reform) facing Arizona? Please explain.

“He is mirroring the message of Trump. I think he should, but I do not think he will do it. We need to elect leaders who are action-oriented. We need someone with the moral courage to do what is right.”

Is there anything you would like the voter to know about you or your candidacy that has not been asked in the first four questions?

“When I look at my son, I want to make sure he grows up in a community that is thriving and build a legacy that our kids can build upon. That includes education and climate/environmental justice. We need to leave them something better, not broken.”

“I want the voters to know that I will work for all of you and not the select few. I am a servant leader and have demonstrated that in the military and as a school board member. People want someone who will listen to them, someone who will be their voice, and fight for them – and I’m that person.”


For more information on Gunnery Sergeant JoAnna Mendoza and her candidacy, please click on her website here, her Facebook Page here, and her earlier profile with the Blog for Arizona here.

The incumbent State Senator, Vince Leach, is not and has not shown any inclination to serve the people in his career as a legislator.

How do people know this?

Look at his voting record on Vote Smart. The people will find that Leach has:

  • Voted against increasing cancer coverage for firefighters.
  • Supported appropriations that do not fully fund K-12 schools.
  • Advocated reducing the minimum wage for teenagers.
  • Voted to inhibit the ballot initiative process.
  • Favored allowing firearms on school property.
  • Been against HIV Prevention Education.
  • Thought people should not be cited for using their cell phones while driving.
  • Supported measures that make it easier for Dark Money Campaign Contributions.
  • Worked to restrict a woman’s right to choose.

Not convinced. Then look at his Facebook Page where he regularly posts fringe material including those that are racially tinged and supportive of Q’anon.

Need more. Then read the article on Leach’s interference in the local affairs of Tempe (he does not live there) in its attempt to regulate Dark Money.


Please remember:

  • The General Election Day is on November 3. 2020. Please see the below graphic for all-important voting dates.
  • Please check your voter registration at vote.
  • Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at vote.
  • Arizona residents, mail your General Election ballot by October 28, 2020, for the November 3, 2020 election. With recent issues with the Post Office, you should consider mailing them out by October 23, 2020, if not earlier.
  • Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.
  • Know the voter ID requirements in your state.
  • If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.
  • Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.
  • Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.

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