Meet your Legislative District 13 candidates

By: 
CARY HINES, Assistant editor
Glendale voters’ ballots will be bursting with choices as everyone and his brother has thrown his name into the hat this primary midterm election.
All voters will see state races such as governor, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction on their ballots, and depending on where in Glendale they live, they will also see U.S. representative in District 7 or 8; state senator and representative in District 13, 20, 22, 29 or 30; and justice of the peace and constable in Arrowhead, Manistee or North Valley Precinct.
Additionally, voters in the Barrel, Cholla and Ocotillo districts will see City Council candidates on their ballots.
The primary election is Aug. 28. Any City Council candidate who gets more than 50 percent of the votes will win outright; otherwise a runoff election will be held on Election Day. The top vote getters from each party in the state, federal and legislative races will face off on Election Day, which is Nov. 6 this year.
Early voting for the primary begins Aug. 1. The deadline to mail back early ballots is Aug. 22, and early voting ends Aug. 24.
To register to vote, go to www.arizona.vote/ or servicearizona.com/voterRegistration.
To request an early ballot, go to https://recorder.maricopa.gov/earlyvotingballot/earlyvotingballotrequest.aspx.
To find out which City Council district you live in, visit https://www.glendaleaz.com/Clerk/elections.cfm.
To find out which federal and legislative district you live in, go to https://recorder.maricopa.gov/pollingplace/getdistrict.aspx.
To find your polling location, go to https://recorder.maricopa.gov/pollingplace/ or https://voter.azsos.gov/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do.
The Glendale Star has compiled brief biographies of the candidates from the Secretary of State’s website as well as candidates’ websites and other sources. This issue contains biographies of the Legislative District 13 candidates. Look for biographies from Legislative District 20, 22, 29 and 30 candidates in upcoming issues.
 

State Representative

District 13

Democrat

Thomas Tzitzura
Thomas Tzitzura was born in Chicago and attended public schools. He graduated from University Illinois at Chicago. Before college, he served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. After college, he enlisted in the Navy as an E-3 and 22 years later, retired as a commander. He went on to serve 12 more years as an Arizona high school science teacher in Maricopa County.
 

Republican

Timothy Dunn
Timothy Dunn was appointed by the Yuma County Board of Supervisors as a state representative for District 13 in February to replace Don Shooter, who was expelled amid sexual harassment claims.
Dunn is a third-generation farmer from Yuma. He was named the 2017 Arizona Farm Bureau “Farmer of the Year.” In 1999, the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce awarded him “Agricultural Person of the Year.” He was also appointed by the governor to the Arizona Department of Agriculture Advisory Board from 2006 to 2011 and served as chairman in 2009. He has also served on various state and national committees from 1999 to 2015.
He is a part of the Project Central Class of XI and recipient of “Outstanding Leadership Award for Public Policy” 2009, as well as a 2009 Heart of Yuma nominee.
He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy.
He is a founding board member of Champion Christian Church where he has served as an officer since 2003.
He has been married to Eileen for 17 years and has two sons, Kirk, 25, who works on the farm, and Timothy Ty, 22, who is attending Air Force basic training.
Along with Tim Dunn Farms and Dunn Grain Co., he and his wife own four Sport Clips haircut franchises — two in Yuma, one in Buckeye and one in Goodyear.
 
Darin Mitchell
Darin Mitchell is serving his third term in the Arizona House of Representatives for District 13. He is the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and vice chairman of Agriculture and Water and Lands. Additionally, he is a member of the Federalism and States’ Rights Committee. He serves on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Joint Legislative Income Tax Credit Review Committee and the Transfer of Federal Lands Study Committee.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University. He is a Realtor.
He and his wife, Sondra, live in Goodyear, and operate a small business.
 
Joanne Osborne
Joanne Osborne is a fourth-generation Arizonan. She served on the Goodyear City Council for 10 years and was elected by her colleagues as the vice mayor from June 2011 until June 2013. Before running for Goodyear City Council, she served six years on the Goodyear Planning and Zoning Commission.
She is a graduate of the Southwest Valley Citizen Academy & Flinn Brown Civic Leadership Academy and was a member of the first graduating class of Goodyear’s Police Citizen Academy. In July 2013, she attended and graduated from Harvard University’s “Senior Executives in State and Local Government” program.
She has mentored teens and headed the YMCA’s Teen Action Council, earning the Best of the West Awards “Leadership of an Organization” category from Westmarc in 2009. She is a past vice president of the Homeless Youth Connection Board of Directors. She received Leadership West’s “Outstanding Business Leader of the Year” award in 2016.
She spearheads Goodyear’s annual education summit, “Building Blocks to Great Schools,” and an elementary level reading competition, known as the “City of Goodyear Reading Challenge,” promoting the importance of reading in kindergarten through eighth grade.
She serves on the Arizona Municipality Water Users Association (AMWUA) Board of Directors and the Abrazo West Hospital Campus Governing Board, as well as the National League of Cities’ Finance, Administration, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
She and her husband, Ken, have owned Osborne Jewelers since 1990. She served as the chairman of the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Marketing Committee in 2003 and 2004 and was named the “Outstanding Chamber Member of the Year” in 2003.
She and her husband have four children.

Trey Terry
Trey Terry is an Army combat veteran. He graduated in 2005 from Millennium High School in Goodyear, and joined the Army as a cavalry scout. After spending a year stationed along the demilitarized zone in Korea, he was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, where he later deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He spent more than a year in Iraq where his reconnaissance platoon performed more than 100 time-sensitive raids to capture high-value targets with a 91 percent success rate. He helped capture and eliminate senior leaders of Hezbollah, al-Qaida in Iraq, and local Iranian-supported militia insurgents, dismantling their operational capacity in the Baghdad region.
He and his wife, Elise, live in Litchfield Park. They are expecting their first child in July.


State Senator

District 13

Democrat

Michelle Harris
Michelle Harris grew up in Buckeye, spent summers on her family’s Iowa farm and graduated from Buckeye Union High School in 1988. In 1990, she enlisted in the Air Force and attended the Defense Language Institute, one of the premier language schools in the world.
She spent nearly 22 years as a Russian and Serbian linguist and ultimately advanced to become the second female airborne mission supervisor in Air Force history aboard the Air Force’s premier reconnaissance platform, providing time-sensitive and strategic intelligence to assets on the ground and around the world.
She held a top secret/special access clearance throughout her career, was highly decorated, and, post-Sept. 11, spent much of her time deployed to the Middle East and Central Asia. She retired as a master sergeant.
Since returning to her hometown in 2013, she joined a liaison group for residents, organized regular Coffee with the Chief sessions with the Buckeye Police Department, and ran a public safety campaign aimed at reducing speeding drivers in residential neighborhoods.
When water bills spiraled out of control, Harris founded and chaired a community group and intervened at the Arizona Corporation Commission, ultimately achieving a landmark decision to consolidate pricing and districts across the state. She is also a member of Buckeye’s Revenue Study Group.
 

Republican

Brent Backus
Brent Backus is married and has worked in the private and public sector for 38 years.
He owns a consulting business and is a political outreach coordinator for the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center.
He was elected as a delegate to re-elect President Ronald Reagan.
He is an endowment member of the National Rifle Association; a life member of the Tenth Amendment Center; a former board member for Citizens for America; and affiliated with Arizona Citizens Defense League, Judicial Watch, the Heritage Foundation, the Arizona Republican Assembly and Arizona Red Roots.
 
Sine Kerr
Sine Kerr was appointed state senator for District 13 in January after Steve Montenegro resigned to run for the U.S. House of Representatives District 8 seat formerly held by Trent Franks who stepped down last December amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Kerr moved to Buckeye with her family when she was 3 years old. Sixteen years later, she married her high school sweetheart, Bill, and the two of them have since had one son and three daughters who are all now married. They have 10 grandchildren, with one on the way.
In 1980, she and her husband started a dairy business with 15 cows. Today, they have 1,100 milk cows and 800 replacement heifers.
She sits on the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors and is serving her first term as the Women’s Leadership Chair.
She also serves on the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce and was appointed to the Maricopa County Air Quality Hearing Board. She is the chair on the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Food and Agriculture Policy Advisory Council, working to address food insecurity issues in the state.
 
Don Shooter
Don Shooter represented District 13 in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2017 till he was ousted by his colleagues earlier this year over sexual misconduct allegations.
Before that, he served as the chair of the Yuma Tea Party and represented District 24 in the state Senate from 2011 to 2013 and District 13 in the state Senate from 2013 to 2017.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history/business from the University of Southern California. His professional experience includes working as a farmer and commercial developer since 1981.
He has previously served on the following committees: Appropriations, Education, Natural Resources, Rural Affairs and Environment, Natural Resources and Rural Affairs, Public Safety, Budget, Capital Review, Homeland Security, K-12 School District Receivership Study, Natural Resources and Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs and Water, Land Use and Rural Development.
He and his wife, Susan, have three children.

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