Meet Our Candidates: Emily Verdugo for State Representative, LD 8

The Arizona primary election will be held on August 28, 2012. With so many recent legislative challenges to reproductive health care access, both nationally and statewide, the importance of this election year can’t be overstated. To help voters, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed candidates who have shown strong commitment to reproductive health and freedom. Along with those endorsements, we are running a series called “Meet Our Candidates,” spotlighting each Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona-endorsed candidate. To vote in the primaries, you must register to vote by July 30 — and can even register online. Make your voice heard in 2012!

[E]mily Verdugo is a candidate running for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she hopes to represent Legislative District 8 in the Pinal County area. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is not endorsing any other state representative candidates in the LD 8 primary. Though voters have the option of selecting two candidates, doing so may disadvantage Verdugo’s chances in her tight race. We recommend a single-shot* vote for Emily Verdugo in the House race.

“No one knows what is best for you and your family but you!”

What follows is an exclusive interview with Verdugo, who shared her views about access to reproductive health care and comprehensive sex education in Arizona. This interview took place on July 12, 2012.

Tell us a little about your background.

I am a native Arizonan, grew up in small, rural mining communities to Mexican parents. I moved to Pinal County when I was a teenager and have made my home here. I attended Arizona State University, where I earned concurrent degrees in history and political science. I also attended Northern Arizona University, where I completed my graduate studies in public management. I am a single mother of two young sons, and I work for a nonprofit grantee of the Workforce Investment Act program that provides job and skills training to farm workers. I am committed to ensuring that education and health care are at the forefront of my large rural district, and this includes accessible reproductive health and services. Continue reading