The Secular Coalition for Arizona is dismayed about the results of Tuesday night's election. We're especially concerned about preserving secular public education, equal rights for all, safe and affordable access to women's reproductive health services, and religious freedom for all.
While these are concerns nationally, we are especially concerned regarding the new leadership at the Arizona State Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.
Going into the election, there was hope that the Arizona Senate would turn into a 15-15 split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, offering some hope for stopping bad bills and negotiating a bipartisan budget. Unfortunately, this has not happened. The gains made by Democrats will not outweigh the losses, and are not enough to produce an even split, but the Arizona State Senate will still be our best avenue to stop bad bills.
Senator Steve Yarbrough, owner of the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, will lead the Senate as the new Senate President. Senator Kimberly Yee, regularly known for sponsoring and pushing anti-choice and junk science legislation, will serve as Senate Majority Leader. Senator Gail Griffin, who scored a low 14% on our Secular Scorecard, will serve as Majority Whip.
Senate Democrats look brighter for Secular Government, as several of our "Secular Stars" were chosen for leadership positions. Senate Democrats chose Secular Star Senator Katie Hobbs as Minority Leader, Senator Steve Farley as Assistant Minority Leader, and Secular Star Senator Martin Quezada and Senator Lupe Contreras as Minority Whips.
In the House of Representatives, Representative JD Mesnard was chosen for the new Speaker of the House. He is accompanied by Representative John Allen as Majority Leader and Representative Kelly Townsend as Majority Whip.
Democrats chose Representative Rebecca Rios as Minority Leader, Secular Star Representative Randall Friese as Assistant Minority Leader, and Representative Charlene Fernandez as Minority Whip.
Secular AZ will fight earnestly with new leadership in both changes to preserve secular public policy and freedom for all Arizonans. We encourage you to amplify your voice in our new government by becoming a member today!