As I write this,  Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election has not been decided. I’ve sent my ballot in, and although I believe my candidate is the best choice to lead our nation for the next four years, I am prepared for the possibility that my choice won’t prevail. If not, I will vote for the Democrat anyway, for a variety of reasons, including: 

We cannot afford any more Trump SCOTUS justices. We can’t defund Medicare and Social Security. We need to salvage whatever credibility we have left with our allies and work together to adapt to climate change. We must stop the inhumane treatment of immigrants at our border, and reunite children with their parents. 

I really am not a fan of the “Vote blue no matter who” avowal, which seems cynical and lazy. I want to demand more! But look at it this way: Competitive primaries do make a difference. I believe we will see the influence of several POTUS candidates on the winner’s platform. This primary has been about ideas and candidates equally, and I expect to see many of those ideas endure.

The Pima County Democratic Party is committed to winning every county-wide election in 2020 – and we should be able to do it. Those races are for Treasurer, County Attorney, Sheriff, Assessor, Recorder, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Pima County Supervisor races are held by district. Three of the five districts currently have Democratic supervisors. We are confident that those seats can remain Democratic, although some races may be close. Winning District 1 (the GOP incumbent is retiring), and District 4 (the GOP incumbent is running again), are also achievable. It’s no exaggeration to say that the county supervisors have a huge influence on your day-to-day life – more than the president, U.S. senators or representatives. Never ignore the down-ballot races. They are so important.

Why am I confident of success in the county-wide races? Because Democrats outnumber Republicans in Pima, and the gap is growing wider. In the first seven weeks of 2020, 8,756 independents switched to Democrat. During the same period, 4,748 brand new (to Pima County) voters registered as Democrats (compared to 2,501 new Republicans). And every day, a Republican walks into our headquarters and says, “OK, I have had a enough. Make me a Democrat.” We are only too happy to oblige.

The big news, of course, is COVID-19. It is changing our plans and our lives more each day. My elderly parents live in an assisted-living facility three miles from my house. When I went to see them on March 11, I was told that I cannot visit until further notice. The place is in lockdown. 

GOP operatives whine that Democrats are politicizing a pandemic that may kill millions. I have news for them: EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL NOW. Trump just called COVID-19 a “foreign virus,” as if it were the result of a lopsided trade deal. He is more concerned about the resulting bear market than public health, but markets recover. Our ability to respond and manage this pandemic has been compromised by a president who politicized the virus before we knew it even existed. He did this by denying science, muzzling Centers for Disease Control scientists, and failing to fill CDC vacancies. Lives will be lost as a direct result of Trump’s politically-motivated neglect of scientific institutions. It’s all political.

Be cautious. Look out for each other. 

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