Meet Our Candidates: Martín Quezada for State Senator, LD 29

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!

The 29th legislative district’s current state senator, Steve Gallardo, is not seeking reelection, and now Martín Quezada and Lydia Hernández are vying for the open seat in the Democratic primary election. Martín Quezada has deep roots in Legislative District 29, a West Valley district that includes Glendale and West Phoenix. He has used his background in law and passion for public service to represent the interests of his constituents, standing strong against bad bills that have been introduced over the past several years.

In so doing, he’s stood up for reproductive-health patients’ right to privacy, fought for the dignity of the LGBTQ community, protected the right to receive an abortion after 20 weeks, and fought to keep state funding for preventive health-care services provided through Planned Parenthood Arizona.

Mr. Quezada and Ms. Hernández have served alongside one another as seatmates representing LD 29 in the House; however, when it comes to reproductive rights, they could not be more different. This race could very well be decided in the primary election, highlighting why it’s so very important to vote in every election — including the primaries!

Mr. Quezada generously took the time to answer our questions on July 19, 2014.


“My opponent differs from me in several areas, but women’s rights and women’s health choices is one of the clearest distinctions.”


It’s great to talk to you again! 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, and what has happened to strengthen your convictions?

My commitment to serving Arizona has grown tremendously over the past two years since I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how to be an effective legislator. During my first full term, as a “rookie,” I’ve used this time to learn as much as possible and improve my skills as a legislator. I’ve been hugely successful in that regard and my performance reflects that. Through that learning process, my appreciation and love for public service has only deepened.

On the policy level, we saw Democrats make significant achievements with the help of a few moderate Republicans to pass significant legislation that would benefit the entire state. Those achievements, though politically difficult, gave me hope that more successes and better policy could be enacted in the future.

Yet, my convictions were strengthened because of some of the extreme and hyper-partisan bills pushed by the Republican Party. Some bills this past year that were extremely homophobic or blatantly discriminatory in nature reminded me that despite our advancements, that type of hatred is still alive and well, and we need to be vigilant in our efforts to defeat those efforts. Continue reading

Meet Our Candidates: Martín Quezada for State Representative, LD 29

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!

[T]oday we will focus on Martín Quezada, a lifelong Arizonan who earlier this year was appointed to complete the remainder of Rep. Richard Miranda‘s term in the Arizona State House of Representatives. On his Facebook page, Quezada characterized his two months in the House as “frustrating, saddening, infuriating, yet exciting, energizing, and exhausting” — and “the best two months of my life.” During this time, Quezada stood against the flurry of anti-family-planning bills that helped characterize the 2011-2012 legislative session.


“Patients should be allowed to make decisions about their health care with the advice of their doctor, not the legislature.”


Prior to his tenure in the House, Quezada built an impressive résumé working for the Democrat Caucus and the state legislature. After gaining this early political experience, he attended the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he was active in student government. After receiving his law degree in 2008, he completed a judicial clerkship, and has been practicing law and honing his skills as a community activist. In 2010, he was elected to the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board. What follows is an exclusive interview conducted on July 8, 2012.

Tell us a little about your background.

I was was born in LD 29, raised here, educated here, and have worked here. It is truly my home and my community. I worked for five years as legislative staff before leaving to attend law school. After graduating from law school I clerked on the Arizona Court of Appeals before starting my own law practice, where I still practice in criminal defense, domestic relations, and election law. I ran unsuccessfully for the House (in LD 13) in 2010. That same year I was elected to the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board. I was appointed to the Arizona House of Representatives in March 2012 in LD 13 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Rep. Richard Miranda. I have served there since. I am truly proud of my public service and hope to get elected in 2012 to serve a full term. Continue reading