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National spotlight shines on Christine Marsh

By: - October 31, 2018 10:35 am

State Senate candidate Christine Porter Marsh, right, prepares to canvass in June 2018 with her former student Ava Budavari. Photo courtesy Twitter

The race for the state Senate in Legislative District 28 got some national press today, courtesy of a piece in Teen Vogue on Christine Marsh’s transformation from high school teacher to Democratic candidate for elected office.

Marsh, the 2016 teacher of the year, told the magazine that she was compelled to run after a junior student asked her if kids in Arizona were worth less than kids in other states.

“And I, of course, didn’t know what he was talking about, and he said that we are funded near the bottom of the nation, so we must be worth less,” she said. “I responded that I didn’t think that was right but I got what he meant, the way kids in Arizona are treated would make a kid think that they are worth less. That was the first time that it really hit me that things have to change.”

Marsh is locked in what is expected to be one of the tightest legislative contests of the year in her attempt to unseat Republican Sen. Kate Brophy McGee. The outcome in the race could determine whether Republicans continue to control the Arizona Senate.

The piece also highlighted the former students of Marsh who have committed their time and energy to her campaign. One such young adult, 18-year-old college freshman Ava Budavar, spent every day of her 2018 summer break making phone calls to voters, knocking on doors, doing office work and getting out the vote for Marsh.

“I’d say to people, ‘She was my teacher and I’m here, I’m a senior in high school knocking on your door on a summer Saturday in 100 degree heat because I believe in her that much,” Budavar told Teen Vogue.

The article also quotes District 17 House of Representatives candidate Jennifer Pawlik, a former elementary school teacher who quit her job after narrowly losing her election in 2016 so she could campaign full-time for this year’s election.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.