Legislative District 16 candidates — Polytechnic campus

A run down of the District 16 candidates appearing on the ballots of Polytechnic campus students

District 16 includes Mesa, Apache Junction and other east Valley suburbs, including the ASU Polytechnic campus.

Here are the candidates running to represent Legislative District 16 on the general election ballot.

District 16 State Senate

Rep. Kelly Townsend is the only candidate listed on the 2020 general election ballot for the District 16 Senate race. If elected, she will replace Sen. David Farnsworth, who has retired.

There are three write-in candidates campaigning against Townsend: Democrat Richard Grayson and Independent candidates Nick Fierro and John Ross Hart.

Kelly Townsend — Republican


Rep. Kelly Townsend, currently representing District 16, is running for reelection.

Townsend currently represents District 16 in the Arizona House of Representatives and is running for the district’s Senate seat in 2020.

Townsend is the former House majority whip and served as Chair of the Elections Committee. She is an ASU graduate, with a bachelor's of science in human communication and a master’s degree in infant and family practice. 

Education: Townsend's campaign website lists improving education as one of her priorities. According to her website, Townsend believes in ideas such as school choice, competitive teacher pay and allowing states to determine how to fund education. In regards to education, her website lists "historical revisionism," "democratic socialism" and the federal government's influence in education funding as things she opposes. 

Health care: Townsend has questioned the safety of vaccinations and has spoken out against policies requiring people to be vaccinated, calling such policies "communist."  

Immigration and border control: Townsend's campaign website includes "a secure border" as one of her priorities. 

Economy: Townsend's campaign lists protecting small businesses as well as promoting job growth and a "better economy." 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Townsend has voiced her support for removing the restrictions placed on businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Civil rights and civil liberties: Townsend's campaign lists protecting "the unborn" as a priority, and she has in the past spoken against abortion.

Townsend has also spoken out about her support of the Second Amendment, and received an "A+" rating and an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. 

District 16 House of Representatives

Three candidates — one Democrat and two Republicans — are running in the race to represent the Arizona House of Representatives in District 16.

Helen Hunter — Democrat

Helen Hunter is the only Democrat running to represent District 16 for the Arizona House of Representatives. Hunter currently serves on the Mesa Police Department's Use of Force Committee. 

Education: Hunter's campaign website includes education as a priority. She supports better compensation for teachers and classroom support, including the use of technology in the classroom. 

Hunter supports Proposition 208, a measure to raise income taxes on top earners to help fund state education. 

Hunter also supports reducing debts associated with higher education to make it more accessible. 

Health care: Hunter's campaign website states reducing the spread of COVID-19 "will be a number one priority."

Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunter supports affordable health care for Arizonans. 

Immigration and border control: Hunter's campaign does not provide an explicit policy stance regarding immigration, but it does state she believes in creating a "just immigration system."

Economy: Hunter said she will propose legislation that supplements the labor force, provide increased and extended unemployment benefits and continue support for small businesses, according to her campaign website.

Civil rights and civil liberties: According to Hunter's campaign website, she has over 30 years of experience working with underserved communities. 

If elected, Hunter will address the lack of affordable housing throughout the state. Her campaign website also says she wants to reform the justice system to be more equitable, and she supports women's reproductive rights. 

John Fillmore — Republican


Arizona State Rep. John Fillmore poses for a government portrait.

Rep. John Fillmore is a current member of the Arizona House of Representatives, following his election in 2018. Prior to that, he ran for the same seat unsuccessfully in 2014 and 2016. Outside of the state legislature, Fillmore is a business owner and a real estate broker.

Education: Fillmore's campaign website says Arizona's education system is "failing" children, believing the "social bull crap" taught in schools is an "American embarrassment." 

Fillmore also stated he wants to support Arizona teachers by getting rid of Common Core and reducing federal intervention in state education. He adds the cost of higher education is too high, and the state should work to reduce student debt. 

Immigration and border control: Fillmore considers securing the border with Mexico a top priority regarding immigration. 

His campaign website states the government is encouraging "those who have invaded our country" and Americans are being treated as "the problem," forced to "change and accept the ... transgressions."

Economy: Fillmore's campaign website states government should not regulate the market. This includes setting wages for workers, which Fillmore considers part of the government's "preposterous laws, taxes and overbearing regulations."

Fillmore is opposed to government welfare programs. On his campaign website, he states his belief that welfare "steals freedom, pride and reward," and although Americans should help one another, "too much giving leads to dependency."

Civil rights and civil liberties: According to Fillmore’s campaign website, Fillmore is pro-life. 

In regards to the LGBTQ+ community, Fillmore's website states he respects the privacy of individuals, but opposes "those that want me to glorify their position and move their agenda outside into the community." 

In 2020, Fillmore introduced House Bill 2082, which would prohibit public schools from requiring faculty to refer to a student by any other pronouns than those that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate. 

Fillmore's campaign does not provide an explicit stance on health care. 

Jacqueline Parker — Republican

A life-long Republican, Jacqueline Parker holds a bachelor's degree in classical literature and philosophy from Brigham Young University, and a law degree from the University of San Francisco. 

Education: Parker's campaign website says she supports school choice, and the State Legislature should use tax-payer dollars to fund the school of a parent's choosing. 

Parker also believes the Legislature should eliminate waste and redirect the funding to additional educational resources and teacher salaries. 

Health care: Parker's campaign website states if she is elected, she will work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Immigration and border control: According to Parker's campaign, Parker wants to support border patrol agents, eliminate illegal immigration and secure Arizona's border with Mexico. 

Economy: Parker considers limiting government's role in the economy a priority. According to her campaign website, this includes lowering taxes and providing sound public policy to support small businesses. 

Parker signed the "taxpayer protection pledge," which is a pledge to oppose "any and all tax increases." 

Civil rights and civil liberties: According to Parker’s campaign website, she is a lifetime member of the NRA and an advocate for the Second Amendment. 

Parker is also pro-life, and she prioritizes defending religious freedom.


Reach the reporter at kpirehpo@asu.edu and follow @kevinpirehpour on Twitter. 

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