Underrated Races in Arizona: Treasurer, Corporate Commission and More

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

If you watch TV or have a mailbox, you’ve probably heard more about the Arizona governor and US Senate races than you’d like.

  • Yes, but: Your ballot will be full of other important races that you probably haven’t heard of, but should know about before you vote.
Company commission

Why is this important: The commission regulates utility companies and approves the rates they can charge you for electricity and water.

  • It also registers companies, regulates railroad and pipeline safety, and governs securities sales.

Running : Four candidates are running for two seats.

  • Sandra Kennedy (D): Kennedy is currently the Corporations Commissioner and a former state legislator. His priorities include switching to 100% renewable energy to keep electricity prices low and increasing solar power.
  • Lauren Kuby (D): Kuby is a Tempe City Council member and a sustainability scientist at ASU. She lobbies for expanded access to solar energy and investments in energy efficiency.
  • Nicholas Myers (R): Myers has a background in software engineering and water distribution and is currently a policy adviser to the company’s commissioner, Justin Olson. He says he campaigns for affordable and reliable public service.
  • Kevin Thompson (R): Thompson is a member of the Mesa City Council and owns a government consulting firm. He seeks to keep utility rates low by keeping Green New Deal and “California-style” policies out of Arizona.
State Treasurer

Why is this important: The Treasurer oversees state finances and, together with the Board of Investment, determines how state and other government revenues are invested.

Running :

  • Kimberley Yee (R): Yee is seeking re-election as treasurer. She is a former state legislator who worked in the Treasurer’s Office under former Treasurer Dean Martin. She advocated for high school financial literacy and safe investing strategies
  • Martin Quezada (D): Quezada is a lawyer who has served in the legislature since 2012. He is running to protect state investments and remove politics from investment decisions.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Why is this important: The superintendent oversees Arizona’s public education system by enforcing curriculum standards, distributing funds, issuing teaching certificates, and auditing school systems.

Running :

  • Kathy Hoffman (D): Hoffman is the incumbent and former teacher and speech pathologist. His priorities include reducing class sizes and increasing teacher pay.

  • Tom Horn (R): Horne previously served as superintendent and attorney general of Arizona. He campaigns to increase patriotism in schools and fight against “critical race theory”.
Maricopa County Community College Board

Why is this important: The Board of Trustees sets policies for Maricopa’s 10 community colleges.

Running : Two candidates are vying for a seat on the nonpartisan council.

  • Kellie Butler: Butler is a state legislator and advocates for increased affordability and accessibility in community colleges.
  • Randy Kaufman: Kaufman is a former employee of the Arizona Department of Corrections and campaigns to protect taxpayers’ money and lower tuition fees.
Central Arizona Water Conservation District

Why is this important: The Central Arizona Water Conservation District oversees the 336-mile-long canal that brings water from the Colorado River to central and southern Arizona.

Running : The office is made up of 15 people. Ten Maricopa County residents are running for five open seats.

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