Meet Our Candidates: Fred DuVal for Governor of Arizona

The Arizona general election will be held on November 4, 2014, and early ballots need to go out in today’s mail! Reproductive health care access has been under attack, both nationally and statewide, but Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who have shown strong commitment to reproductive justice. To acquaint you with our endorsed candidates, we are running a series called “Meet Our Candidates.” Make your voice heard in 2014!

Fred DuVal scaled[I]n recent years, many Arizonans have been rightly concerned by members of the Legislature passing bills that are overtly partisan, regressive, and extreme. As part of the executive branch of the government, one of the governor’s roles and responsibilities is to act as a check-and-balance on the Legislature: The governor can veto bills that are harmful. A governor who is consistently on the side of sexual and reproductive health care access could, at the very least, make it much more difficult for members of the Legislature to continue attacking women, the LGBTQ community, and organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Fred DuVal will be that governor. In addition to making education a fundamental platform in his campaign, Mr. DuVal has consistently placed himself in support of equal rights and meaningful health care access.

All of this is of vital importance, but none of it gets at the real reason I’m voting for Fred DuVal on November 4. During the course of this election, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with or meet a number of candidates, including the opportunity to meet Mr. DuVal twice through some campaign volunteer events organized by the Arizona Education Association. What struck me most about him was his willingness to listen — not just stop talking, but really step back and listen — to questions voters were asking or experiences they were sharing.

Put all of that together, and I know he’s the kind of person I want representing me.

Fred DuVal was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions earlier this month.

“Extremism has dominated Arizona’s political landscape for far too long.”

Tell us a little about your background.

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona. After graduating from Occidental College, I returned to Arizona, where I earned my law degree from Arizona State University. I went on to serve in Bruce Babbit’s office, helping craft our Medicaid system and bringing the highest levels of education funding in state history. I have dedicated my life to making my state a better place to live and raise a family. I intend to continue that as Arizona’s next governor. My wife Jennifer and I live in Phoenix with our 4-year-old son. Our older son, Will, attends college and is an ROTC cadet.

Outgoing Gov. Jan Brewer had a major accomplishment when she pushed through Medicaid expansion, despite opposition from within her own party. What will you do to build upon that success and ensure that every Arizonan has access to quality health care?

I applaud Gov. Brewer’s decision to continue to fund Medicaid. Arizona’s AHCCCS system has been praised as one of the best in the country, and as governor I would keep it that way. I fully intend on keeping Medicaid expansion; ensuring all Arizonans have access to high-quality, affordable health care is one of the main goals of my administration.

Your opponent, Doug Ducey, has indicated on his Center for Arizona Policy questionnaire that he would support legislation prohibiting abortion. Especially in light of the severe abortion limitations that CAP’s allies in the Legislature were able to get signed into law after Gov. Brewer took office, explain why you feel a moderating influence in the governor’s seat is so crucial.

Extremism has dominated Arizona’s political landscape for far too long. We have become a state whose politics aren’t based on who has the best policies, but on who has the loudest voice. And that voice has been apparent through all of the radical legislation we’ve seen passed over the last four years. These bills do not represent the views of the typical Arizonan. As governor, I will bring our state government in line with its citizens.

Earlier this year, the state legislature passed HB 2284, which permits the health department to inspect abortion clinics without a warrant. What do you think about this new law, and what kind of beneficial legislation would you like to sign into law?

I fully support equal access to all medical services for women and I fully support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. I opposed HB 2284 because it seeks to intimidate women’s health care facilities.

Doug Ducey is opposed to requiring comprehensive sex education in Arizona’s public schools. Do you think his views are representative of those of Arizona families? Are they in the best interests of students?

I don’t think so. Arizona’s educational system needs improvements and adequate funding. Sex education is a part of all the top-ranked education programs in the country, and I want to make ours is one of the best in the country

Doug Ducey is opposed to changing Arizona’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage. Given that a poll conducted a year ago found that only 21 percent of Arizonans are opposed to legal recognition for same-sex couples, and given that support for marriage equality is growing steadily as time marches on, do you think Ducey’s position will hamper efforts to “keep the state off Comedy Central and out of late-night talk-show monologues”? Where do you stand on marriage equality?

[Editor’s note: This question was written before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in Arizona on October 17. More than 300 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Arizona since then, but there is still work to be done to secure equal rights for the LGBTQ community.]

I unequivocally support marriage equality and will do everything within my power to make Arizona an inclusive state for all of its citizens. Under my administration, Arizona will be accepting and supportive of all people.

Arizona Republic columnist Linda Valdez predicts that a Doug Ducey victory would allow Cathi Herrod and the Center for Arizona Policy to continue exerting disproportionate influence on our state’s policies. What do you think of the sway that CAP has held over the state legislature for so long?

CAP has wielded far too much power at the State Capitol, and its influence has set Arizona back. Hurtful legislation like SB 1062 has damaged our economy and sent a message to the rest of the country that does not reflect who we are.

Why was it important for you to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona?

Being endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is very important to me. The rights of women to make their health care decisions is something that we sorely need to protect. It is a part of moving Arizona forward. This endorsement helps to confirm my support of women’s rights, and to show that my administration is fully committed to quality health care for all Arizonans.

To learn more about Fred DuVal’s campaign, you can visit his website, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or watch his videos on YouTube. He’s even on Instagram! You can also contact us if you’d like to volunteer for any of our endorsed candidates!