Arizona Senate, District 2

Arizona's 30 state senators each represent a unique district of voters. Republicans have held the majority in recent years, although most recently by only a handful of votes.The job pays $24,000 a year, plus mileage and per-diem during session.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Andrea Dalessandro
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Shelley Kais
    (Rep)

Social Media

Biographical Information

Why are you the best person for the job?

Do you support the teacher pay-raise plan passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey? Why or why not?

State funding for Arizona schools remains below pre-recession levels. How should the state address funding for its schools in next year’s budget? How would you pay for any increases?

Does Arizona do enough to require accountability and transparency for charter schools?

Would you support stricter gun laws, including raising the minimum age to 21 for all gun purchases, banning bump stocks and universal background checks on gun sales between private parties?

What should Arizona do to prevent mass shootings in schools?

As a legislator, would you be inclined to support additional tax cuts for individuals or businesses? If so, which taxes would you like to see reduced?

Should recreational marijuana use be legalized in Arizona? Why or why not?

Has Arizona taken the right approach by increasing restrictions on abortion providers and clinics? Why or why not?

What should Arizona be doing to prepare for a potential water-shortage declaration on the Colorado River?

Would you support a statewide law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public accommodations, such as restaurants and other businesses? Why or why not?

Would you support a statewide law to allow business owners and others to deny services to customers based on religious beliefs? Why or why not?

In terms of the economy, how can the Legislature best encourage sustainable growth that benefits people of all income levels?

Do you support further expanding the Empowerment Scholarship Account program, which provides state funding for private-school education?

What is your position on Proposition 305, the ballot measure that would repeal the Legislature’s 2017 expansion of the voucher program?

What role should Arizona play in helping the federal government secure the border with Mexico?

Has the Legislature done enough to address concerns about sexual harassment among its membership?

Is there an issue not mentioned about that you feel hasn’t received enough attention at the Capitol? How would you address it?

What is the greatest threat to Arizona’s future, and how would you address it?

Last spring, lawmakers – at the direction of the governor’s office – opted to not authorize the state’s expenditure of $56 million in federal aid for child-care costs for the working poor. Should the state accept the $56 million? Why or why not?

Family members who take in their relative’s children when the kids are removed from their parents’ home get a sliver of the money paid to foster parents, about $45 a month, compared to $650. What responsibility, if any, does the state have to these family members? Should they be paid the same as foster parents?

Age 71
Family Mother of a RN nurse midwife Grandmother of five
Twitter @Dalessandro4AZ
Campaign Phone (520) 248-2858
My experience as a career educator with 25+ years of experience in public elementary, high school, community college & university & as a CPA/tax accountant brings a wealth of knowledge in two important areas. My promise to be an advocate for clean air & for an adequate & safe water supply as well as renewable energy jobs has been met. As one of only two legislators receiving an A+ on the Sierra Club Report Card, I am the State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators & as the Ranking Member of Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee I frequently testify when the Corporation Commission takes public comments in Tucson supporting rooftop solar & the good jobs that have been created. It was an honor to be named 2018 Legislator of the Year by the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers for my support of the accessible & affordable health care they provide. I sponsored Senior Scam prevention events in Tucson, Green Valley, Sahuarita, Tubac & Nogales.
I approve of the concept of the 20/20 long overdue pay raise for teachers but I don't support nor have confidence in the way it was presented. It actually increases tax to taxpayers in TUSD, Tucson Unified School District, and other school districts because of a reclassification of desegregation funds by about $18 million dollars. This tax increase was passed without the required 2/3s vote for any tax increase and it not only negatively impacts those residing in TUSD but also people who live outside TUSD but have businesses or rental property in TUSD. The Governor's estimates used rosy revenue and future years' budgets have no wiggle room for contingencies nor consider the funds needed for the Developmentally Disabled providers. The court case that is addressing health care in prisons will add increased challenges to a budget without the necessary revenue to meet the promise that Governor Ducey used as a campaign ploy to get reelected. Vote for Invest in Ed Proposition in Nov.
Since Governor Ducey's plan will fall short in future years in funding his 20/20 promise, I will support the Invest in Act citizens' initiative. It is expected to increase targeted revenue by $600-700 million with 60% going to public school teacher salaries and the remaining 40% going to support staff raises, full day kindergarten and other operating expenses. The individual tax payers impacted on incomes over $250,000 will see and increase in Arizona but they will see a large cut in federal income taxes. High earning CEOs will benefit in the long run by having a better trained work force and better funded schools to send their children and those of their employees. The educators' salary increases will be generating additional Arizona income and sales tax. With all of this being considered, it still might nor be enough because many schools have deferred maintenance, and they need new text books and technology but it is a fair start.
Clearly, Arizona has the weakest requirements for accountability and transparency for charter schools. For several years, I have sponsored a Bill to require charter schools have Performance Audits, just like District schools. The Republican controlled Legislature and their Committee chairs refuse to hear my Bill and other similar ones. Taxpayers need to look at the work from the bipartisan "Arizona's Centrist Think Tank" Grand Canyon Institute for their sound research. Showhttp://grandcanyoninstitute.org/legislature-has-obligation-to-taxpayers-and-children-to-improve-financial-accountability-and-oversight-of-charters/ Two charter schools closed abruptly this year leaving their students and staff I don't even have to have my retired CPA/tax accountant hat on to see that there are serious sustainability issues http://grandcanyoninstitute.org/red-flags-net-losses-warning-signs-in-the-financial-data-of-arizonas-public-charter-schools-and-recommendations-for-ensuring-sustainability/
I support universal background checks and banning bump stocks as well as the Democratic amendments that were offered during the Committee of the Whole for the school safety plan. The March for Our Lives young people were in the Senate gallery and they saw the Republican controlled Senate vote them down one by one. The supporters of RED4ED and the March for our Lives attendees had a bird's eye view and a civics lesson that day. They know who has their backs and who doesn't.
As a retired educator and a member of NEA-Retired, I support their three pronged plan for school safety. First, let's increase the number of school counselors, social workers and school psychologists. Access to mental health services, both inside and outside of schools, must be part of health care coverage. Second, we need our schools to be safe and secure. Physical security must be addressed with structural and technological improvements. A healthy environment must be fostered with cultural competence, anti-bullying campaigns such as "Bully Free: It Starts with Me", character education and peer mediation programs. Last but not least, meaningful gun prevention measures must be enacted. This includes universal background checks and limiting purchase of assault weapons and high capacity magazines to military and law enforcement.
No. However, I would support the reversal of the $18 million property tax increase foisted upon the residents and business owners in Tucson Unified School District and other school districts with desegregation orders. It did not receive the required two thirds vote that is needed for any tax increase. There is a possibility that this will evolve into a court case because of this irregularity.
If recreational marijuana was on the ballot, I would vote for it if the details were carefully laid out. We can learn from the mistakes of other states.. Arizona did a good job implementing Medical Marijuana. Recreational marijuana tax would be a source of much needed revenue.
No. If legislators were sincere in reducing the number of abortions they would be increasing funding to Planned Parenthood instead of making it more difficult for state employees to make charitable contributions, taking away charitable tax credit status and passing Bills that are clearly unconstitutional. The scenario is frequently repeated: unconstitutional law, get sued, lose in court and waste millions of dollars of valuable taxpayer dollars.
As the Ranking Member of the Senate Natural Resources Energy and Water Committee I would have like more discussion Long term drought. We should have given serious attention to a Drought Contingency Plan. It must be addressed next session as a priority.
Yes because the Constitution requires equal protection under the law.
No. People have their right to their religious beliefs but that does not give them the right to discriminate.
Support solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. Restore state funding to Pima and Maricopa Community Colleges in targeted majors that . Support more JTED and CTE funding. Fund updated technology in K-12 public schools. Fund much needed infrastructure. Stop mischaracterizing issues in our border areas. Revitalize out border regions. Support economic growth in rural areas. Support Invest in ED Act.
NO.
NO on 305.
I was the leader to let Governor Ducey know, via a letter signed by more than two dozen legislators, that we did not support sending the Arizona National Guard to the border. At a time when migration is down and there is no crisis, it is a misuse of Arizona's resources. As the Legislative District 2, I support revitalization of our border region. Politico Magazine did an expose that said that in Douglas the deployed National Guard were cleaning horse manure in the stables. This is not a good match for their military training.
In the Senate, all members and staff had mandatory training. It seemed adequate but we all must be vigilant to provide a professional atmosphere free of sexual harassment to all working and doing business at the Legislature.
Frustration of the start and stall of criminal justice reform. While it has support from the left and the right, it would appear that some in GOP leadership are not really serious about addressing the issue. The solution is to change the leadership. Vote for Democrats.
While there are a lot of challenges facing Arizona, I find the long term drought the greatest threat. We must have serious Drought Contingency Plan and encourage serious conservation.
This candidate has not responded to the survey.
This candidate has not responded to the survey.
Age 65
Family Married with two children
Twitter @shelleykais
Campaign Phone (520) 306-1480
Yes. I have been involved in recruitment and retention of employees for many years and I know the importance of payrate. Not only is it important on the recruitment side, but also in keeping your top talent in place. As a former educator, I was disappointed with the pay structure of our teachers in Arizona and believe the pay-raise plan was a good first step forward in rebuilding our education system.
Arizona has an obligation to provide public education. The bureaucratic pyramid that has been built into our school financing is not only confusing but could appear to be purposefully misleading. This system has created a lack of trust among taxpayers, parents, teachers, administrators and government. Continuing to fund our schools with this formula while adding new dollars through taxes or other funding mechanisms only compounds the problem. Begin to address funding for schools by addressing the formula for funding.
No.
I support the Second Amendment. I will be a voice for all the people of Legislative District 2 in Phoenix and will consider all legislation presented and all interests of the constituents of LD2.
My daughter attended Virginia Tech and not a year passes that I do not think of the senseless death of her sorority sister. School security should begin with an assessment of the entrance/exits of the buildings, awareness training for the teachers and staff, response training, and administrative policies for documenting visitors and staff in the buildings. School resource officers (SROs) play a critical role in our children’s safety and we must ensure that all schools are adequately staffed with SROs. Teachers are the first line of defense in our schools and as such we must trust our teachers to be aware of the needs of our students and make referrals as necessary. Law enforcement, healthcare workers, and school administrators must have funded strategies for addressing those who look to harm others in our schools.
Yes. We must work to meet the necessary programmatic needs of the State and tax decreases/increases must be evaluated accordingly.
I do not support the legalization of recreational marijuana and am opposed to the position that legalization of marijuana will be a revenue stream to fund vital state programs. Many States who have legalized marijuana are dealing with the unintended costs associated with the misuse of marijuana.
I am not familiar with restrictions on abortion providers and clinics, but I support the over site of any medical facility and the medical procedures they perform.
Arizona must be part of the discussions to avoid a water shortage and we must work with all our neighbors to reach agreements which benefits all.
I wish it was so easy to write a law that would make people respect each other, but it isn’t. A law that bans LGBTQ discrimination is a new line of business for the legal profession and a burden on our courts, and still doesn’t stop discrimination. If a law would stop people from discriminating, hating, and judging others I would be a PRIME Sponsor.
I oppose anyone being forced to provide professional services or skills that they have a religious or moral objection to; it would deny them their personal freedom.
The Legislature can best encourage sustainable growth that benefits people of all income levels by: (1) providing a strong K-12 school system, career and technical education (CTE), and community college which ensure a talent pipeline for business opportunity and individual success; (2) minimize the regulatory environment which discourages new business startups and business expansions; (3) incentivize investment in the state which opens opportunities for individuals and businesses, and (4) maintain and expand the infrastructure to provide safe roads, utilities to meet community needs, and public safety systems to build confidence in our State.
I support a quality education for all in the State of Arizona. I support ESA’s for children with special needs, children in failing schools, and our military dependent children. While I theoretically support students attending the school of their choice and a quality education for all, I need further confirmation of the state’s ability to fund the expansion of ESAs and the data management systems for implementation and tracking of the funding for ESAs. We must have transparency in our government programs.
I will need to study the background for the Proposition.
The state should work with federal and local law enforcement in support of border security efforts.
Addressing harassment in the workplace is not a point in time strategy, it is an on-going process.
Four-year funding for CTED. Our workforce is critical to the success of the state and we must ensure that our skilled trade talent is adequate to staff business considering location/relocation to Arizona.

International Outflow Interceptor (IOI). Infrastructure in rural areas of Arizona is aging and deteriorating. Southern Arizona is being asked to assist the federal government in the funding of the repairs to the IOI and as this is a regional initiative, I believe it should be addressed at the state level.

Increasing demands on services-- education, healthcare, aging infrastructure, public safety—without adequate revenue to support the systems. Reviewing programs with transparency, assessing program performance, and assigning management accountability is required to address Arizona's challenges.
This candidate has not responded to the survey.
This candidate has not responded to the survey.