The time to fight back — and fight forward — for reproductive justice is fast approaching. The stakes are high in this year’s state election, with candidates for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and other races on the ballot. The Arizona primary election will be held August 28, 2018, and voters need to be registered by July 30 to cast their ballots. Reproductive health has been under attack, both nationally and statewide, but Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who put our health and our rights first. Get to know them now in our series of “Meet Our Candidates” interviews, and make your voice heard in 2018!
David Bradley is a familiar name to many Arizona voters. From 2003 to 2011, he served four terms as a state representative. In 2012, he won his first bid for state senator for Arizona’s Legislative District 10, an area that covers portions of central and eastern Tucson. In that race, as well as his successful reelection bids in 2014, and 2016, he received the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAA). Sen. Bradley is seeking another term to represent LD 10 and has received PPAA’s endorsement once again.
Bradley spent his early childhood in Phoenix and his high school years in Tucson, after which he spent eight years with the Navy in Spain, Iceland, and other locations. When Bradley returned to Tucson in 1980, he began a career in counseling. For the last 18 years, he has served as chief executive officer of La Paloma Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit child welfare agency. With his experience in administration and behavioral health, combined with his many years in the Arizona Legislature, Bradley brings solid credentials to the task of addressing the many issues facing Arizona. The values and convictions he brings to the table have also helped him earn the endorsements of numerous other organizations, including Las Adelitas Arizona and the Arizona Nurses Association Political Action Committee.
Sen. Bradley kindly took the time to tell us more about his background and his candidacy on July 6, 2018.
“Women have the right to access the full range of reproductive health services without fear and intimidation.”
What have you accomplished in your previous term?
The previous term’s accomplishments center around support for the #RedForEd movement. Being in the minority usually means being on the defensive and working with moderate members of the opposite party to mostly block bad legislation. This year the rallying cry of teachers rolled over the governor and the Legislature. I was proud to stand with them to further their cause.
What will be your first action as an elected official in 2019?
A lot, of course, depends on the makeup of the 2019 Legislature. If the Democrats can at least get to a tie in the Senate, the legislative agenda will change rather dramatically. If that does not happen, then I will work to find common ground with moderate colleagues to effect change in the delivery of health care and child welfare services.
The uncertain future of the Supreme Court highlights the importance of protecting our rights at the state level. How can state legislators stem the tide of attacks on reproductive rights, for example by addressing so-called conscience clauses, targeted regulations, and access to family planning?
If Democrats are on the defensive, then our focus has to be on mustering resources outside the Legislature to put pressure on members to limit the potential harm that can occur if these issues come before the Legislature. It is very likely that they will, which speaks to people getting involved now in the elective process to avoid these outcomes.
What can state legislators do not just to safeguard existing LGBTQ rights in Arizona, but to move them forward?
Again the answer depends on the makeup of the Legislature. If it remains the same, LGBTQ rights will be in jeopardy. Any movement forward will have to come by initiative on the state and local level.
Your Republican opponent, Marilyn Wiles, recently tweeted the spurious and discredited claim that undocumented immigrants have killed 63,000 Americans since September 11. Do you think voters could trust her to make informed decisions about their health and safety, given how slipshod she ran over the facts on this issue?
I have not yet met my opponent in this race, but I am surprised that she has taken to passing on that misinformed and inaccurate data. The implication of your question is that she is likely to continue that way of communicating. I can’t say that I know that to be true, however, the best indicator of future behavior is to evaluate one’s past behavior. That is all I can really respond to at this time.
What is the most significant thing you can do as an elected official to Stand With Planned Parenthood?
To continue as I have for the 14 years I have been in the Legislature: to promote the notion that women have the right to access quality health care — including the full range of reproductive health services — without fear and intimidation.
If you’d like more information about David Bradley’s campaign — including positions on other issues and other organizations that have endorsed him — you can do so by visiting his campaign website or following him on Facebook or Twitter.