The three incumbents represent a district that encompasses parts of southeast metro Tucson all the way to Nogales.
Chris Ackerly, a public school teacher and Republican running for the House, is a fine candidate as well, but Democrats Clinco and Gabaldon have done a good job representing their constituents and are reasonable voices in the Legislature.
Clinco was appointed to the seat in January when Rep. Linda Lopez retired and is running for his first full term. Just days after being sworn in Clinco took strong action by speaking out nationally against SB 1062, a bill that sought to disguise anti-gay discrimination as religious freedom.
Clinco cites SB 1062 as a way the Legislature has harmed economic development here, but he rightly identifies less obvious decisions, such as shortchanging child-care subsidies and University of Arizona funding, as doing the same thing.
His background with historical preservation gives Clinco insight into how to turn cultural resources into economic engines that attract tourists and development, something that could benefit the often-overlooked areas of Nogales and rural Pima and Santa Cruz counties.
Gabaldon served on the Sahuarita Town Council and was elected to the state House in 2012. She’s active on community boards and is on the Southeast Arizona Citizen Advisory Council of the U.S. International Boundary Water Commission.
Gabaldon has focused on issues that are important but not glamorous. Among them is improving the Nogales Wash and International Outfall Interceptor, which carries sewage and crosses the U.S.-Mexico border. She’s also put forward legislation to deal with water contamination.
Daniel Estrella, a Republican, is challenging Dalessandro, a Democrat, for the Senate seat. Dalessandro is by every measure the better candidate. She is knowledgeable about issues that affect her district specifically as well as the state, and is a ubiquitous presence at community events.
Dalessandro, a former math teacher, accounting professor and CPA from New Jersey, got involved in Arizona politics because the state wasn’t adequately supporting schools. She’s focused on details of education policy during her time in office, including charter school accountability so bad schools aren’t allowed to operate for years.
She’s been responsive to her constituents and held forums in Green Valley to educate residents about scams and fraud that target seniors. She took a Spanish immersion course so she can better communicate with constituents who don’t speak English. These are the actions of a dedicated, people-centered senator.
Dalessandro, Gabaldon and Clinco have demonstrated ability, dedication and commitment to the people of LD 2 and Arizona, and should be returned to office.