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Alumni candidates attribute success to years at ASU

ASU alumni Ed Ableser, Andrew Sherwood and Juan Mendez speak about ASU at a meet and greet in Daley Park last Sunday. (Photo by Taylor Peterson)
ASU alumni Ed Ableser, Andrew Sherwood and Juan Mendez speak about ASU at a meet and greet in Daley Park last Sunday. (Photo by Taylor Peterson)

ASU alumni Ed Ableser, Andrew Sherwood and Juan Mendez speak about ASU at a meet-and-greet in Daley Park on Sept. 9. (Photo by Taylor Peterson)

Forget blue — this year’s Democratic legislative candidates bleed maroon and gold.

The three members of the Democratic legislative ticket for the Tempe campus’s home district are ASU alumni.

Andrew Sherwood and Juan Mendez are running for the House of Representatives in the 26th Legislative District, while Ed Ableser is running for the state Senate.

The 26th Legislative District includes parts of Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe, including ASU.

Three-time ASU alumnus Ableser earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and Chinese in 2000 and a master’s degree in counseling in 2004.

Ableser is now a public administration and justice studies Ph.D. candidate.

He was appointed to the Arizona Senate in 2006 and successfully ran for election in the House of Representatives in 2007.

Ableser said his campaign focuses on the importance of public schools.

“Public education is the greatest equalizer,” he said.

Ableser fervently attributes much of his personal success to the education he received and continues to receive from ASU.

As a student, he was involved in Undergraduate Student Government and College Republicans at ASU, an organization that he said ironically led to the development of his now-Democratic values.

“ASU has been so instrumental in my own life as an undergraduate,” Ableser said at a meet-and-greet in Daley Park in Tempe last Sunday. “ASU is my community and I love it.”

House of Representative candidates and ASU alumni Sherwood and Mendez champion similar ideas when it comes to the value of their education at ASU.

Mendez said that ASU provided him with invaluable tools to succeed both as an individual and politician.

“One of the things that I took away from ASU is that education occurs more than just in the classroom,” Mendez said. “There are so many opportunities out there to learn.”

Mendez received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in social and justice studies in 2008.

While on campus, he served as the president of ASU’s Young Democrats during the 2006-07 academic year.

Mendez said one of the most outstanding aspects of ASU’s student body is the sense of community it provides.

“There are so many active people wanting to do something,” Mendez said.

Sherwood graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on American history and sociology.

He said ASU provided him with countless opportunities to further his career as both a leader and learner.

Sherwood said ASU students actively pursue success through organizations, clubs and programs offered at the University.

“As a student at ASU, you learn that you need to go after things yourself in order to succeed,” Sherwood said.

Government professor Richard Herrera said in an email that ASU has prepared students for successful careers in politics for many years.

“(ASU) students are trained more broadly in concepts of citizenship, political participation and the democratic process,” he said.

Whether ASU students are running for office, voting or campaigning, they are encouraged to approach politics and governance critically so that they are better able to participate in the political process, he said.


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