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30 Minutes- Save Our Schools TUSD Candidate Forum
Save Our Schools TUSD Candidate Forum (2012-10-07)25:51 Amanda Shauger
30 Minutes- Save Our Schools TUSD Candidate Forum
On Thursday, October 4, 11 candidates attended a community forum at the El Casino Ballroom presented by a coalition called Save Our Schools. More than 600 concerned people came out to learn more, especially families from Mission View and Ochoa. 12 Candidates are running for 3 open seats on the Tucson Unified School District board. On Thursday, October 4, 11 candidates attended a community forum at the El Casino Ballroom presented by a coalition called Save Our Schools. More than 600 concerned people came out to learn more, especially families from Mission View and Ochoa. Candidates were asked to respond primarily to the question: Would you close small schools? Secondarily, the candidates addressed how they would handle a projected $17 million dollar budget shortfall. Jimmy Ojeda was the moderated the event.

Independent Menelik Bakari, a retired teacher from Doolen Middle School did not attend this forum. I was unable to record Republican Debe Campos-Fleenor, an all state insurance agent. 30 Minutes begins today with the final remarks from Democrat Don Cotton, a retired postal worker.

Many thanks to Blogger Carolyn Classen, of Carolyn's Community for compiling this information on the 12 candidates. Here's the updated official list, with campaign websites for those who have one:
–Menelik Bakari, retired teacher, Doolen Middle School
–Debe Campos-Fleenor, Allstate insurance agent
–Don Cotton, retired postal worker, owner of online printing business, www.cottonfortusd.com
–Miguel Cuevas, current Board member & President; Project Coach at AFNI, www.votemiguelcuevas.com
–Ralph Ellinwood, attorney (criminal law), www.futuretusd.org
–Kristel Foster, former UA clinical assistant professor in education (3 years), program specialist at Sunnyside School District language acquisition dept., www.fosterfortusd.com
–John Hunnicutt, husband of blogger Loretta of "Arizona Daily Independent", businessman/owner of Philanthropy and Paytran, www.johnhunnicutt4tusd.com
–Camy Juarez, neighborhood reinvestment project coordinator, www.juarezfortusd.com
–Robert Medler, VP of Government Affairs, Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce, www.medler4tusd.com
–Elizabeth "Betts" Putnam-Hidalgo, part-time teacher & activist, www.betts4tusd.com
–Mark Stegeman, UA associate professor of economics, current board member & former President, www.stegeman4tusd.com
–Alex Sugiyama, UA lecturer of economics, current board member, www.sugiyamafortusd.com
Although this is a non-partisan race, here's the party registration for these twelve per Pima County Recorder's Office:
Democrat: Miguel Cuevas, Don Cotton, Ralph Ellinwood, Kristel Foster, Camy Juarez, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, Mark Stegeman
Green: none
Independent/No Party Preference: Menelik Bakari
Libertarian: none
Republican: Debe Campos-Fleenor, John Hunnicut, Robert Medler, Alex Sugiyama
The incumbents in this election are Miguel Cuevas, Dr. Mark Stegeman,and Dr. Alex Sugiyama. Cuevas & Stegeman were elected in Nov. 2008. Sugiyama was selected from a total of 54 applicants who applied for the vacant seat last year after TUSD board member Judy Burns passed away suddenly in October. He was appointed to that seat by Pima County School Superintendent Dr. Linda Arzoumanian in December, 2011. Bakari, Campos-Fleenor, Ellinwood, Foster, Medler, and Putnam-Hidalgo had also applied for the vacant seat.
View their campaign websites (if any), attend debates/forums with these candidates and vote wisely on Nov. 6.