More Than 50 Arizona Candidates Speak To Voters At SRP Event

Published: Sunday, October 21, 2018 - 1:15pm
Updated: Sunday, October 21, 2018 - 1:20pm
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Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
Candidates Dr. Steve Ferrara and Rodney Glassman talk before an event hosted by SRP.

Salt River Project employees and their families filled the stands at Sloan Park on Saturday, eating hot dogs and drinking soda. But, they weren’t there to see a ball game.

More than 50 candidates for statewide offices were given the chance to speak to voters at the SRP Political Involvement Committee’s 2018 Political Picnic.

The event has been hosted during election season for more than 30 years. Attendees heard from candidates for everything from U.S. Senate to Arizona Corporation Commission. Brian Koch is the director of resource planning and development at SRP.

“We’re inviting candidates for local, state and federal offices to come talk to SRP employees who value the political process and who want to understand what’s taking shape in our communities,” Koch said.

Paul Lucas attended the event with his family. His wife has been working for SRP for seven years.

“We come every year because it’s a chance to meet the candidates face to face and see what they’re about,” Lucas said. “I still haven’t made up my mind. I have a lot of deciding still to do I guess.”

Brandi Samaniego works in the regulatory policy department of SRP. She attended the event with her mom.

“It’s a great way to get a sense of all the candidates and the different positions that they’re running for and get everything in one setting before I actually start filling out my early ballot,” Samaniego said. “[The event] is unique and I’m very appreciative of a company that will put this together.”

Unlike Lucas, Samaniego said she already had a pretty good idea who she was going to vote for.

“But for those offices that I’m not entirely sure of everything regarding their campaign and what they’re putting out, I wanted to come and see,” Samaniego said. “Attorney general, stuff like that, secretary of state, I wanted to see a little more of that.”

Carmen Gonzales was invited by her daughter, who works for SRP. Gonzales said she is a Republican, but came out to see Kyrsten Sinema. Sinema is a Democrat, running for the U.S. Senate.

“The reason I liked her was because she conducted herself like somebody that’s going to have empathy for the people in our country,” Gonzales said. “Not everybody is extremely on the two percent, wealthy line. We need empathy for everybody.”

While Gonzales came to see Sinema, a large cheer also came from the crowd when her opponent, Republican Martha McSally, took the stage. Former Phoenix Mayor, Democrat Greg Stanton, and his opponent, Republican Dr. Steve Ferrara, also spoke at the event. They are running for Congress.

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