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By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 8, 1998

Governor candidate Johnson to visit UA

The 1998 Arizona gubernatorial race will bring Democratic candidate Paul Johnson to the campus today for a talk with the UA community.

The forum will be held in the Memorial Student Union Rincon Room at 4 p.m. Students, faculty and staff are invited to ask Johnson questions and to listen to his ideas.

Dan Benavidez, Johnson's Southern Arizona campaign coordinator, said the candidate tries to visit the University of Arizona once a month.

"We want to get UA students into this race," said Benavidez, who is a former UA student.

Mo Sherifdeen, Johnson's event coordinator, said he would like to see a large student turnout at today's forum.

"We want to show that UA students can be politically active too," he said.

Sherifdeen added that in previous years, many gubernatorial candidates have not visited the UA, but Johnson can relate to students.

In 1985, when Johnson was 25 years old, he was elected to Phoenix City Council. In 1990 he became mayor of Phoenix for four years.

Now, the 38-year-old candidate's issues include reforming education, decreasing class sizes, enforcing curfews for minors and revamping the state land department.

"We need to preserve the natural beauty of the Sonoran desert," Benavidez said.

According to Benavidez, Johnson believes Republicans have damaged the state's education programs with cutbacks, and he plans to reform the current system.

"We need to fully fund the education system," Benavidez said.

Johnson is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

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