Every week, more and more polls indicate Vice President Biden and Mark Kelly are poised to lead a historic Blue Wave through Arizona this November. Now under 100 days out from the general election, the wave shows signs of washing a new Arizona majority into Phoenix as well. If Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate are to take control for the first time in over thirty years, they will need their seasoned hands on the reins of leadership. Liberal champions of reproductive justice including Representatives Athena Salman and Andres Castro, as well as Senator Juan Mendez are prepared to lead the fight for a more progressive vision for Arizona. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is proud to endorse all three dedicated public servants in their primary elections TOMORROW August 4th and into the general in November.
Representative Athena Salman - 26th Legislative District
Athena Salman, representing the 26th Legislative District, is the epitome of a progressive legislator who gets things done. First elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, she now serves as Minority Whip and has proven to be a legislative juggernaut for the causes of everyday Arizonans. In her primary, Rep. Salman is running on a slate with Melody Hernandez and Sen. Juan Mendez and Arizona cannot afford to lose it’s premiere champion of reproductive health and justice of all forms. Currently, Rep. Salman serves on the House Rules and the Elections Committee.
There are few who can be considered as dedicated to the cause of abortion access and reproductive justice for all. In her time in the House, Athena Salman has authored or cosponsored over 200 bills. Among many more, Salman was the driving force behind H.B. 2510, 2693, and 2694; bills which required employers to include contraception within health insurance, allow Advanced Practice Clinicians to perform abortions, and finally called for the repeal of the Arizona TRAP law which allowed for the criminalization of abortion. Salman signed onto the Supreme Court letter demanding protection of abortion access, and is a member of the Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council.
Representative Andrés Cano - 3rd Legislative District
Andrés Cano, representing the 3rd legislative district, was one of the first legislators highlighted by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona this year. He faces a primary on August 4th and we consider him a true friend to the cause of reproductive justice. Rep. Cano embodies the American story, a first generation college graduate, raised by a single mother, he jumped into public service, serving as Pima County’s youngest ever policy advisor. Six years later, part of the 2018 Arizonan blue wave, Cano was elected to the House of Representatives as the youngest LGBT member of the Arizona legislature, where he serves on the House Committee on Way and Means, and Committee on Natural Resources, Energy and Water.
Senator Juan Mendez - 26th Legislative District
Juan Mendez, Senator for the 26th District, is a lifelong Arizonan, always dedicated to the betterment of our state. Born and raised in Phoenix, he attended Arizona State University and at 27 years old was elected to the House of Representatives. Mendez understands that democracy does not work if it does not work for all of us, and so champions closing corporate loopholes, and instituting ranked choice voting in Arizona. Accepting no corporate PAC money, Mendez understands that the needs of his constituents outweigh every other priority. He was elected into the State House of Representatives in 2012 before beginning his service in 2017 as a State Senator. In the Senate, Mendez serves on the Government, Natural Resources and Energy, and Water and Agriculture committees, while outside the Capitol, he manages the nonprofit Community Voice Mail, dedicated to bringing assistance to the impoverished.
Like his wife, Representative Athena Salman, Mendez has introduced a slate of legislation furthering the cause of reproductive justice. He was the author of S.B. 1382, which prevents perpetration of fraud by crisis pregnancy centers, and he authored S.B. 1272, which loosened restrictions on parental consent mandates for abortion access.