School board, LD13 races head to finish line Tuesday - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

School board, LD13 races head to finish line Tuesday

November 7th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
School board, LD13 races head to finish line Tuesday

By Ken Sain and Cecilia Chan


With the Nov. 8 General Election two days away, voters will settle a five-way race for two seats on the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board as well as the five-way race for three seats in the state Legislature.

Charlotte Golla, one of five candidates, is getting campaign support from people outside of Arizona, according to financial reports field Oct. 15.

Golla reported 19 people who live outside of the state contributed $50 or more to her campaign.

“I was born and raised in Rhode Island and my parents have been in Vero Beach, Florida for 20 years,” Golla said. “I had my family members in both Rhode Island and Florida email fundraising appeals on my behalf.”

Golla raise the most of any of the candidates as she battles incumbent Lara Bruner as well as political newcomers Marilou Estes, Kurt Rohrs and Patti Serrano.

Golla reported raising more than $22,000 for this campaign. Bruner was next highest with nearly $7,200, followed by Rohrs at more than $6,500, Serrano at $5,200 and Estes at close to $3,900.

Serrano’s numbers are from the second quarter. It appears she has not filed a third quarter report.

Both Golla and Rohrs earned the endorsement of Purple for Parents, a group that formed to oppose the Red for Ed movement of the past few years. They tout parental rights and opposed mask mandates.

Save Our Schools, the political group that came from the Red for Ed movement, endorsed Estes and Serrano. The Chandler Chamber of Commerce endorsed Bruner and Golla.

Lawyers representing the Arizona Democratic Party filed a complaint against Rohrs with the Secretary of State, alleging he accepted an illegal contribution from the Republican Party.

The LD 17 Republican Party contributed $500 to his campaign. State statute limits parties to contributing only to the campaigns of their nominees. A school board race is non-partisan.

“I checked with the Maricopa County Elections office before reporting the donation,” Rohrs said. “They were okay with it.”

In the race to represent Legislative District 13, which covers south Chandler, Sun Lakes and part of Gilbert, Republican Incumbent J.D. Mesnard and Democratic challenger Cynthia Hans are evenly matched in the money race in the Senate race.

Chandler resident and small-business owner Mesnard, who went unchallenged for his party’s nomination in the August Primary, has raised a total of $228,068 for his re-election bid, according to his pre-general election campaign finance report. He was first elected to the state Senate in 2018 after serving eight years in the House.

For the recent reporting period covering Oct. 1-22, Mesnard received a total of $49,462 from individuals and political action committees.

Individual donors included Innitech CEO Jason Hope, who gave $5,300; Veritas Global Protection founder Elijah Norton, $5,200; MTI Tech Solutions Business Director Heather Mayor, $5,000 and New York stockbroker Travis Anderson, $5,300.

PACs contributed a total of $23,812 in the month before the General Election.

PAC donors included Educational Freedom Fund, $1,000; Global Medical Response, $2,000; American Property Casualty Insurance Asso., $2,500 and Zillow Group, $512.

Hans, a retired teacher who won her spot on the Democratic nomination against Michael Morris in August, reported raising a total of $215,522 for her campaign, of which $68,540 came in during the October reporting period.

Of the total raised, over half or $145,000 came from individual donors, who gave anywhere from $1 up to $1,000, according to her finance report.

The donations came from throughout the country, including Boston, Chicago, Santa Fe, Seattle, New York and San Diego.

Hans reported receiving a total of $68,853 from PACs for her campaign with $22,502 coming in during October.

Her latest donors included AFSCME People, a union, which gave $10,600; Healthcare Rising AZ, $5,300 and Sierra Club Arizona, which gave a total of $3,000, including $1,000 in the recent reporting period.

LD 13 also has two House seats up for grabs with Republican challengers Julie Willoughby and Liz Harris doing battle against Democratic Incumbent Jennifer Pawlik of Chandler.

Pawlik, who is seeking her third two-year term, has opponents beat with a total of $199,000 raised – $111,144 from individual donations and $87,300 from PACs.

For the recent reporting period, Pawlik, a former teacher, received a total of $8,077 from donors who gave money through the Democratic Party’s ActBlue site.

PACs that donated to Pawlik in October totaled $20,400 and included American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, $10,600; Emily’s List, $2,650 and Cox AZ, $1,000.

Willoughby, an ER trauma nurse, raised a total of $98,000, of which $40,000 was a self-loan.

Harris, a real estate agent, reported raising $60,465 . Her PAC contribution of $350 came from Realtors of Arizona.