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Section Header
Keep fighting the good fight

Illustration by Cody Angell
By Kendrick Wilson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday November 12, 2002

Overall, last Tuesday, election night, was a horrible mess at least from the point of view of those of us on the left. Although the night was peppered with a few nice victories, the resounding message was a nation-wide show of

support for President Bush, and a blatant nod to ultraconservative ideology here in Arizona.

I cheered as Janet Napolitano's lead held through the night and when Terry Goddard soundly defeated Andrew Thomas for Attorney General. Raul Grijalva's victory in the Congressional race was also uplifting, not to mention Adelita Grijalva's election to the TUSD Board, which signaled the start of a "Grijalva dynasty" in Tucson politics. But it wasn't until the results from around the country came in that I realized just how important Raul Grijalva's victory would be.
Kendrick Wilson

Walter Mondale lost his bid to take over for late Senator Paul Wellstone in Minnesota, Jean Carnahan lost her reelection campaign in Missouri and Tom Strickland failed to unseat incumbent Wayne Allard in Colorado. All were very disappointing losses, but none were as big a blow as Mary Judge Ryan's loss to incumbent Jim Kolbe.

The dust has now settled, and it's clear that Napolitano is our next governor, Goddard is our next Attorney General and the other statewide races are real heartbreakers.

Ruth Solomon, one of the hardest working, smartest and most dedicated members of the Legislature, narrowly lost to David Peterson for the State Treasurer's office. Had the voters known Solomon's dedication to education and sound budget policy during her time in the Legislature, she would have won by a landslide.

Jan Brewer became our next Secretary of State by running one of the meanest, least issue-driven campaigns in our state's history. Tom Horne won the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction by spouting off sound bytes denouncing bilingual education and essentially playing the race card, instead of focusing on the monu mental issues facing our schools.

To those who joined me in supporting progressive candidates this year and worked so hard for their campaigns: We must keep fighting for what we believe in. We have lost this time, and it seems it has been a long time since we've had a real victory, but someday it will come.

In what was a very moving concession speech, Mary Judge Ryan reminded her supporters that the fight was not over. "We know tonight that our efforts were unsuccessful, but it does not mean that we can quit," she said. "We must continue to fight the good fight. There are serious issues that are going to be ignored in this nation again."

There are serious issues that will be ignored, and we may not have to wait long to see that happen. Our schools continue to crumble, our elderly continue to find themselves unable to afford medicine and college tuition is harder than ever to pay, all in one of the richest countries in the world. Barely a year after Enron, and less than a year after WorldCom caused many thousands of Americans to lose their retirement, corporate accountability legislation is off the table. And now, our nation is preparing to declare war and enter what could be the next Vietnam.

The fight is far from over, and we need all of you now more than ever. The times that lie ahead for our nation will inevitably be tough. The issues we hold important will be ignored unless we keep them at the forefront.

I'm still in shock that some of the candidates in our state could ever have been elected. Party affiliation must mean more than issues to many voters, and Arizona must be a lot more backwards than I could ever have imagined. This is my home, and I love Arizona, but I must admit the politics here have reached a point where they are embarrassing when compared to other places.

At least we can identify with Tucson voters, who chose all Democrats in this election granted, the Democrats in statewide races in Arizona are actually like New England Republicans, but at least they aren't like our Republicans.

I am still shocked at how the gun lobby has such a stranglehold on our state's people. The way so many gun rights activists claimed that our university's ban on weapons caused the Nursing School shootings was sickening. I ask, how many more shootings will it take before people realize that more guns are not good for our community?

I'm not sure how to start winning these races. At the end of her speech, Mary Judge Ryan offered one solution: "Apparently there are a lot of Republicans in my district, so go forth and multiply."

We will feel the effects of this election for many years, but we must continue fighting the good fight. Our children, our elderly and our environment are depending on us.


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