Date ArticleType
7/25/2012 Press Release
Arizona Hispanic and Tempe Chambers of Commerce Hosting Congressional District 9 Candidates Forum on Business and Economy August 1, 2012


CONTACT: James E. Garcia, 623-252-2772, Headshots of Tempe and Arizona Hispanic Chambers of Commerce representatives available upon request.

PHOENIX (July 25, 2012) The Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Tempe Chamber of Commerce will co-host a forum August 1, 2012 on business and the economy featuring the candidates for the newly created Congressional District 9.

The forum will take place at the Rio Salado Conference Center, 2323 E. 14th Street, Tempe, Arizona from 7 to 9 p.m. The event will be moderated by veteran journalist and communications consultant James E. Garcia. A journalist for more than 25 years, he currently serves as director of strategic communication and policy for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"Every election is important, but the race for Congressional District 9 is extremely competitive and the impact on the Valley, especially our members in Central and East Valley, will be significant, so hearing the candidates' views on business and the economy is critical," said Gonzalo de la Melena, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Mary Ann Miller, president and CEO of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, said, "As the voice of Tempe's business community, we're committed in these tough economic times to providing a platform and network for our members and the entire community to hear what each of these candidates has to say about the future of our economy."

Invitations have been extended to all 11 announced candidates. Eight of the candidates, including each of the leading contenders, have confirmed they will attend. Each candidate has been asked to present an opening statement about their vision for business and the economy and how that will impact the U.S. economy, Arizona and the nation's fast-growing Hispanic market. Audience questions will be posed as well. The evening will end with a brief voter meet-and-greet with the candidates.

List of announced candidates in Arizona Congressional District 9:

Andrei Cherny (D) - Ex-State Democratic Chair, Ex-Clinton White House Aide, Attorney, Navy Veteran
David Schapira (D) - State Senate Minority Leader, Ex-State Rep. & Ex-Teacher
Kyrsten Sinema (D) - Ex-State Sen., Ex-State Rep. & Social Worker
Lisa Borowsky (R) - Scottsdale City Councilwoman & Attorney
Leah Campos Schandlbauer (R) - Ex-CIA Officer
Travis Grantham (R) - Businessman & Air National Guard Officer
Vernon Parker (R) - Paradise Valley Mayor, GHW Bush White House Aide, Attorney & '10 Candidate
Wendy Rogers (R) - Retired USAF Officer, Social Worker & '10 State Sen. Nominee
Martin Sepulveda (R) - Ex-Chandler City Councilman, Businessman & Navy Veteran
Jeff Thompson (R) - Real Estate Investor
Powell Gammill (Libertarian) - Genetics Researcher & Frequent Candidate

Background Information on District 9:

(Originally published by the Arizona Republic, July 14, 2012)

"Perhaps the greatest wild card in the state, District 9, covers parts of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Ahwatukee.

Republicans have about 12,500 more active voters than Democrats. Yet independents make up more votes than either party, the only district in the state with that makeup, adding an extra level of uncertainty. It's the only swing district whose voters went for Obama in 2008 and against Republican Gov. Jan Brewer two years later.

The seat is open after freshman Rep. Ben Quayle chose to switch to a solidly Republican district. The well-funded son of former Vice President Dan Quayle could have given Democrats a pitched battle. Instead, he now is taking on fellow GOP freshman Rep. David Schweikert in the northeast Valley's 6th Congressional District.

Democrats have fielded three strong candidates: state Sen. David Schapira, former Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny and former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. But their attacks on each other are expected to grow even nastier as the election approaches, potentially depleting the Democrats' campaigns of money and momentum. On the Republican side, there's a free-for-all with seven candidates fighting to take a commanding lead."

This information was excerpted from a story about congressional races in Arizona. To read the full story in the Arizona Republic/


About the hosts for this forum:

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The AZHCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of the local business community, especially small business owners. Furthermore, the AZHCC provides a voice for Hispanic businesses in the Valley through advocacy efforts at the local, state and national level.

Tempe Chamber of Commerce
The Tempe Chamber represents more than 70,000 people employed by over 900 businesses. The Chamber works to create a strong local economy, represent business interests to government, promote the community, provide networking opportunities and advocate for business.