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District 23 candidates discuss Arizona’s future in clean elections debate      
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
By Chase Kamp
Today Publications

District 23 candidates for the state Senate and House of Representatives discussed their ideas for Arizona’s future at the September 15, 2010 debate sponsored by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.
Rebecca Rios, Steve Smith, Ernest Bustamante, John Fillmore, Barbara McGuire, and Frank Pratt participate in the debate.
McGuire emphasized that Arizona possesses the resources for a diverse economy. She wondered aloud why the state wasn’t the leader in solar energy. “We should be the solar gulf, not Oregon,” she said. She voiced her concern for early childhood education and said a well-educated workforce would be the key to job growth in the state. “Education must be a priority as a map to our future,” she said.

Fillmore would fail Arizona on education                                
State House candidate thinks Arizona should cut even more from education
Kearny – As Arizona continues to rank last in the nation for education funding, and as even more cuts to kids’ classrooms loom, District 23 House candidate John Fillmore thinks our schools receive too much money and school buildings should be eliminated.
“His views are just completely wrong for our district, where we value education,” said District 23 incumbent candidate Rep. Barbara McGuire. “I want to make sure our kids are in the classroom learning and getting a quality education.”
As the economy took a nosedive in 2008, while massive cuts to schools became imminent and Arizona’s schools ranked 49th in the nation for education funding, Fillmore told the Arizona Daily Star that he thinks schools get too much money.
Arizona Daily Star: What policies would you support to improve the standing of Arizona schools in comparison to the rest of the nation?
Fillmore: …Our schools are getting too much money for the product they are producing. We still have too many school districts in, say, comparison to the amount of counties in the state.
(Arizona Daily Star, 10/5/08)
He also told the West Valley View that he is an advocate of eliminating school buildings.
An advocate of doing away with school buildings and using the Internet for instruction, John Fillmore, GOP House nominee in District 23, said, “We have way too many school districts; we need to consolidate.”
(West Valley View, 9/19/08)
“If John Fillmore thinks our education system is receiving too much money right now, he’s delusional,” McGuire said. “Our schools suffered the largest cuts to education in state history over the last two years. Our kids deserve better than that.”
McGuire advocated for protecting education in the wake of massive budget cuts and offered better options for balancing the budget like closing tax loopholes.
Rep. Barbara McGuire is a life-long resident of District 23 and a small business owner. To read more about her, please visit

Tucson Citizen

Landowners, leaseholders feel burden of illegal dumping in rural Arizona

by Sean Manget

MAMMOTH – Laurie Mercer is proud to show off the high desert where she and her husband, Mike, graze cattle. Saguaros and creosote bushes hug a bumpy trail as her ATV climbs to a point offering a panoramic view of arroyos and distant mountains.

“The further up you go, you get into the oaks and junipers, and it’s really pretty,” she said.

But she also took a visitor to areas that make her heart ache, such as an open spot containing the front half of an abandoned truck, rusted, stripped of parts and riddled with bullet holes. The truck’s bed lies nearby, upside down.

There’s a patch containing a rotting mattress, two vacuum cleaners and an ice chest. And another with discarded clothes, sheets and knapsacks – probably a campsite for border crossers, Mercer said. And along the ATV trail: discarded water bottles, tire treads, a pair of pink panties.

“It’s like having a dump in your front yard,” Mercer said later.

Adding insult to injury, unless they can catch someone in the act of dumping it’s the Mercers’ responsibility to remove the mess from this rangeland, which they lease from the state.

In 2006, Pinal County threatened the Mercers with a $27,800 fine for failing to promptly remove 47 tons of steel and hundreds of tires dumped on their land. It wasn’t theirs, Laurie Mercer said, but the couple couldn’t persuade officials to drop the fine.

“It freaked me out,” she said. “I was like, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding me!’ ”

The community rallied around the Mercers, removing the mounds of garbage free of charge. The county withheld the fine but warned the Mercers against letting it happen again.

The couple’s story reflects a problem facing ranchers, farmers and landowners across rural Arizona. Open land is an attractive place for those looking to discard construction materials, appliances, vehicles, tires and other items rather than disposing of them properly.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality holds summits and runs other programs to discourage illegal dumping. Mark Shaffer, the agency’s communications director, said officials sympathize with landowners and leaseholders who get stuck cleaning up messes they didn’t create.

“People don’t want to go to the trouble,” Shaffer said. “They’ll just go out to the desert and dump it.”

The Mercers helped inspire Rep. Barbara McGuire, D-Kearny, to introduce legislation that intends to provide some relief to those in their situation.

HB 2424, which is awaiting action by the full House, would provide an appeals process exempting property owners from fines if ownership of rubbish, debris, trash or filth can’t be determined. However, property owners would still be responsible for removing it.

McGuire’s bill would require judges to fine dumpers no less than $1,800 in addition to making them responsible for cleanup costs.

It also aims to make it easier for officials to hold dumpers responsible. If investigators find mail, pay stubs or other items pointing to a person, it would be the accused dumper’s responsibility to prove that the items don’t belong to him or her.

Having grown up in a rural area where illegal dumping was every bit the burden to landowners that it is today, McGuire said she feels for those who get saddled with fines.

Do you think that if somebody dumped a bunch of garbage or old cars in your front yard, so to speak, do you think that it would be fair for them to tell you, ‘You clean it up,’ when it wasn’t yours?” McGuire said.

“This legislation has a little more teeth into it,” she said.

Scott Porter, enforcement manager with the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, said he’s especially excited about the idea of a mandatory fine because it would help discourage dumpers from committing the crime again. He said he sympathizes with landowners and hopes the legislation eases some of the strain on their wallets.

“I’ve seen them spend in excess of $10,000 to remove wildcat waste,” he said. “They’re certainly victims.”

Patrick Bray, deputy director of government affairs for the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, said his organization worked with McGuire on the legislation. He said it’s important that identifying documents in garbage be used as evidence and to put the burden of proof on accused dumpers.

“It would be a great help to us in making sure folks are responsible for their trash,” Bray said.

K.C. Custer, Pinal County’s lone environmental investigator, said he understands the burdens landowners face when it comes to dumping.

“It is costly to them, but they are responsible for their property,” Custer said.


HB 2424, which aims to cut down on illegal dumping

• Make illegal dumpers responsible for all costs associated with removing and disposing of garbage;

• Establish a fine of at least $1,800 for misdemeanor dumping;

• Require those suspected of dumping because of evidence left at sites to prove that they didn’t dump the material or prove with receipts that they have properly disposed of it;

• If the identity of the dumper cannot be determined, the owner can enter an appeals process and prove that he or she was not the offending party, relieving him or her of civil penalties.

By Melissa St. Aude
Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010 1:18 PM MST

CASA GRANDE — Illegal immigration, the troubled state budget, education, health care and the future of Arizona were among the issues tackled by District 23 candidates Sept. 15 at a debate sponsored by the Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission, held at the Holiday Inn.
The district includes much of Pinal County. All six candidates took part in the debate including state Senate incumbent Democrat Rebecca Rios and her opponent, Republican Steve Smith. Others were House incumbents, Democrat Barbara McGuire and Republican Frank Pratt, and their challengers, Democrat Ernest Bustamante and Republican John Fillmore.
The candidates’ responses highlighted their differing platforms on issues.
The Kearny resident is seeking a third term as a state lawmaker and said she has served as a voice at the Legislature for children, families and vulnerable populations.
In five years, she would like to see the state recovered from the black eye and negative attention that has hurt the state’s tourism industry. She said visitors do not wish to travel to Arizona when they hear false stories about “headless bodies in the desert.”
To solve the budget crisis, McGuire recommends diversifying the state’s economy and eliminating or closing tax loopholes and giveaways.
“The rich need to step up and pay their fair share,” she said, adding that country club memberships should be taxed.
To lower classroom size and address the dropout rate, McGuire suggested focusing on early education and finding ways to restore funding through private-public partnerships.
“Arizona is 50th in the nation on per pupil spending,” she said.
McGuire said that an educated workforce is essential for the state and necessary to attract businesses.
In regard to SB 1070, McGuire said the legislation is flawed and “ended up sitting on a judge’s desk.”
McGuire said that she does not support any cuts to education.


photo by Christine Keith/The Arizona Republic
A full house in the House of Representatives on the first regular session of the 49th legislature, J

Visitors in Rep. Barbara McGuire's office: (L to R) Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios, McGuire and brother Tom Elliott, a constituent and Senator Rebecca Rios

What is takes to be a legislator (excerpted)

When not in the Chamber for meetings, Rep. McGuire is constantly on the go, dealing with information, deadlines, bills, and meetings. Her schedule, during the six months the House is in session, is always 10-12-hour days plus a commute. The rest of the year her schedule is 24/7, since she travels around the district holding office hours and meeting with constituents.

District 23 includes as far south as Oracle and as far west as Avondale, all of Pinal County, and some of Gila and Maricopa Counties.

She (Rep. Barbara McGuire) takes the commitment very seriously and is not involved with another day job.Her areas of expertise, the committees on which she currently serves, include public safety, environment, and military affairs.

The outcome of ..bills is the hands of the very partisan committees. *

*But despite that fact, no small feat, McGuire legislation was signed into law by the Governor this year including among them the streamlining and consolidating mining permits(source: Luige del Puerto Arizona Capitol Times, Nov 6,2009 p10), and a renter foreclosure rescue bill stabilizing communities, particularly important to Maricopa, Queen Creek and San Tan!

McGuire has ..been instrumental is resolving some differences between union and management in the Arizona mining industry.

All of this responsibility comes with a heavy price tag and a small salary. McGuire receives $24,000 per year with only one day per week of reimbursement for her long commute from Kearny. She rents a room she can be nearer during the legislative session. Also, during the day, she heard from a family member that her mother was very ill. Delegating her mother's care since McGuire was at such a distance, she remained on the job.

Several times during the day, I heard people comment that Maricopa was a merging point between Tucson and Phoenix and that Maricopa would be very important to Arizona in the future.

Maricopa is already very important to Rep. Barbara McGuire. She includes our City in her efforts to work together for the betterment of all.

Despite all the wheeling, dealing, and political posturing of many, McGuire has her eye on getting bills of import to her constituents in front of the legislature. Dedicated and driven, she is determined to fulfill her commitments to District 23.

Superior finances rescued with bill sponsored by McGuire, Rios; town to be fined $100 for home rule oversight

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Officials from the Town of Superior are breathing a sigh of relief after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2394 into law last Wednesday.

Sponsored by State Representative Barbie McGuire and State Senator Rebecca Rios, the bill limits the fine levied at the Town of Superior for the 2008 overspending of the legal expenditure limitation.

Without this intervention, the town would have been responsible for paying a fine of more than $140,000.

“The legislation was necessary to ensure that Superior did not have to incur an exorbitant penalty that would have resulted in a reduction of town employees and a reduction of services to the residents of Superior,” said Senator Rios. “At the end of the day, I am here to help our communities and I am honored that Representative McGuire and I were able to do so!”

Rep. McGuire explained that Mayor Michael Hing and Deputy Town Manager Lou Digirolamo along with another staff member met with her at the state capitol and explained the town’s predicament.

“We worked in a bipartisan way to make sure the bill received a committee hearing and I worked with Reps. Tobin, Konopnicki and Pratt as well as Senator Rios, to move the bill along,” she said.

“I was very honored and humbled to help the Town of Superior by making a fix that would save them from having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, something they could not afford during times of budget deficits for the town. I serve as ranking Democrat on the Military Affairs and Public Safety committee and I knew this would adversely impact the public safety of Superior and its citizens, and I just had to prevent this. I thank Governor Brewer for signing HB2394 into law,” she added.

The home rule or alternative expenditure limitation option must be renewed by the voters every four years during council elections. It allows for the town to budget with revenues received rather than be bound by the expenditure limitation the state sets. Since that expenditure limit is usually too low for some governmental entities to operate, many communities, including Superior, opt for home rule. With home rule, towns like Superior can set their own limits and budget accordingly.

But they have to hold the election. Superior came to the realization back then that there hadn’t been such an election because of an oversight, which was duly reported to the public. Announcements were made to the effect that services would not be cut to citizens and the town reportedly continued to spend according to its budget.

A one-time budget override and a subsequent election eventually restored the ability to legally use the alternative expenditure limitation (home rule) until the option was again voted in during the next council election.

During the relevant time period, the town had reported total expenditures subject to the limitation of $3,627,655.

But the legal limit for the year, without the home rule option the town hadn’t passed, was $1,224,959. The town had exceeded the limit prescribed by Arizona Revised Statutes by $2,402,696.


Join Senator Rios and Rep. McGuire - Health Care Reform Forum in Casa Grande August 18th

Sinema, state lawmakers to host health reform forum in Casa Grande

Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix (District 15), Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Apache Junction (District 23) and Rep. Barbara McGuire, D-Kearny (District 23) will host a public forum on health reform on Aug. 18 in Casa Grande as part of the White House Health Reform Task Force.

The forum will focus on the needs of rural Arizonans, and state lawmakers will answer questions and hear residents’ stories and ideas about health reform.

Arizonans for Health Reform Forum
When: Tuesday, Aug. 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Sun Life Family Health Center, 865 N. Arizona Road, Casa Grande, Ariz.
for Health Reform

Deal could lead to rail line out to Pinal County

Democrat state Rep. Barbara McGuire says pending federal land swap could lead to a passenger rail line from Phoenix to Superior, opening eastern Pinal County to easy reach of Phoenix.

The Magma Arizona Railroad Company's rail line, which already exists, could provide easy access for seniors to the Valley and bring tourism in both directions, said the Kearny legislator.

"This rail would channel revenue in both directions from the Valley to eastern Pinal County," McGuire said. "The rail would make it easier and more cost-effective for non-drivers and seniors to travel to Phoenix, to access air travel,  shop and see their doctors."

The rail also would provide access to a nearby medical campus in Queen Creek and Apache Junction and Central Arizona Community College, she said.

Currently owned by Resolution Copper, the rail originally hauled cattle and copper on 30.2 miles of track to and from the Southern Pacific main line in Magma, between Florence and Queen Creek, McGuire said.

Local, county and state government representatives and Resolution Copper are interested in establishing a passenger collection point at Superior for people traveling to Phoenix from areas like Globe, Kearny and Superior. The rail also could eventually connect to Metro Light Rail in Phoenix, she added.

"This low-cost rail line is a common-sense way to generate revenue and aid people in transportation," McGuire said, suggesting that low-cost speeder cars could be used for the line. "I plan to work with Resolution Copper to make sure this rail line is as efficient as possible for all economic venues."

The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act includes transfer of land from the federal government to Resolution Copper for mining operations. In return, Resolution Copper would transfer to the government more than 5,500 acres of conservation lands.

McGuire is asking Congressional leaders to consider the rail in the land swap and suggests that it could also be incorporated into transportation within the federal stimulus package.

McGuire said the rail was built as a 3-foot gauge line and was converted to standard gauge in 1923.

Originally headquartered in Superior, the company primarily hauled cattle and copper on 30.2 miles of track.

The Australian mining giant Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) purchased the Magma Copper Company and its lines in 1996 and suspended rail operations on this line a year later, McGuire told Arizona's Congressional delegation in a letter.

McGuire said "speeder rail cars," similar to double-decker buses with a rail undercarriage and powered by propane or other form of clean energy would be cost-efficient since the rail already is in place.

Proposal reached by lawmakers to erase $1.6 bil Arizona deficit

Proposal: $600 mil in cuts and $500 mil in federal aid

Thursday appears to be the last chance for Arizonans to weigh-in on a plan by Republican legislators to close a $1.6 billion state-budget shortfall.

Members of the public may testify before the House and Senate appropriations committees Thursday afternoon.

To access the full content, copy and paste the full address into your Web browser:

Democratic legislators slate budget hearing in Casa Grande

State Democratic lawmakers have chosen Casa Grande as the site of their first effort to offer Arizona residents a public forum to discuss the Legislature's proposed spending cuts.

"Our communities are facing draconian cuts outlined in the Republican budget proposals, but they were not given a voice at the State Capitol," said Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Hayden. "We are holding these hearings to provide more transparency in the process and hear directly from the public how these cuts will affect their daily lives."

Legislators are seeking to close a $1.6 billion deficit this year, as well as a projected $3 billion shortfall in 2009-10.

To minimize the shortfall, House and Senate Republicans are proposng a variety of measures, including deep cuts in education and social service .

Rep. Barbara McGuire, D-Kearny, said the purpose of the hearings is to hear from people most affected by potential cutbacks.

"Arizona's children and middle class families are the backbone of our state," McGuire said. "We also must not forget our veterans and our most vulnerable populations - the disabled and the elderly. How we treat our citizens is what will be said about us as a society."

Sarah Muench, a spokeswoman for the House Democratic caucus, said members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees will also be on hand. Additional hearings will be held in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma in the coming weeks.

Top Stories
Arizona Legislature District 23
After hard-won primary, Dems must now face Republicans

By MELISSA ST. AUDE, Staff Writer October 15, 2008
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The race for two Legislative District 23 seats began as one of the area's busiest of the election season with seven candidates - five Democrats and two Republicans - seeking their party's two nominations.
On the final ballot are Republicans Frank Pratt and John Fillmore, who were the only two candidates in their party during the primary, and Democrats Barbara McGuire, an incumbent, and Ernest Bustamante, who each won a nomination by beating out fellow Democrats Krista Pacion of Casa Grande, Dorian Bond of Queen Creek and Emily Verdugo-Aldrich of Coolidge.

District 23 covers most of Pinal County.

Barbara McGuire

A lifelong Pinal County resident, small business owner and longtime unit director for Copper Basin Salvation Army, McGuire is seeking a second term. She said that serving as a legislator is her way of giving back to a community in which she is deeply linked.

"Being rooted in the district is an essential element of this position," McGuire, of Kearny, said.

During her time in the Legislature, she has been involved in issues ranging from utilities, transportation, jobs, worker rights, inspections, the environment, seniors, health care, schools and other issues. She has sponsored and co-sponsored bills about consumer protection, schools, immigration, environment, workers' rights, homeowners associations, business accountability, seniors, veteran benefits, tribal water rights and other topics.

"I want to bring more economic development along the 'golden corridor' and other areas. There are energy, transportation and other efforts planning and appropriations in the works. As the incumbent, I need to stay on the job to drive those forward," McGuire said.

Her key campaign issues are immigration; improving transportation and infrastructure; managing growth and resources; increasing health care; education; and developing the region's economy while increasing jobs. McGuire is a proponent of developing a theme park in Eloy, which would provide jobs for the region.

"Most of LD23 is Pinal County and it will soon be the second largest county in Arizona. What we do in District 23 is the future of Arizona," McGuire said.

For more information, visit McGuire's Web site,

Legislature: McGuire, Bustamante nominated in District 23
Staff and Wire Reports September 03, 2008
Incumbent Rep. Barbara McGuire of Kearny and former Rep. Ernest Bustamante of Mammoth were nominated for District 23 legislative seats Tuesday night in the Democratic primary.
With only a few precincts uncounted, the unofficial totals were: McGuire, 5,502; Bustamante, 4,803; Krista Pacion of Casa Grande, 3,966; and Dorian Bond of Queen Creek, 1,627. Write-in candidate Emily Verdudo-Aldrich of Coolidge faced an uphill battle, but write-in totals were not available.

McGuire and Bustamante will face Republicans Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and John Fillmore of Apache Junction on Nov. 4. They were unopposed.

District 23 covers most of Pinal County and small parts of other counties.


Editorial, 8/27/08
Staff Reports August 27, 2008
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Primary election

Pinal County residents will be voting next Tuesday in their party primaries, if they have not done so already. We urge them to take some time to learn about the candidates and to make the effort to vote. Important decisions are made in the primary. We provide the following recommendations, knowing voters will make their own choices.


In the 1st Congressional District, which covers most of Pinal County and much of eastern and northern Arizona, the field is wide open with the decision of Rep. Rick Renzi not to run amid a federal investigation of some of his activities. For the Democrats, the candidates are lawyers Ann Kirkpatrick and Howard Shanker of Flagstaff, former broadcaster Mary Kim Titla of San Carlos and Jeffrey Brown of Munds Park. Republicans running are lobbyist Sydney Hay of Munds Park, nonprofit director Sandra Livingstone of Prescott, power plant designer Tom Hansen of St. Johns and retired minister Barry Hall of Sedona. We endorse Kirkpatrick and Hay as the most experienced and capable. Kirkpatrick is a former legislator and Hay is a longtime political activist who ran for the seat when it was created in 2002.

State races

Three of five seats will be open on the Arizona Corporation Commission and the incumbents are not running. The Republican candidates are former state Rep. John Allen, business owner Rick Fowlkes, telephone company employee Joseph Hobbs, state Rep. Marian McClure, state Rep. Bob Robson, state Rep. Bob Stump, business owner Keith Swapp and lawyer Barry Wong. The Democrats are consultant Sam George, Flagstaff Councilwoman Kara Kelty, business owner Sandra Kennedy and lawyer Paul Newman. We endorse Kelty, Newman and George on the Democratic side and Stump, Wong and McClure on the Republican because of their ideas about solar and other renewable energy.

In Legislative District 23, which covers much of Pinal County, Democratic Sen. Rebecca Rios of Apache Junction and Republican challenger Andre Campos of Arizona City are unopposed. For the House, Democratic Rep. Barbara McGuire of Kearny is in her party's field along with former Rep. Ernest Bustamante of Mammoth, Krista Pacion of Casa Grande, Dorian Bond of Queen Creek and write-in candidate Emily Verdugo-Aldrich of Coolidge. We recommend in the primary McGuire, who has represented the district conscientiously, and Bustamante, based on his previous service. Republicans Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and John Fillmore of Apache Junction, who have run before and are familiar with the issues, are unopposed in the primary.

Pinal County

Two longtime county supervisors, Sandie Smith of Gold Canyon and Lionel Ruiz of Dudleyville, are retiring after years of dedicated service to the county. In District 1, covering Eloy, Arizona City, Coolidge and part of Florence, in addition to the eastern part of the county, the Democratic candidates are Mary Bateman Espinoza and Pete Rios, who has been a longtime legislator. Republican Scott Venegas is unopposed. We endorse for the nomination Espinoza, a Coolidge resident and veteran of county government. In District 2, covering northern Pinal, the candidates are Democrat Mary Shope of Queen Valley, Independent Elliott Fisher of Apache Junction and Republicans Todd House of Apache Junction, Danielle Tomerlin of Queen Creek and Bryan Martyn of Gold Canyon. We endorse for the Republican nomination Martyn, an Air Force retiree with Arizona roots who seems to have a good understanding of county government.

In District 3, covering Casa Grande, Maricopa and western Pinal, the candidates are Republican Tom Hollenbach and Democrats Dennis Dugan and David Snider. We endorse for the nomination Snider, a veteran of government at the city of Casa Grande before retirement and expert on water issues. He has done a good job in his first term as a supervisor.

Most county offices will see no contest until November, and some not then. For the office of sheriff, however, incumbent Democrat Chris Vasquez is being challenged by Jayme Valenzuela of Superior in the primary. The only Republican is Paul Babeu. We endorse Vasquez for the nomination because of his record in office and vastly superior experience and training for the job.

For the Division 6 Superior Court judge seat, two Republicans are vying for a chance to face two-term Judge Janna Vanderpool, a Democrat. Steve Fuller is a veteran of the County Attorney's Offices in Maricopa and Pinal counties and Daniel Washburn has a practice in Mesa. Both are northern Pinal County residents. We endorse for the primary Fuller because of his extensive experience in trying cases and as a judge pro tem.

©Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc. 2008

Eloy theme park to help boost Pinal County economy
Barbara McGuire Arizona State Rep., D-Kearny July 03, 2008
I commend Gov. Janet Napolitano for recently signing legislation into law that will enable a rock-and-roll theme park to be built in Eloy.
As one of the sponsors of this legislation, I strongly urged my fellow lawmakers to support Senate Bill 1450. I also wrote the governor a letter to request that she sign the bill. As a life-long resident of District 23, I know how important this theme park is to our local economy. I am thankful for the support of my colleagues and the governor on this issue.

I have heard a lot of positive feedback from my constituents who are excited for the opportunities that this theme park would bring to Eloy. My constituents are excited to attend the Decades theme park with their families when it eventually opens. My constituents are also looking forward to the financial boost this project could bring to our county at a time when the overall economy is experiencing some difficulties.

As the owner of a travel business, I understand the benefits this theme park could have on bringing tourism dollars to Pinal County. The park is vital to creating more jobs in construction, customer service, and retailing. The theme park could attract people from all over the country and beyond. When tourists come to Eloy to enjoy the rock-and-roll themed park, they will also spend money at Pinal County restaurants, hotels, and other local establishments. In addition, the theme park will benefit the transportation corridor between Phoenix and Tucson.

This is one of the most important pieces of legislation for Pinal County in 2008. Of course, many more steps must be taken before the Decades theme park becomes a reality. In the meantime, Pinal County residents can look forward to a bright future.

Rep. Barbara McGuire represents District 23. Email her at

January 16, 2008

Pinal lawmakers praise governor's transit push

By Not Applicable
Cronkite News Service
Senate President Tim Bee and House Speaker Jim Weiers looks on as Governor Janet Napolitano delivers her State of the State address and budget.


During her annual State of the State address, the governor asked legislators to devise a transportation plan to deal with Arizona's explosive growth and refer it to the ballot for this year or next.

Napolitano said the plan should include a high-speed rail line between Phoenix and Tucson.

"Transportation remains the biggest obstacle for families out there," said Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Hayden. "They're literally spending their dinnertime on the road."

Across Pinal County, workers commuting to Phoenix or Tucson face one-way drives that sometimes last up to two hours because of heavy congestion, legislators said. Some towns have only one main road in and out.

A statewide transportation plan would likely fund new projects, some of which would run through Pinal County, said Rep. Pete Rios, D-Hayden.

The initiative might result in higher taxes, but Pinal County voters frustrated with long commutes would likely support it, he said.

"I get cornered by my constituents all the time," he said. "People are saying, 'You gotta help.' "

Rep. Barbara McGuire, D-Kearny, said she supports a rail line as a way to reduce congestion and spur economic development in rural towns where the train could stop.

The three lawmakers also supported Napolitano's contention that critical programs shouldn't be cut despite a looming budget deficit.

"The small communities of Pinal County stand to lose a lot if we do massive budget cuts," Rebecca Rios said.

The lawmakers said they are pleased the governor remains committed to improving primary and higher education.

In comparison to urban areas, the rural communities of Pinal County don't have enough schools or hospitals to meet the demands of its growing population, the legislators said.

McGuire said she especially likes the governor's idea of awarding college tuition to all students who maintain a B average through high school.

It would allow rural children to "get college degrees so they have the same opportunities as urban kids," she said.

7 file for Senate, House seats
Pinal residents vie to fill three District 23 spots in Legislature

Staff Reports June 05, 2008
Two candidates had filed nomination petitions by 8 a.m. Wednesday for the District 23 state Senate seat - Democratic incumbent Rebecca Rios of Apache Junction and Republican André Campos of Arizona City.
Three Democratic candidates have filed for the two District 23 House seats including incumbent Barbara McGuire of Kearny, Ernest Bustamante of Mammoth and Krista Pacion of Casa Grande.

Two Republicans also are seeking the state representative spots. They are John Fillmore of Apache Junction and Frank Pratt of Casa Grande.

All the candidates have held office or run previously except Campos. Incumbent Rep. Pete Rios is seeking a seat on the Pinal County Board of Supervisors instead.

The deadline to file candidate nomination petitions was Wednesday at 5 p.m., so more names could be added to the Arizona secretary of state's list.

The district includes most of Pinal County.

The primary election will be Sept. 2. The general election will be Nov. 4.

©Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc. 2008


Rep. McGuire Meets With Southwest and El Paso Natural Gas Officials

Representative McGuire (second from right TOP) meets with Southwest Gas officials to praise them for their quick response to the emergency gas outage that left 4,900 people without heat during the coldest days of the year at the town of Maricopa last month. Rep. McGuire won assurances from Southwest Gas that the problem is corrected with new equipment. Southwest gas also told McGuire that growth areas of District 23 are properly planned including suitable capacity and that maintenance and equipment needs are anticipated and in good working order. Representing Southwest Gas were Julie Williams, Manager of Engineering (bottom right), Kathy Senseman, Corporate Public Affairs (bottom left),Kevin Thompson, Manager of Engineering (top right to left), Rep. McGuire, Eddie Rayes, Technical Services, and Ray Aritter, District Manager. Following the Southwest Gas meeting, Rep. McGuire met with El Paso Gas officials, the supplier to Southwest Gas and they have taken measures in addition to Southwest Gas to make sure the gas outage is not repeated.


McGuire seems to have the margin for victory
By KRIS WALKINSHAW, Staff Writer November 09, 2006
The voters of state Legislative District 23 easily retained the father-daughter team of Pete and Rebecca Rios in the House and Senate Tuesday. The second House race is a little tighter. Democrat Barbara McGuire leads Republican Frank Pratt by few than than 200 votes.
McGuire, a lifelong resident of Kearny, said she received a congratulatory call from Gov. Janet Napolitano's office at 7 Wednesday night.

"I just hope this lead holds true," she said. "I'm honored and grateful that they (the voters) have faith and trust in me to represent them at a state level, and I will do my best to see that they are represented equally and fairly.

"I take this job very seriously and I will always remember that I work for the people that put me in the office," she said.

 Pratt, a Casa Grande resident and small business owner, expressed his disappointment.

"To be this close and come up short is pretty tough," he said. "Though people have been extraordinarily nice, the support they have given me means the most to me."

He said he will wait to make any decisions on his future in public service in the coming months.

"Any decision I could make right now would be premature because you have to go through an acceptance state," he said. "For now I have a business to run and a family to take care of."

Pete Rios led McGuire by more than 3,000 votes.

Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Apache Junction, won re-election to her seat over Republican challenger Cheryl Chase by nearly 3,000 votes. Chase now is serving in the House of Representatives.

Rios expressed her gratitude to the voters but is thankful the election is over.

"I'm glad to see the voters of District 23 were able to wade their way through all the mud and find the truth about the candidates and the issues," she said. "This is the dirtiest, ugliest campaign I've ever been involved in. This election shows that voters will not be swayed by last-minute hit pieces by the opposition. I am humbled by their support."

She said she's excited about the billion-dollar surplus that lawmakers will have to deal with during the upcoming legislative session.

"I'm hopeful that the Republicans will reach over the aisle to the Democrats and talk about immigration reform. We need to include employer sanctions in any sort of discussion."

She added transportation and education as her other priorities.

Joe Robison, the chairman for the Pinal County Democratic Committee, said he thinks voters want legislators who can work together for the good of the state.

"If anything, this election shows us the electorate does not like divisiveness. The people are voting for people who can work together and reach out and cross party lines," he said.

Reps. Pete Rios, D-Hayden, and Chase could not be reached for comment.


By TEMPLE A. STARK, Editor November 09, 2006
Eloy residents, perhaps more than most in Pinal County, will be happiest to see Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resign, as was announced Wednesday.
While Pinal County, and even some areas in Toltec and Arizona City moved right toward Republican candidates, Eloy's central precincts, still the most populated, voted overwhelmingly for the Donkey.

For example, while Republicans Rick Renzi and Jon Kyl carried the day relatively easily across the state, the combined results for Eloy Precincts 12 and 14 were 70 percent for Jim Pederson, 66 percent for Ellen Simon and 88 percent for Janet Napolitano.

Rebecca rios earned 80. 5 percent of the vote from these two precincts, and Democrat Candidates Barbara McGuire and pete Rios earned a total of 349 votes out of the 406 cast in these two precincts.


Voters show discontent with GOP
Dems capture some seats in the House; GOP fares better in Senate races

Mary Jo Pitzl
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 8, 2006 01:35 AM

Discontent with the Republican Party spilled over into state legislative races as House Speaker Jim Weiers narrowly clung to his seat in his northwest Valley district while at least a half-dozen Republican seats in his chamber flipped over to the Democrats.

In Tempe, Rep. Laura Knaperek was defeated by the Democratic ticket of Ed Ableser and David Schapira, retiring the Republican expected to be the Legislature's key sponsor on further income-tax cuts.

While Weiers held on in his district, his running mate, Republican Doug Quelland, appeared to be the collateral damage in the face of an aggressive campaign by Democrat Jackie Thrasher, but the race was too close to call.
Republican fortunes looked brighter in the state Senate, where the GOP was on track to at least protect its 18-member majority, if not pick up a seat. The outcome hinged on a too-close-to-call race in northern Tucson between newcomers Al Melvin, a Republican and Democrat Charlene Pesquiera.

The poll results denied Republicans the veto-proof majority that they hoped to achieve with this year's elections. They fell one or two seats short of that goal in the Senate, and fell far behind in the House as the Democrats picked up seats.

The Democrats' gains in the House were not enough to put them in the majority, but they will have 27 to 28 members in their caucus, depending on the results of the race in District 10.

House Minority Leader Phil Lopes said the party hoped to build coalitions with moderate Republicans to head off some of the GOP-sponsored legislation that provided the fodder for Gov. Janet Napolitano's busy veto stamp.

Napolitano's lopsided win in her re-election bid helped propel Democrats, said Bill Scheel, who coordinated legislative campaigns for the party.

"We saw the ringing endorsement of Gov. Napolitano and her policies," Scheel said. "And second, we saw a repudiation of the Republican strategy of confrontation and division."

And, he added, "It's very clear we have a political ground game."

Democrats knocked off three Republican incumbents and picked up three more seats in districts with open slots.

In the East Valley, Phil Hettmansperger defeated Rep. Warde Nichols while Sheri Van Horsen picked off Rep. Rick Murphy for the second House seat from the north Valley's District 9. And in Tempe, Knaperek lost to the double punch of the Ableser-Schapira ticket.

Open House seats also gave Democrats an opportunity.

Barbara Maguire of Kearny won the House seat vacated by Republican Cheryl Chase in her unsuccessful bid for a state Senate seat.

Lena Saradnik finished second to long-time Republican lawmaker Pete Hershberger in the north Tucson District 26, besting newcomer David Jorgensen.

And Mark Desimone finished first in a three-man field in east Phoenix's District 11, a territory that has not seen a Democratic representative in the Legislature in years.

SaddleBrooke Democrats

Arizona News

Arizona Results are good! Plus two Democrats in CongressArizona Legislature is Still “Veto Proof”

November 8th, 2006

Arizona’s election was satisfactory to Democrats. Two new Democrats (Giffords and Mitchell) will go to Washington as freshmen House members. Jim Pederson and Ellen Simon both came up short in their campaigns.

Janet Napolitano and Terry Goddard were both elected with large majorities. However, the other Democratic challengers for state offices all came up short.

Democrats are still in the minority at the state house but Republicans lost ground overall. Democrats can firmly stop any attempts to over-ride Janet’s vetos. So they don’t get their way there.

Here in LD 26, ‘captain’ Melvin is being turned away in favor of Charlene Pesquiera in a very close race. Pete Hershberger and Lena Saradnik have easily defeated Jerkensen.

Also in the race for LD 23 which holds lots of interest for Pinal County Democrats, Rebecca Rios has defeated the turncoat, Cheryl Chase. Pete Rios and Barbara McGuire have defeated their two opponents.

Chris Vasquez has been elected Sheriff of Pinal County. Brenda Oldham has successfully defeated April Elliott.

Our own Mike Carran and Boyd Bosma have won places on the Oracle School Board to finsh off a suprisingly nasty campaign.



Arizona Democratic Party: AZ Dems faired well last night by not only keeping two major statewide offices but by also electing a handful of Clean Elections candidates in traditionally Republican districts. LD 10 lost Republican Doug Quelland in the House while LD 26 failed to elect conservatives Al Melvin (Senate) and David Jorgenson (House) in Northwest Tucson. In LD 23, Dems also made gains by electing father and daughter Rios and newcomer McGuire. This district is quickly moving toward the Republican column but will probably not make that transformation until 2008.

Rios team re-elected; McGuire leads Pratt
Staff Reports, Casa Grande Dispatch November 08, 2006
Democrats Rebecca and Pete Rios easily won re-election to their District 23 legislative seats while Casa Grande Republican Frank Pratt trailed Barbara McGuire of Kearny in a race too close to call.

District 23 seat still up for grabs
November 8, 2006
By Scott Bartle for

The fate of three candidates for a seat in Arizona’s House of Representatives is still undecided despite the return of 100 percent of yesterday’s General Election ballots.  Some early ballots, provisional ballots and conditional provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

Democrat Pete Rios has a commanding 3,152 vote lead in the race and appears to have secured one of the two seats representing Maricopa and the rest of District 23 in the House.  For the moment, fellow Democrat Barbara McGuire is second in voting with 16,693 votes.  According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, Republicans Frank Pratt and John Fillmore are just 173 and 1,162 votes behind McGuire, respectively, and still have a chance to claim victory.

Between early ballots that were turned in at the polls, provisional ballots and conditional provisional ballots, approximately 2,000 votes could still be cast.  It could be a week or longer before the winners are announced.  Gilbert Hoyos, Director of the Pinal County Elections Department, said, “I’m hoping the 16th or 17th.”

Pratt (1,670 votes) and Fillmore (1,558) dominated Democratic opponents Rios (1,367) and McGuire (1,193) in Maricopa precincts 30, 31, 73 and 74, but have lagged behind in other parts of Pinal County and sections of Gila and Maricopa counties that make up District 23.

The Arizona Capitol Times
November 7, 2006
Election 2006
by Jim Small
District 23

Democrats Pete Rios, an incumbent representative, and Barbara McGuire appear to have won the two House seats, according to preliminary election returns. They defeated Republicans John Fillmore and Frank Pratt, who narrowly lost to Mr. Rios in 2004.

With all precincts reporting, Mr. Pratt trails Ms. McGuire for the final seat by about 170 votes.

Though the district has long been a safe haven for Democrats, recent population booms in Pinal County have caused the voter registration numbers to trend Republican, with Democrats holding only a 12-percentage-point lead over Republicans, about half of what it was only two years ago.


Click Here for Full Story

Growth keys campaigns for Pinal's District 23 seats
By Sarah Boggan

The top priorities of candidates running for legislative seats in District 23 have not wavered as the general election approaches - each says it's important to deal with growth by providing the infrastructure and services needed for a burgeoning population. Candidates say their district, which includes some of the fastestgrowing areas of Pinal County, needs roads, medical services, lesscrowded schools and jobs to keep people in the area.

Like candidates in many other districts, they also want to tackle illegal immigration issues, such as overburdened public services and strained law enforcement agencies.

Rep. Pete Rios, D-Hayden, is running for re-election against fellow Democrat Barbara McGuire of Kearny and Republicans Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and John Fillmore of Apache Junction. Two people will be elected to the House.

Rios said road projects need to be accelerated and government leaders should work with developers to build roads before homes are built.

McGuire, who sets education as a priority, supports expanding accessibility to distance learning as well as increased funding for English learners and full-day kindergarten.

Click here for full story

House candidates state their priorities
By ALAN LEVINE, Staff Writer September 28, 2006
Barry Gartell of Arizona Capitol Times (standing) looks over some of the questions submitted by audience members. From left are John Fillmore, Barbara McGuire, Frank Pratt and Rep. Pete Rios.
State House candidates in District 23 laid out their platforms during a forum Wednesday evening at Casa Grande Union High School sponsored by Arizona Capitol Times, a weekly newspaper that covers Arizona government.
All four candidates were present, Democrats Pete Rios and Barbara McGuire and Republicans Frank Pratt and John Fillmore. The two Senate candidates did not participate.

Each candidate was given three minutes to present their resumes and to offer reasons why they should be elected followed by the first question, which asked what they felt were the three top issues facing the state that they would like to address if they were elected to the Legislature. McGuire, of Kearny, listed jobs, health care and water resources as well as education, border control and then said: "The one that touches me most is education. We need an initiative to encourage economic growth, innovation and national competitiveness for making today's students 21st century ready."

She talked about information technology and that the United States ranked 16th of only 20 developed nations in the percentage of students that finished high school... that students were ranked 27th in the world when it comes to math scores. She suggested that a greater emphasis should be placed on science, math, technology and engineering to better compete globally and ensure a highly skilled work force by enhancing these subjects on all educational levels. She favored making four-year baccalaureate degrees available in community colleges in order to make that level of education accessible for all District 23 students.

Debate tonight for District 23 candidates
Staff Reports September 27, 2006
Republican and Democrat candidates for the Arizona House of Representatives in District 23 are scheduled to debate from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Casa Grande Union High School.

Republicans Frank Pratt and John Fillmore and Democrats Pete Rios and Barbara McGuire are scheduled to participate. The event is a Citizens Clean Elections Commission mandatory forum sponsored by Arizona Capitol Times.

Senate candidates Cheryl Chase (Republican) and Rebecca Rios (Democrat) will not participate because Chase will not be present. Other debates are tentatively scheduled for October.

The public is welcome and there is no admission charge.


McGuire wins Dist. 23 House race
District 23 House candidate Barbara McGuire beat out Krista Pacion in the Democratic primary for a place on the November ballot, according to official results released Monday.

The primary results, which were too close to call two weeks ago on election night, were made official after a canvass of the votes by the Secretary of State’s Office.

McGuire, of Kearny, got 28 percent of the vote, and Pacion, of Casa Grande, received about 26 percent. The two, along with incumbent Rep. Pete Rios, were vying for the two Democratic spots on the Nov. 7 ballot. Rios easily won his nomination with 46 percent.

McGuire and Rios will face off against Republican challengers Frank Pratt and John Fillmore for the district’s two seats in the state House. District 23 takes in some of the fastest-growing areas of Pinal County, including Maricopa, Johnson Ranch and Florence.

McGuire said Pacion called her last week, conceding the race and offered to help on McGuire’s campaign.

“What a trooper,” McGuire said. “This isn’t over for her yet; I expect to see her run again in the future.”

McGuire, whose platform focuses on education, jobs and health care, said she wants to make District 23 “more viable.”

“There are a lot of things that need change in District 23, especially when it comes to education, jobs and health care,” she said. “I would greatly appreciate the voters’ support so we continue to be victorious in the general election.”

Pacion said she ran because she wanted to make a difference. “That doesn’t change for me,” she said. “I’m working on other campaigns.”

Along with those campaigns, Pacion said she is working to get the Casa Grande Democrats Club restarted and is treasurer for the Pinal County Democrats group. As for the future of her political career, Pacion said, “The future is open, we’ll see what happens.”

Late votes don't change lead in District 23
Staff Reports, Florence Reminder September 21, 2006
The addition of a few votes in a close District 23 state House race made no change, with Rep. Pete Rios and Barbara McGuire winning in the Democratic primary's final unofficial count.
Three Maricopa County precincts had been listed as missing until Saturday, when 11 votes were added to McGuire's total, four to that of Krista Pacion of Casa Grande and 19 to Rios'.

Rios now has 6,399, McGuire 3,893 and Pacion 3,617.

Counts are unofficial until canvassed by county boards of supervisors, which is due within the next week.

A spokeswoman in the Maricopa County Elections Office said that normally several days are required to get a complete count because of the need to total such items as military and early ballots.

Rios, of Hayden, and McGuire, of Kearny, will face Republicans Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and John Fillmore of Apache Junction on Nov. 7. The Republicans had no primary opposition.

Dem McGuire survives primary

Carl Holcombe
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 20, 2006 12:00 AM

With all the ballots counted from last week's primary election, Pinal County voters unseated an incumbent Superior Court judge and helped send a lifetime Copper Corridor resident to the legislative general election on Nov. 7.

There were 443 provisional ballots and 11 conditional provisional ballots, where voters had to show identification within three days of the primary, county elections officials said. The counting of those slowed final vote totals.

In a battle between political newcomers in the Democratic primary, Barbara McGuire, a travel business owner from Kearny, defeated Krista Pacion, a Inc. technical writer from Casa Grande, in the District 23 House race.
McGuire pulled 4,096 total votes (28 percent) to Pacion's 3,765 votes (25.7 percent) in a district that includes most of Pinal County, parts of Avondale and Gila County, and some Native American communities.

"The reality of this really hasn't sunk in yet," said McGuire, who will meet with state Democratic leaders in the next week to discuss political strategy and the impact of the rising number of Republicans in traditionally Democratic Pinal County.

McGuire and incumbent Pete Rios of Hayden, who had 6,765 total votes (46.3 percent) will face Republicans Frank Pratt, whom Rio narrowly edged two years ago, and John Fillmore for District 23's two House seats.

McGuire edges out Pacion: Rios leads Senate primary election

By Hazel Lodevico, Independent Newspapers

Barbara McGuire narrowly defeated fellow Democrat Krista Pacion in the District 23 House of Representatives primary race to advance to the general election Nov. 7.

“I’m ecstatic to move on in this leg of the race,” said Ms. McGuire, a first-time House candidate from Copper Basin. “The voters made the right choice.”

Facing McGuire and Rep. Rios are Republicans John Fillmore and Frank Pratt. Ms. McGuire garnered 3,873 votes, 274 more votes than Ms. Pacion. Rep. Rios earned 46 percent of the votes with 6,362 votes. Mr. Fillmore garneted 3,386 votes while Mr. Pratt earned 3,796.

The top two candidates following general elections Nov. 7 will fill the House’s two spots for District 23 which covers most of Pinal County, parts of Apache Junction, parts of western Maricopa County, Superior, Hayden, Oracle, Casa Grande, Maricopa City and several Native American communities.

Rep. Rios, a 57-year-old juvenile and family counselor has been a legislator for 21 years and in 1991 became the first Latino senate president in the state’s history.

Throughout his campaign, Rep. Rios has supported creating infrastructure to accommodate impending growth throughout the district.

Rep. Rios addressed environmental and conservation concerns as development expands in the district.

“We live in the desert and we must plan wisely for water use and consumption,” Rep. Rios said.

Ms. McGuire, 51, who is an avid supporter of health care and education, said she is committed to providing quality teacher compensation and attracting more health care options.

“These are issues that we will need to cover to be efficient, accountable and responsible,” Ms. Mcguire said.

She said there are vacant properties in undisclosed areas where she plans to create health care facilities.

“These are facilities that will be a great benefit to the district which lacks the efficient health care opportunities for our communities,” Ms. McGuire said.

Rep. Rios said he plans to focus more attention on the illegal immigration debate throughout the remainder of his campaign by addressing a House bill he introduced as a senator in 2003 that would place a surcharge on money wired from the United States to Mexico.

“That is money that can be put towards education, hospital and jail costs,” Rep. Rios said. “That bill would have addressed illegal immigrants in our country right now and have them pay their own way.”

Rep. Rios said the bill was rejected by Republican leadership in the House that year.

A Clean Elections debate of District 23 candidates is scheduled 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at Casa Grande High School, 1362 N Casa Grande Ave., Casa Grande. General elections are Nov. 7.

For voting locations, contact the Pinal County Recorder’s Office at 1(520)866-6830.

District 23 House race unchanged as final precinct numbers added
Staff Reports, Casa Grande Dispatch September 18, 2006
The addition of a few votes in a close District 23 state House race made no change, with Rep. Pete Rios and Barbara McGuire winning in the Democratic primary's final unofficial count.
Three Maricopa County precincts had been listed as missing until Saturday, when 11 votes were added to McGuire's total, four to that of Krista Pacion of Casa Grande and 19 to Rios'.

Rios now has 6,399, McGuire 3,893 and Pacion 3,617.

Counts are unofficial until canvassed by county boards of supervisors, which is due within the next week.

A spokeswoman in the Maricopa County Elections Office said that normally several days are required to get a complete count because of the need to total such items as military and early ballots.

Rios, of Hayden, and McGuire, of Kearny, will face Republicans Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and John Fillmore of Apache Junction on Nov. 7. The Republicans had no primary opposition.

©Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc. 2006

McGuire apparent winner amid vote confusion
Staff Reports TRI VALLEY DISPATCH September 15, 2006

Barbara McGuire of Kearny apparently will join Rep. Pete Rios as the two Democrats nominated for District 23 House seats, although the state still listed primary election returns as incomplete at midday today.

The Web site for the Secretary of State's Office said McGuire had 3,882 votes to the 3,613 of Krista Pacion of Casa Grande, although it said that 72 of 75 precincts had been counted. Rios had 6,380

A call to the office was not returned, and campaign spokesmen said they had not been able to get an explanation for the situation except that the missing precinct totals were from Maricopa County, if they were indeed missing.

A spokesman for McGuire's campaign, Tom Elliott, said she had received congratulatory calls from the state Democratic Party headquarters and the office of Gov. Janet Napolitano.

Frank Pratt of Casa Grande, who along with John Fillmore will make up the Republican part of the general election ballot, said he also had been unable to get an explanation.

The district covers much of Pinal County and parts of Maricopa and Gila counties. The Maricopa areas are mostly remote and lightly populated, including an area near Canyon Lake, Indian reservations and rural areas to the south of Avondale.

Staff reports, Tri-Valley Dispatch August 29, 2006

State primary election


In District 23, which covers most of Pinal County, Democratic Sen. Rebecca Rios of Apache Junction and Republican Cheryl Chase of Kearny, now a House member, are unopposed in the primary.

For two House seats, the Democratic candidates are Rep. Pete Rios of Hayden, Krista Pacion of Casa Grande and Barbara McGuire of Kearny. We endorse Rios, a longtime, capable legislator, and McGuire, who has an impressive track record of public service. Pacion is younger but has been active in Democratic politics. She has roots in the Casa Grande Valley and maintains a residence in the Signal Peak area but also lives and works in the Valley. Two Republicans are unopposed: businessmen Frank Pratt of Casa Grande, who made a strong run two years ago, and John Fillmore of Apache Junction.


Single candidate to be weeded out in primary
By KRIS WALKINSHAW, Staff Writer, Tri-Valley Dispatch August 29, 2006

Voters in Legislative District 23 will choose two House members and one senator. There are two Republican candidates and three Democrats for the House, which means that only one Democrat will be eliminated in the primary Sept. 12.

Barbara McGuire

Democrat McGuire, 52, is a lifelong resident of Kearny, where she is the owner and operator of a travel agency. She has been involved in the Salvation Army, the NRA and a sheriff's posse. McGuire was named the Copper Basin Citizen of the Year in 2004.

She says that since she lives and works in the district she hopes to represent, she knows what its citizenry wants.

"Being daily in District 23, I hear them, I know them, I am a part of them. I grew up in the ethnically mixed Copper Basin. People tell me I have common sense," McGuire said. "I am supported by miners, ranchers, farmers and other typical good Americans.

"I want to extend my reach to help more people in a meaningful manner. I am known as a 'roll up the shirtsleeves' person who works hard to get things done. I have a legacy of community service and business sense."

According to McGuire, growth, education, jobs and health care are the top issues now facing voters.

To tackle growth problems, McGuire plans to "educate, legislate and improve management for water and other resource limitation planning."

She wants to bring good-paying jobs to Pinal County.

"I will work with planning commissions and industry-partnered growth think tanks and groups to bring quality jobs to District 23," McGuire said. "I want to make sure that good jobs come with a future of protected pension plans where possible. I want to improve government job pay and security for all government workers."

McGuire and her husband, Jim, who works as a copper miner, have two children and one grandchild.

"Although District 23 has an enviable mix of the right stuff to provide quality job growth in the future, we must not be too relaxed about that and continue to seek programs and employers who will ensure this," she said. "At the same time, I want to make sure that there is a good balance between jobs and the environment and infrastructure to provide a good quality of life for years to come for the residents of District 23."

Letter to the Editor, Tom Elliott
By: August 29, 2006
McGuire's statement was filed
Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

In response to your letter by Arizona City reader Daniel Hassell, as campaign chairman, I can assure you that I personally submitted the statement for the CCEC election guide on behalf of Mrs. McGuire on June 12 for the June 14 deadline, not July 12 as the ad posted.

I have a 22-year business background as a senior controller, accountant and administrator and am well aware of procedures and follow-through. As part of being diligent, I called CCEC to tell them I submitted the statement after receiving a CCEC system confirmation.

A system audit would prove this by an internal computer systems verification of this transaction. CCEC never disputed this.

Guide producers Tieken Moret confirmed receipt of the statement, but the CCEC manager authorized them to publish only McGuire's photo since CCEC could not find the verification form faxed to them. McGuire wasn't the only candidate affected. One Southwest Valley candidate told me, "the CCEC pamphlet went out to over 1.2 million households... it was very disingenuous for CCEC to print next to my photo, No Statement Submitted, when in fact CCEC made the decision to refuse it."

McGuire has been piling on endorsements since others have seen her performance at candidate forums and online debates or in person at the Florence debate. McGuire does meet deadlines and does take responsibility for her actions. She has proven this as a successful business owner and Salvation Army unit director the past 18 years.

McGuire is a true Democrat, mainstream and a moderate person. She cares about family values, jobs, health care, education, growth, etc. She has no intention of switching party affiliation. Barbara is a grandmother, businesswoman, humanitarian, Copper Basin Citizen of the Year 2004 and has been married to the same man for 35 years. Barbara is endorsed by the FOP, the ACPOA, the USWA, the Honorable Sen. Chastain, retired, Apache Junction Vice Mayor R.E. Eck and others. Many of these are people who have known Barbara all her life. Not only is she their choice, she is the right choice and the right voice for our district.

Tom Elliott

Chairman, Committee to Elect

Barbara McGuire


The East Valley Tribune
By Sarah J. Boggan
August 25, 2006

Pinal candidates focus on growth: Education also among concerns in District 23

Senate and House candidates in District 23, which takes in the fastest-growing areas of Pinal County including Maricopa, Johnson Ranch and Florence, have identified its growing pains as the largest issues.

Legislators have to deal with inadequate infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms and health care concerns. The impact of illegal immigrants in Pinal County is also at the forefront of campaign issues.

There are more than 76,000 registered voters in District 23 with about 5,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.

With no contested spots in the primary race for Senate, both candidates will move onto the Nov. 7 general election. District 23 has two seats in the state House of Representatives with five candidates running in the Sept. 12 primary.


--Barbara McGuire, 52, is a small business owner and has lived in the district her entire life. She said her main concerns are with health care and fair wages, but her priority is education. The current state government surplus is evidence that the government is overcharging residents, she said. McGuire supports setting a timeline for the federal government to secure the border and an initiative to help Arizona students prepare for technology and the 21st century. She wants more accessibility to distance learning as well as increased funding for English learners and full-day kindergarten.

Segments from the article
Candidates vie for House seat: 2 Democrats challenge Rep. Rios in primary election
By Hazel Lodevico, Independent Newspapers

A family counselor, technical writer, a businessman, an army veteran and a travel broker may not have much in common, but they are all candidates aiming for a spot in the House of Representatives District 23.

Two Democratic candidates, Krista Pacion, and Barbara McGuire are challenging incumbent Rep. Pete Rios, (D-Hayden), for spot in the general election, while Republicans Frank Pratt and John Fillmore vie for the House's second seat.

The top two Democratic candidates after primary elections Sept. 12 will advance to the Nov. 7 general election to face Mr. Pratt and Mr. Fillmore.

District 23 covers a wide range of cities and communities, including most of Pinal County, parts of Apache Junction, parts of western Maricopa County, Superior, Hayden, Oracle, Casa Grande, Maricopa City and several Native American Communities.

His opponent, Copper Basin native Ms. Mcguire, offered her lifetime of business experience, civic engagement and district residency as top qualifications. The 51-year-old travel manager's profile includes years of small business ownership and numerous awards and positions with the Salvation Army and Chamber of Commerce.

Other campaign topics include school funding and health care.

Ms. Mcguire said she is committed to providing quality teacher compensation and attracting more healthcare options.

"These are issues that we will need to cover to be efficient, accountable and responsible," Ms. Mcguire said.


Dist. 23 Dem challengers steer clear of Rios

Carl Holcombe
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 16, 2006 12:00 AM

There are three District 23 Democratic candidates running in the Sept. 12 primary election: Krista Pacion, Barbara McGuire and Pete Rios. The top two Democratic vote getters in the Sept. 12 primary will advance to the Nov. 7 general election to face Republican candidates Frank Pratt and John Fillmore. District 23 is made up of most of Pinal County, part of Avondale and some Native American communities.

Barbara McGuire

Barbara McGuire is a child of east Pinal County's mountainous copper corridor region.

Born in Sonora-Ray, she grew up in Kearny, and like many in the region felt the hard times of mine strikes and closures. She's been a successful owner-operator of Fly-Away-Travel in Kearny for nearly 20 years.

McGuire is also steering clear of Rios and targeting the seat vacated by Chase.

Tough times are what inspired McGuire about 15 years ago to join the Salvation Army's Copper Basin service extension unit where she is the director.

If elected, McGuire said she wants to tap state budget surpluses for schools, improve health care access by lowering qualifying income levels for state aid and tighten border security. She said she believes the state should become more involved in transportation infrastructure planning since District 23 is growing between urbanized Tucson and Phoenix.

Creating jobs with tax incentives to lure new employers and studying the district's current water use are also top concerns of hers, she said.

"When I say I'm going to do something, I keep the promise," McGuire said. "I'm honest and a humanitarian."

She and her husband have been married for 35 years and have two children, Jamie, who's involved in investment, and Jessie, an Arizona State University student.


Incumbent Rios, foes debate business as usual in Dist. 23

Carl Holcombe
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Their two-hour debate was part of series scheduled statewide during the coming weeks by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and sponsored by the Arizona Capitol Times. The full District 23 debate will be available online (www.ccec.state. by the end of the week.
McGuire, 51, called herself a humanitarian long schooled in the district's issues because she grew up in a mining community, attended Central Arizona College, has worked with the Salvation Army, and is involved with the National Rifle Association, Pinal County Sheriff's Posse and youth camps.

She said the district's most important issues were tapping state budget surpluses for education funding that went straight to classrooms, improving health care by attracting hospitals, and immigration and better border security in dangerous areas.

From the Copper Basin News on Citizen of The Year - 2/22/05

McGuire was nominated for her work with the Salvation Army and other community projects.

About McGuire, the nomination reads, “She has time to help other people in times of need not thinking about herself.”

“Through the year, Barbie is always available to help anyone in need. She organizes and coordinates toy distributions for the Copper Basin area for underprivileged children,” it adds. “She volunteered to provide temporary housing and shelter for an elderly and handicapped lady that was being evicted from corporate property.”

The nomination continues, “There are not many people like her. In this world, we need more ‘Barbies.’”

“Barbie does a lot of little extras in the community a lot of people do not see. She does not have to, but she does them because she likes people and she likes our community.”

“Barbie is a shining example of what a citizen of the year should be,” it adds.

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Barbara McGuire 2016