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Pinal District 5 Republican Committee hosts state representative candidates forum

Written by Kim Grady, Pinal D5 Executive Committee Member, Pinal D5 District Chair

The third annual candidate forum held by the Pinal 5th District Republican Committee brought together six candidates vying for two state House seats in Arizona's 7th Legislative District.

LD7 is one of 30 counties in the state and consists of sections of Coconino, Gila, Navajo, and Pinal counties.

The lineup for the Pinal D5 forum included former Congressman John Fillmore, who is seeking re-election. Walt Blackmun, a military veteran and former congressman from the Snowflake area. Barby Ingles, from the Apache Junction area, has a background in the medical field. David Marshall, incumbent from the Snowflake area. Stephen Slaton, small business owner from the Snowflake area. and Andrew Castanzo, a Payson area native with a background in finance.

Issues discussed at the forum ranged from election integrity to health care, water issues, and balanced budgets. Candidates demonstrated a strong belief in patriotism, protection of rights, and service to Pinal County.

At the forum, invited candidates received questions submitted by the audience in a round-robin format and were given three minutes to respond. The audience then used a secret ballot to select the candidate they were likely to vote for in 2024. Additionally, the Pinal D5 Commissioner will rank candidates based on their conservative focus and their ability to win in the 2024 election.

To conclude the 2024 election cycle, the planned Pinal D5 Forum includes: County Attorney, County Superintendent Candidate (March). Candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission (April). County Sheriff Candidate (May). Candidates for City Council, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate (June/July).

Forums are open to the public. Proceedings begin with a social gathering at 6 p.m. Forums are held the fourth Thursday of each month at Avalon Elementary School, 1045 S. San Marcos Drive in Apache Junction.

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