Meet Our Candidates: Randall Friese for State Representative, LD 9

The Arizona primary election will be held on August 26, 2014, and early voting began on July 31. 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!

Dr. Randall Friese is running to represent central and northwestern Tucson in the House of Representatives. On July 23, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Friese at Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea to discuss his campaign. We talked about his background in medicine, his position on reproductive rights, and the stark contrast between him and his Republican opponent, Ethan Orr.

I found Dr. Friese to be personable and passionate about Arizona. He is a man who has a deep commitment to this community, and will work hard to do what is best, regardless of where that takes him. He and fellow Democrat Victoria Steele have both earned our endorsement, and we hope that voters will send them to the Capitol in November to represent Legislative District 9!


“Sex education is necessary for a stable career, which benefits everybody.”


Tell us a little about your background.

Currently I am a trauma surgeon. After I finished my service with the United States Navy, I was faculty in Texas. I had the opportunity to go to a few places, but my wife and I chose Tucson, and this is our home now.

After the [2011 Tucson] shooting, I started paying attention to what was going on at the Arizona State Capitol. I wanted to participate. I enrolled in two programs with Leading for Change Arizona, and with the support of some great people I made the decision to enter politics. Continue reading

Meet Our Candidates: Victoria Steele for State Representative, LD 9

The Arizona primary election will be held on August 26, 2014. 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.” In order to vote in the primaries, you must register to vote by July 28 — and can even register online. Make your voice heard in 2014!

Victoria Steele has represented Tucson’s Legislative District 9 in the Arizona House of Representatives since 2012, and is now running for reelection. To get an idea of why we’re so excited to support her, check out her recent op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, in which she discusses how last month’s Supreme Court decisions might embolden foes of reproductive justice here in Arizona. We’re also proud to introduce you to her here!

We had a wonderful conversation on July 10 at Raging Sage in Tucson, where Ms. Steele talked to us about her accomplishments and goals; her commitment to abortion access and comprehensive sexuality education; and her Republican opponent, Ethan Orr, whose voting record on reproductive health is out of step with the views held by the majority of his constituency. While you can hope that Ethan Orr will vote in favor of women’s health, you can know that Victoria Steele and her fellow Democratic candidate Dr. Randall Friese will do so!

Read on to get to know Ms. Steele even better!


“It’ll be even harder to get our rights back if we’ve lost them all, so let’s not let that happen.”


Interviewer: I’m glad we get to meet in person this time! How has your commitment to serving Arizona grown over the past two years? On the policy level, what has happened during that time to give you hope?

Representative Steele: I was really excited to see that we were able to finally defeat SB 1062 [a bill that would have allowed discrimination on religious grounds, for example against LGBTQ people]. That gives me a lot of hope. The only reason that happened is because the community got mad. The governor’s veto came way too late as far as I’m concerned.

That was a very hopeful thing, because it showed what I really suspected was true, that a majority of the people do not feel that we have the right to discriminate. There is a very vocal minority that feels otherwise. To me, that is hopeful.

A poll of Arizona Republicans showed they were in favor of vetoing SB 1062. It just shows how quickly the tide is turning, which is pretty exciting to me.

It is. Continue reading

Meet Our Candidates: Victoria Steele for State Representative, LD 9

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!

Victoria Steele is a candidate running for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she hopes to represent Tucson’s Legislative District 9. What follows is an exclusive interview with Steele, who shared her views about access to reproductive health care and comprehensive sex education in Arizona. This interview took place on July 3, 2012. Please read further to find out why Steele is running for office and what she hopes for Arizona’s future.


“If you don’t vote, then you are giving your power away.”


Tell us a little about your background.

Ever since I decided to run for office people have been asking me if I’m “crazy.” So, let’s get that out of the way first. No, I’m not crazy — I’m a licensed professional counselor — I’m certifiably sane. I simply refuse to watch while a group of extremists threatens to destroy our state.

I have a master’s degree in counseling, I’m a small business owner with a private counseling practice, and I teach counseling and psychology at two colleges. I also worked as a television and radio newscaster for 20 years.  Continue reading

Meet Our Candidates: Mohur Sidhwa for State Representative, LD 9

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 launching 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!

This installment of the “Meet Our Candidates” series spotlights Mohur Sidhwa, a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 9. A Tucson resident for 31 years, Sidhwa first came to Arizona to pursue a graduate degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona. Since then, she has worked for numerous campaigns, both to elect candidates and to defeat propositions she considered “destructive.” The latter includes the campaigns against Proposition 107 in 2006 and Proposition 102 in 2008, which were introduced to curtail the rights of same-sex couples. Sidhwa has served as a chair for her legislative district and was recognized in 2007 as an outstanding district chair.


“Those untrained in the sciences or…without a knowledge of the medical field should not be making medical decisions, much less passing laws on these issues.”


As a candidate for state representative, Sidhwa believes freedom of personal choices, such as family planning and women’s health care, is imperative for Arizona. What follows is an exclusive interview with Sidhwa, who shared her views about reproductive health care access and freedoms with us on July 3, 2012.

What women’s health care issues do you think should be addressed in the legislature?

The legislature should reverse the damage on women’s health concerns in the previous sessions. Then they need to stay out of women’s personal lives and medical options and their reproductive strategies. These are a matter of health, and literally their lives are at stake. Continue reading