Gorney was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1955 and has attended Pima Community College since 1992. He is the lead custodian for the University of Arizona's Agriculture Center. Gorney has also volunteered at UMC since 1992.
If elected, Gorney said he will make Arizona's three universities his top priority because college graduates contribute greatly to the state's economy. He would also support university growth and research parks, and try to bring in more research money from the government and corporations. Gorney would also focus on finding new sources of revenue for the state, including the legalization of gaming.
Born in Tucson in 1967, Valadez has lived in Tucson his entire life. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and served as an assistant to U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (1989) and Congressman Ed Pastor (1991). He is serving his second term in the state House of Representatives.
If elected to the senate, Valadez said he will make education his top priority. He helped with the negotiations that put Proposition 301 on this year's ballot. Valadez is an advocate of encouraging outside, environmentally-friendly businesses to relocate to Arizona.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1950 and lives in Tucson. She earned her associate's degree from Ellsworth Junior College (1970) in Iowa Falls, Iowa. She is the director of community relations for the Humane Society, and has served one term in the Arizona House of Representatives.
If elected, Dunbar would make university and community college funding one of her top priorities. Additionally, she would push for vocational education to be taught more in high schools.
Nichols, 63, lives in Tucson and is a professor at the University Medical Center. He received his medical doctorate from Stanford (1964) and master's degree in public health from Harvard (1970). He has served four terms in the Arizona House of Representatives.
Nichols said he wants to ensure that Arizonans have health insurance, and also to expand specialized programs in K-12 schools. Nichols said if elected, he will also fight to keep university tuition as low as possible.
Sunne was born in 1962 and moved to Tucson in 1982. He earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1985 and has been an engineer for Raytheon (formerly Hughes Aircraft) since 1983.
Sunne said his background as an engineer would enable him to serve effectively in the Legislature. He is against Proposition 301 because he thinks taxation is not the answer to funding education, rather lawmakers should be more fiscally responsible.
Kahn was born in 1935 in New York City. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Fordham College (1958) and his law degree from Fordham Law School (1966). He has run for Pima County attorney, Tucson mayor and currently is a self-employed attorney.
Solomon was born in 1941 in Philadelphia, Pa. and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1971. She was a teacher in the Tucson Unified School District from 1971-1999, and has served three terms in the Legislature - two in the House, one in the Senate.
Solomon said her top priorities are the well-being of children and families. She has supported legislation in the past that would have capped tuition increases at state universities to the rate of inflation, plus one percent.
State House of Representatives
Lopez graduated from the University of Arizona in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and women's studies. She has been a member of the Sunnyside School Board since 1987 and is the president-elect of the Arizona School Boards Association.
Lopez' two main goals are to increase support for public education and Arizona's teachers, and increase support for the state's three universities and community colleges. She also wants to provide more services for children and health care.
Born in Globe, Ariz. in 1938, Soltero is a life-long resident of the state. He graduated from Pueblo High School in Tucson, was mayor of South Tucson from 1988-91, and served as a city councilmember from 1982-88. Soltero has served in the Arizona State Legislature since 1991.
Soltero said he will support legislation to reform school finance and taxation laws in order to provide a system that is fair for all students and taxpayers. He also supports programs for drug and gang prevention.
Strasburg was born in Tucson in 1945 and has been a social and environmental activist in Tucson since 1982.
Strasburg is a strong advocate of bi-lingual education and opposes Proposition 203, which would force Arizona's schools to teach in English. He believes housing should be determined by need and ability to pay, not supply and demand.
Downing was born in Tulsa, Okla. in 1943 and has been a faculty member at the University of Arizona since 1971. With a master's degree from Stanford University (1966), Downing is research professor of social development at the UA.
Downing said he thinks Arizona lacks "good" government, which is needed to gain a strong position in the new, knowledge-based global economy. He wants the Legislature to become "bullish" on education, and also develop a deep respect for the environment.
Giffords, 30, was born in Tucson and earned her master's degree from Cornell University in Ithica, N.Y. She is the former president and CEO of El Campo Tire and Auto Service.
Giffords wants to involve the local business community in the educational process through mentoring programs. She also supports providing funding to decrease the number of students in classes. Expanding health care for the poor and encouraging development for high-tech companies are two more of Giffords' goals.
Born in Tucson in 1971, Paton attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a bachelor's degree in German in 1996. He will earn his master's degree in German next month from the UA. Paton taught German in the Tucson Unified School District for 1 1/2 years, and at the UA for two years.
If elected, Paton will make education his top priority. He supports raising teacher salaries as well as ensuring that tax dollars reach schools. Additionally, Paton wants to set higher standards for the UA College of Education.
Somers was born in 1945 in Atlantic City, N.J., and graduated from Arizona State University in 1967. She has been president of Norrell Staffing Services since 1987. She was also a member of the Great Tucson Economic Development Council from 1996-2000.
Somers' top issue is work force development and attracting quality businesses to Tucson. She also supports making education the state's top priority.
Bolger, who was born and raised in Tucson, graduated from Sahuaro High School and later from Pima Community College. She has worked as a bartender, waitress and convenience store clerk.
Bolger supports Proposition 204, the Health Arizona Initiative, and also wants to force local governments to adopt measures to control urban sprawl.
Downing was born and raised in Tucson and earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Boston University (1994) and doctorate in law from the University of Arizona (1998). He also worked as a prosecutor for the Tohono O'odham Nation.
Downing's goals include leaving future generations with a healthier economy and a stronger, more accountable educational system. He also supports measures to protect Arizona's natural environment.
Pickens, 68, was born in Honolulu and lives in Tucson. She was an elementary school teacher in the Tucson Unified School District from 1968-91, when she was elected to her first term in the Arizona House of Representatives.
Pickens supports increased funding for post-secondary institutions. She wants the state to find an appropriate balance between economic development and environmental protection. Pickens wants the Legislature to develop a better relationship with southern Arizona.
Born in Owosso, Mich. in 1970, Poelstra studied criminal justice at Pima Community College until 1992. He is in the business of property management and has volunteered for the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.
If elected, Poelstra will make classroom funding a top priority. He supports vocational and technological programs for non-university bound students in high schools.