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Arizona state Senate control could hinge on results of LD 28 election

Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (Website Photo). Christine Porter Marsh. (Website Photo)

PHOENIX – A key Arizona state Senate race could play a deciding factor in which party gains control of the Senate following November’s election.

The Arizona Legislative District 28 race is a rerun of the 2018 election, where incumbent Republican Sen. Kate Brophy McGee narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Christine Porter Marsh by 267 votes.

The district encompasses North Central Phoenix, Biltmore, Arcadia and Paradise Valley.

The Arizona state Senate is currently composed of 17 Republicans and 13 Democrats, and the outcome of the LD 28 election could have a large role in shifting the majority. Currently, if the majority of the party in power chooses to, they can kill a bill before it has been heard.

Marsh said she’s running because the education and health care systems in the state needs to do that and says that can only be accomplished with new leadership.

“My number one priority is passing a budget that actually respects the values and the priorities of average everyday Arizonans that will fund education, health care and infrastructure, which the last budgets have not done that,” Marsh said on The Think Tank with Dr. Mike O’Neil.

McGee, who is serving her second term in the state Senate, said she is running to continue giving Arizonans a voice. She previously served three terms in the Arizona House of Representatives.

“It’s to continue the work that I have done on many fronts of protecting Arizonans, building up our healthcare system, building up our education system and ensuring the voices of vulnerable Arizonans are heard,” McGee said.

When it comes to ballot initiatives, Marsh, who was the 2016 Teacher of the Year, said she supports Prop 208.

Prop 208, or the Invest in Ed initiative, aims to place a 3.5% tax surcharge on those with an annual incoming exceeding $250,000 for a single filing or $500,000 for a joint filing. The taxes would go to benefit education, which Marsh says she supports it.

“It’s heartbreaking to me that our state’s education funding crisis came to this, and Prop 208 is a direct result of legislators abdicating on their responsibilities to fund our schools,” Marsh said. “We should not have to raise taxes to fund our schools. We do not have to raise taxes to fund our schools.”

McGee, who is opposed to Prop 208, said it’s the “wrong plan at the wrong time.” She added that the proposition unfairly targets small businesses, who could wind up paying nearly double what they currently pay.

“Our small businesses are coming out of COVID,” McGee said. “They are struggling, they have hung on by sheer grit and determination, and I think this tax being imposed at this time as we recover from COVID is absolutely the wrong plan.”

McGee also noted that the Senate has worked to put $1.4 billion back into the education system.

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