Meet your federal candidates

Primary election Aug. 28, early voting starts Aug. 1
CARY HINES, Assistant editor
Glendale voters’ primary election ballots will be lengthy.
All residents will see governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, state mine inspector, corporation commissioner, U.S. senator and clerk of the Superior Court on their ballots. Depending on where in Glendale voters live, they will 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 or
To request an early ballot, go to
To find out which City Council district you live in, visit
To find out which federal and legislative district you live in, go to
To find your polling location, go to or
The Glendale Star has compiled brief biographies of the candidates from the Secretary of State’s website as well as candidates’ websites. This issue contains biographies of the federal candidates. Look for bios of the legislative candidates in an upcoming issue.

U.S. Senator


Deedra Abboud
Deedra Abboud is a civil rights activist and immigration attorney. Born and raised in Arkansas, Abboud moved to Phoenix in 1998.
She is the founder of the leadership consulting firm the Global Institute of Solution Oriented Leadership. She is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award in Tempe and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award presented by the Human Relations Commission in Phoenix.
After Sept. 11, she launched and served as director for the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) from 2001 to 2005. She was director of the Arizona chapter of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation, a Washington-based civil rights group, from 2005 to 2009. She has also served on the boards of the Tempe Community Action Agency, Voices for Civil Dialogue and the AZ Coalition on Migrant Rights. She has volunteered for Girls for Change and Interfaith Worker Justice.
In 2009, Abboud entered Summit Law School, graduating in 2012 and practicing immigration and estate planning law for nearly five years before deciding to return to community advocacy work during the 2016 election.
She has been married to Ali Abboud since 1999 and lives in Scottsdale.
Kyrsten Sinema
Kyrsten Sinema is the U.S. representative for Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. She was elected in 2012. She previously served in both chambers of the state Legislature, being elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004 and the Arizona Senate in 2010.
Born in Tucson, Sinema went to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and then Arizona State University, where she now teaches.
While serving in the state Legislature, she passed a law to help veterans get in-state tuition at all Arizona public universities, cracked down on sex trafficking and advocated for children’s health care and education.


Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaio had a long career in law enforcement before being elected Maricopa County sheriff in 1992, a position he held for six four-year terms.
After serving in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953, and as a Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas police officer, Arpaio went on to be a federal narcotics agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. For almost a decade, Arpaio was stationed in foreign countries where he headed the DEA, combatting the drug trade in Turkey, the Middle East, Mexico and Central and South America. He was also a diplomatic attaché. Arpaio later headed the DEA in Arizona and Texas.
In August 1993, he started Tent City, which housed 2,000 convicted men and women. He also banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines and unrestricted TV in all jails.
His chain gangs picked up litter, painted over graffiti and buried the indigent in the county cemetery.
He began an all-volunteer posse of 3,000 members, making it the nation’s largest volunteer posse.
He also launched “Hard Knocks High,” the only accredited high school under a sheriff in an American jail, and ALPHA, an anti-substance-abuse program.
He and his wife, Ava, have been married for more than 56 years and have two children, both living in the Phoenix area, and four grandchildren.

Martha McSally
Col. Martha McSally is a veteran of the United States Air Force and was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat and command a fighter squadron. She retired in 2010 after 26 years. She deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan, flying 325 combat hours and earning a Bronze Star and six air medals.
She was deployed to Saudi Arabia on Sept. 11 and was a part of the leadership team that planned and executed the initial air campaign in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. She also oversaw combat search-and-rescue operations over Southern Iraq and Afghanistan.
She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District in 2014. She serves on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees and also chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, the first Arizonan and the first freshman legislator to be given that leadership role.
She gained national attention when she stood up against a military rule that forced U.S. servicewomen deployed to Saudi Arabia to wear full black Muslim garb and headscarf. She fought for eight years against the policies, including litigation against the Department of Defense. Ultimately, she drafted and shepherded legislation that was signed into law that overturned the policies.
The Center for Effective Lawmaking has identified McSally as one of the top 10 most effective members of Congress, according to its academic ranking system. She was re-elected in 2016.
During her three years in office, she authored and passed 18 bills; fought for the A-10 Warthog; authored legislation signed by the president that restored the rights for World War II female pilots to have their ashes in Arlington National Cemetery; and authored legislation signed by the president to fast track veterans for jobs at the border to fill vacancies.
She is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. She received her first master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She received her second from the United States Air War College, where she graduated first in her class of 261 senior military officers.

Kelli Ward
Kelli Ward is a graduate of Duke University, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and A.T. Still University. While in medical school, she met her husband, Michael. In 1999, they moved to Lake Havasu City where she opened her own private practice, Lakeview Family Healthcare, with her mother, Dr. Lorraine Byrd, for more than 10 years. After selling her practice to a community health center, she began work in the emergency departments in Lake Havasu and Kingman.
She was elected to the Arizona state Senate in 2012 and re-elected in 2014. She resigned and ran against John McCain in the 2016 Republican primary for U.S. Senate and was defeated 51 percent to 39 percent.

U.S. Representative

District 7


Ruben Gallego
Ruben Gallego has represented Arizona’s 7th Congressional District since 2015. Before that, he represented District 27 in the Arizona House of Representatives.
He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in international relations.
He later joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Iraq with the well-known combat unit Lima 3/25.
During his time in the state Legislature, he served as assistant minority leader and led the opposition to Senate Bill 1062, which Gov. Jan Brewer ultimately vetoed.
In his first year in Congress, he introduced the VETS Act, which would reduce the burden of student loan debt on veterans. He has also supported legislation to increase the hiring of veterans and provide additional benefits to wounded or deceased veterans and their families. He also helped lead the effort to strengthen and restore the Voting Rights Act.
He serves as a senior whip for the Democratic Caucus, the second vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and vice chair of the Equality Caucus. He also serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.
He is a father and lives in Phoenix.

Catherine Miranda
Catherine Miranda was born in Arizona, and raised in South Phoenix.
She attended elementary school in the Roosevelt School District and was a member of the last graduating class from East High School.
Following high school graduation, she worked for the Phoenix Union High School District. She began as an attendance clerk at South Mountain High School, became a secretary to the assistant principal and then secretary to the principal.
She attended Arizona State University, earning a teaching degree at age 36. She began as a classroom teacher, then became assistant principal, and ultimately became a Roosevelt School District board member. Along the way, she earned a master’s in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, and co-founded the Ben and Catherine Miranda Manzana Foundation, which prepares and transitions students for post-secondary education.
First elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, she now represents District 27 in the Arizona State Senate.
She is the ranking member of the Education Committee and serves on the Commerce and Public Safety Committee. During her time in the Senate, Miranda founded the bipartisan AZ Legislature Business Education Forum, which guides business and education communities on transforming new knowledge into new education paradigms.
She co-chairs the Arizona/Sonora Ad-Hoc Committee and is a member of the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
She has held office as the elected vice president of policy for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators and most recently received the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award for her work in the Latino community. She also served six years on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and in 2017 was awarded the Valle Del Sol Profiles of Success Exemplary Leadership Award.
She received the John Martinez Excellence in Leadership Award from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators in 2013; the Rio Salado College President’s Award for her leadership and support of Arizona’s Adult Basic Education Programs in 2014; the Dream Act Award for her support to Dreamers in Arizona in 2011; the Award of Excellence to a Government Official for her contributions to public education presented by Arizona School Public Relations Association in 2015; recognition from the AZ Board of Regents for support for higher education in Arizona in 2016; recognition from Shelley Early Educational Center in 2017; and the Laveen Leader of Education Recognition, awarded by the Laveen Elementary School District Superintendent in 2017.
In 2011, she joined the California Legislature with Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. and Assemblyman Gil Cedillo for the signing of the Dream Act.
In 2014, with the Consulate General of Mexico, she helped raise $30,000 for Dreamers to help them pay for their tuition.

District 8


Robert Olsen
Robert Olsen is the first in his family to graduate from college, ultimately earning a law degree.
He is a retired military veteran with 10 years active duty and 22 years in the reserve, recalled twice following Sept. 11. He’s a retired firefighter, involved in labor issues as a union vice president, negotiator and shop steward. He’s worked as a 911 dispatcher, police officer, DEA agent, an adjunct college professor, small business owner, an analyst for Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), a trainer for U.S. Navy security forces, and as a lawyer serving primarily modest means families and indigent defense.
He is a volunteer Sheriff’s Posse dispatcher and patrol officer.
He has been married to his wife, Linda, for nearly 30 years. They have two daughters and two grandsons.

Hiral Tipirneni
Dr. Hiral Tipirneni is an emergency room physician and cancer research advocate. At the age of 3, she came to America from India with her family.
She and her husband met at Northeast Ohio Medical University where she earned her degree through an accelerated, competitive program.
After she served as chief resident of the University of Michigan’s Emergency Medicine program, she and her husband moved to Phoenix where she began working in the emergency department at Banner Good Samaritan downtown. She went on to serve in emergency departments at the Maricopa County Medical Center, Banner Thunderbird, and Abrazo Arrowhead hospitals — all while raising three children in the Arrowhead community.
She is on the board of directors for the Maricopa Health Foundation, which supports the county’s public health care delivery system.
After losing both her mother and nephew to cancer, she left emergency medicine to concentrate on cutting-edge cancer research. She leads teams of researchers, clinicians and patient advocates in the fight against breast cancer, prostate cancer and childhood leukemia.


Sandra Dowling
Sandra Dowling was born in Decatur, Ill. She attended Washington Elementary School, Cortez High School and Glendale Community College before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps.
Upon returning to Arizona after her military service, she continued her education at Glendale Community College before transferring to Arizona State University.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a master’s degree in educational administration and her doctorate degree from Northern Arizona University. Her studies were concentrated in the areas of education, finance and public policy.
As the former president and CEO of a West Valley insurance agency, she has received numerous achievement awards, including the Crystal Blue Vase Award her first year in the insurance industry, a Topper Club member (sales achievement) for four consecutive years and was selected for the national Championship Club during her first year of eligibility. She has been a licensed Realtor since 1979 and has maintained her Arizona superintendent, administrative and teaching certifications.
She was elected to serve five four-year terms as the Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools.
She and her husband, Dennis, live in Litchfield Park.

Debbie Lesko
Debbie Lesko won the U.S. Representative District 8 seat vacated by Trent Franks in a special election April 24.
She served as a state senator in Legislative District 21 from 2012 until she resigned in January to run in Congressional District 8. Before that, she served four years as a state representative in District 21.
She has served as the Arizona Senate president pro-tempore, Senate Appropriations chairman and House Ways & Means chairman. She has also been a member of the Health and Rules committees.
While in the state Legislature, she was named Champion of the Taxpayer by Americans for Prosperity, Senator of the Year by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Legislator of the Year by the Arizona Republican Party, and received the Golden Apple Award from Arizona Parents for Education.
She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
She is an Advisory Council member for Faith House Domestic Violence Shelter, a Lions Club member, Fighter Country Partnership member and a National Rifle Association member.
She has served as a member of the Ironwood High School Booster Club; on the Desert Valley Elementary School Site Council (Peoria Unified School District); as a PTA fundraising chairman; as neighborhood leader with the city of Glendale Community Partnership program; as Arizona Federation of Taxpayers’ Board member; Community Emergency Response Team member with the city of Glendale Fire Department; as elected officer of the state and county Republican Party; on the 2025 city of Glendale Master Plan Committee; as a hearing officer in the North Valley Justice Court; as Legislative District 9 Republican chairman; as voter registration chairman for the Maricopa County Republican Party; and as first vice president of the Arrowhead Republican Women Club.
She is married with three children and two grandchildren.


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