The Copper Courier Voter Guide: Arizona’s 28th Legislative District

By Alicia Barrón

October 5, 2020

2020 is an election year like no other. The Copper Courier has the information you need to participate in Arizona’s November election, no matter how you choose to do so. As part of our efforts to help voters feel informed as the November election approaches, we’re creating an overview of local races throughout the state, along with access to tools Arizonans need to find out how to vote, who will be on their ballot, and what they can do to participate in the upcoming election.

What’s My Legislative District | Am I Registered to Vote? | Full Voter Guide

Arizona House of Representatives

*Candidate bios have been written by the candidates and submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State or posted on either the candidate’s Facebook page or official campaign website.

Photo courtesy Ken Bowers campaign

Kenneth Bowers, R-Phoenix

Key Issues

Reform the Prison System

  • Wants prisons to separate people who hurt others from the rest of the population
  • Holiday feasts should be available to the extent that the state does not pay
  • Offenders who commit purely economic crimes should pay triple restitution to their victims and a fine to the state

Transfer Federal Land to Arizona

  •  When Arizona became a state, the federal government was supposed to transfer its land holdings to the state
  • Proposes to introduce legislation to register millions of acres of Federal Land to Arizona prior to 2024

Evan Mecham Memorial

  • Evan Mecham, a World War II hero, was the duly and properly elected Governor of Arizona who Boweers believes was improperly removed from office
  • Proposes a memorial be erected to him as an apology to his family for his treatment


I am a candidate for a District 28 seat in the Arizona House. I am financing this effort myself and am not soliciting or accepting financial assistance.

Since I am self-financed, if elected, I will not owe favors to anyone. However, I pledge to ceaselessly support the Right-to-Life position and 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. If these positions offend you, I am not your candidate.

I am a US Navy veteran, a registered Arizona attorney and have lived in District 28 for more than 30 years. My resume can be seen at the page “About Ken”. 

As a 20 year veteran retiree with the Arizona Department of Corrections, my belief is: there are tens of thousands of young men, and at least hundreds of young women, inmates who should not be in prison. In the page entitled “On the Issues” you will find a full description of my proposal to revise our criminal code to imprison violent offenders and fine fiscal offenders. This huge change is my major issue.

My plan to expedite the transfer of federal land to Arizona is  discussed under “On the Issues”. 

“Make America Great Again” (or “MAGA”) appears on my leaflets and most of my signs because I support President Donald Trump.  You can accurately judge my character by reference to my desire to help President Trump restore the prosperity that was extant in the 1950’s.

I have never been elected to any office. I am not related to any member of the Az Legislature; not even one who has the same last name.

Photo courtesy Kelli Buttler campaign

Kelli Butler, D-Phoenix

Key Issues


  • Invest in public education because billions have been cut from the K-12 budget since 2008
  • Our state universities lost 50 percent of their public funding, forcing them to substantially raise tuition rates
  • Committed to restoring education funding because support for public education, from K-12 through college, is critical to Arizona’s economic recovery


  • Wants more high paying jobs in established industries and in emerging sectors, including bioscience and sustainability
  • Commited to policies that revitalize our infrastructure and build an educated workforce so these new jobs are available in Arizona

Health Care

  • Believes all Arizonans deserve access to high quality, affordable health care
  • Wants to extend dental care to pregnant women on AHCCCS


I’m proud to call Arizona home.  My husband, Ben, and I are both native Arizonans with deep roots in our community. We raised our two children in North Central Phoenix where they had the opportunity to attend great neighborhood public schools and later pursued undergraduate degrees at Arizona state universities. I’ve worked hard over the years as a volunteer in our schools and in the community to make Arizona a better place for children and families. As your State Representative, I continue to fight for public education and educational and economic opportunity for all.

My husband and I are small business owners. I have had years of experience helping to manage all aspects of our family’s dental practice. I’ve helped our business navigate changing economic and regulatory environments — and gained experience that has served me well in our State Legislature.

Arizona has largely recovered from the Great Recession. We must elect leaders who will take this opportunity to re-examine our priorities and allocate our resources effectively. In order to remain competitive and attract new business, it is imperative that funding be responsibly restored to public education, from pre-K through college. Crucial infrastructure projects and maintenance throughout the state have been neglected during our economic downturn – now is the time for wise investment in Arizona’s future. 

I understand the challenges facing our state today. As your State Representative, I work to find responsible solutions that help hardworking families and move our state forward.

Photo by Jana Jackson campaign

Jana Jackson, R-Phoenix

Key Issues


  • Believes the money should follow the child — homeschool, public school, public charter school, private school
  • Promotes teaching real STEM, not a watered-down version
  • Wants to promote other options as paths to high-income jobs other than traditional, four-year research universities that will saddle graduates with high loan payments for years to come

Public Safety

  • Our officers need more investment, not less 
  • We need to train today’s police for today’s challenges, from assisting in non-emergency situations to crime investigation to handling the current protest and riot scenarios

Racial Diversity

  • All lives matter, and we are stronger together than we are alone!
  • We need to move forward, not backwards
  • In order to live together, we have to serve each other


Jana Jackson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. While still in high School Jana received the Mayor Daley Bronze Award for teaching. At that time, she was the only high school student to ever receive the Mayor Daley Bronze Award for teaching.

Jana graduated from Governors State University, at Forest Park, Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in K-12 education. She has completed the course work and oral exam for her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. The awarding of the Ph.D. is pending the publication of her dissertation. Jana taught as an adjunct professor at Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas. She was also an instructional coach while completing her course work.

As a high school teacher in Illinois, Jana developed an educational curriculum program for disadvantaged students, raising her 9th grade students’ reading and math scores from a 3rd grade level to a 9th grade level in only one school year. In 1986, the Association for Supervision Curriculum Development (ASCD) awarded Jana for her exemplary work as a high school science teacher.

For the past 15 years Jana has served communities in many areas of the country as a volunteer in summer aerospace programs. She has sponsored free volunteer space camps for the Boys and Girls Clubs, homeless shelters, disadvantaged school children, and Native American reservations.

In 2009, Jana completed a summer space camp on the Navajo Indian reservation, later accepting an offer to stay and teach science and math. In 2012, Jana returned to Phoenix to teach elementary school students, then moved to North High School to serve as a science teacher where she currently teaches.

Photo courtesy Aaron Lieberman campaign

Aaron Lieberman, D-Phoenix

Key Issues


  • Wants to dramatically reduce class sizes and invest in our crumbling K-12 educational facilities 
  • Promotes universal pre-k for all 4-year-olds since four decades of research has demonstrated that high-quality pre-k saves states and the federal government money in terms of dollars that are not needed to be spent later on
  • Wants to take steps to make college more affordable — and attainable — for those students. 
  • Wants to reverse cuts and launch robust state funding scholarship programs to help more Arizona’s go to college — and power our economy. 
  • Wants to invest in an Arizona’s Promise program to help 24,000 students get to and through our community colleges
  • Promotes much more accountability and transparency for charter school


  • Want to help grow jobs in Arizona by producing skilled and talented workers who will help companies thrive
  • Promotes fully-funding our K12 system, launching UPK AZ, and an Arizona’s Promise effort to make college more affordable

The Environment

  • Promotes exploring efforts to encourage electrification of our vehicles — especially our school buses which are purchased with public dollars and whose pollution often triggers negative health effects in children
  • We need to thoughtfully address the water issues facing our state to ensure we have some common sense approaches to metering wells and ensuring foreign governments are not taking advantage of our watershed for their narrow interests


Aaron Lieberman is an Arizona native and experienced social entrepreneur with a demonstrated track record of success. After attending public and private schools while growing up in LD28, Aaron founded Jumpstart, a national not-for-profit whose vision is to ensure that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed, out of his college dorm room at Yale. 

After graduation, while getting Jumpstart off the ground, Aaron started his career as a Head Start teacher in Boston. Aaron then led Jumpstart as its founding CEO for seven years. To date, over 50,000 college students have served as Jumpstart Corps members, earning over $200 million in college scholarships through AmeriCorps, while working with over 100,000 young children.

In 2002, Aaron founded Acelero Learning, a company focused on closing the achievement gap for Head Start children and families. Children enrolled in Acelero Learning’s Head Start program make gains at nearly three times the national average. In 2010, Aaron founded Shine Early Learning, Acelero Learning’s second business unit to help other early childhood providers use its best practices and tools. Today, Acelero Learning and Shine Early Learning have over $80 million in annual revenue, employ over 1800 staff, and directly impact 30,000+ low-income young children every week. Aaron served as CEO until 2015 when he transitioned into the role of chairman.

In 2015, Aaron returned home to Arizona to serve as CEO of Phoenix Spine, where he helped the company grow dramatically and eventually led the process of bringing in an outside investor. In 2017, Aaron joined New Profit, a pioneering venture-philanthropy firm, as a part-time Partner leading its early childhood work. In this capacity, he has helped design and implement a  $20 million public-private partnership in the State of Massachusetts to support the implementation of new evidence-based models of training and technical assistance.

In 2018, Aaron ran for the Arizona State House representing Legislative District 28 where he both grew up and now lives with his wife Jamie and their two boys. (His daughter currently attends Yale University, although he tries to get her to come visit sunny Arizona every chance she gets)! As a first-time political candidate, Aaron knocked on over 5000 doors and raised more money to support his campaign than any other State House candidate (challenger or incumbent). He won by just over 2,000 votes — out of 90,000 cast.

Aaron ran with the goal of bringing that same problem-solving perspective that has been a hallmark of his career in the private sector down to the Capitol. Since he got elected, he has worked with Democrats and Republicans to get things done to move the state forward. He has tackled everything from doubling the funding for teachers to get their STEM certification to making sure our seniors in LD28 can play Bingo in their community rooms. He serves on the Education and Appropriations committees.

Aaron ran with the goal of bringing that same problem-solving perspective that has been a hallmark of his career in the private sector down to the Capitol. Since he got elected, he has worked with Democrats and Republicans to get things done to move the state forward. He has tackled everything from doubling the funding for teachers to get their STEM certification to making sure our seniors in LD28 can play Bingo in their community rooms. He serves on the Education and Appropriations committees.

Arizona Senate

Photo courtesy of Kate Brophy McGee campaign

Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix

Key Issues


  • Believes one of Arizona’s most important responsibilities is to fully fund public K-12 education throughout our state
  • Is working hard to ensure more money gets to our schools each year
  • Believes we must make sure that our charter school operators provide students with great education through transparency and accountability

Health Care

  • Introduced Arianna’s Law to protect new mothers, and sponsored Hands Free AZ, making it illegal to text and drive
  • Sponsored legislation that expands oversight of pain management clinics
  • Addressed the abuse in migrant child detention facilities adding the maximum amount of oversight that a state can have over children detained by our federal government
  • Co-sponsored legislation that adds oversight and accountability to state long-term care facilities such as Hacienda Healthcare


  • Believes Arizona’s low tax environment and our openness to businesses of all kinds is what makes our economy strong and robust
  • Introduced Association Health Plans to attract businesses to Arizona, and encourage entrepreneurship
  • Committed to making sure our economy continues to grow and thrive


Senator Kate Brophy McGee is serving her second term in the Arizona Senate, representing Legislative District 28. The district includes North Central Phoenix, Biltmore, Arcadia and the Town of Paradise Valley. Previously, she served three terms in the Arizona House of Representatives (2011-2016).

Senator Brophy McGee is a third-generation Arizonan, born into a ranching family and raised in southern Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona and worked as a community banker lending to small businesses. She understands how hard business owners work to create the jobs that drive Arizona’s economy.

Senator Brophy McGee married her husband, Bob McGee, 34 years ago, and they have lived in their North Central/Sunnyslope neighborhood ever since. All three of their sons attended Phoenix public schools and graduated from Sunnyslope High School. Her oldest son is a graduate of the University of Arizona Law School and is an attorney in Phoenix. Her middle son is a graduate student at Northern Arizona University. Her youngest son is a graduate student at Arizona State University.

Senator Brophy McGee is Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Co-Chair of the DCS Legislative Oversight Committee and a member of the Senate Education and Higher Education & Workforce Development Committees. She is also a member of the Senate Ethics Committee. Senator McGee also serves on the Arizona Human Trafficking Council with Cindy McCain, the Council on Child Safety & Family Empowerment with First Lady Angela Ducey, and co-chairs the Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women.  She is a member of the Child Help Arizona Board, ASU’s Morrison Institute of Public Policy Advisory Board, the Flinn Foundation’s Bio Sciences Roadmap Steering Committee, and is a proud member of Phoenix Rotary 100 and Sunrise Toastmasters.

During her legislative tenure, Brophy McGee has led on many key initiatives. She sponsored the legislation establishing the Department of Child Safety as a stand-alone agency during an historic May 2014 Special Session of the legislature. She was key in the 2013 Medicaid restoration, and in 2016 she led the charge to restore KidsCare funding.  In 2018, Kate sponsored the historic legislation extending Prop 301, the .06 cent sales tax dedicated to K-12 education, for 20 years.  The bill passed with a supermajority vote of the legislature and ended the 2021 fiscal cliff.

Prior to her election to the legislature, Senator Brophy McGee served nearly a decade on the Washington Elementary School Board, including four terms as Board President. She also served six years on the Arizona School Facilities Board, including one term as Chairman. She continues her many community-based volunteer activities in addition to her current legislative duties.

As a mother, banker and community leader, Senator Brophy McGee is committed to working patiently and persistently with her constituents, colleagues and Arizona’s leaders to build a better Arizona.

Photo courtesy of Christine Marsh campaign

Christine Marsh, D-Phoenix

Key Issues


  • Believes we need to restructure the way we fund our public education system
  • Wants to invest in our teachers, require smaller class sizes, and prioritize public neighborhood schools
  • Thinks we need to protect families’ choices by developing strong accountability measures for charter schools

Health Care

  • Support the continued availability of Medicaid and KidsCare to all who are eligible
  • Believes it is absolutely critical that all health reform protect people with pre-existing conditions
  • Promises to advocate for new policy and expanded programs that will help retain graduate medical professionals in our state and strengthen our hospital system


  • Wants to create a sustainable and diverse economy that has the ability to compete globally for new, high-wage jobs
  • Believes a highly educated, trained local workforce – and robust infrastructure – will motivate businesses to move to Arizona
  • Wants to save taxpayers money by getting Arizona on track to lead the nation in solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy production


My goal as a young mother was to raise kids who could make the world a better place.  Today, I can honestly say that looking back, I am most proud now of raising two socially responsible, noble, and honest sons. I had the same goal as a foster mother to six children, who had come from tough backgrounds and needed love and care.

Beyond parenting, I am also proud of my 28 years in the classroom.  As a high school English teacher, I viewed my classroom as a place to provide skills and knowledge to my students that would equip them to make the world a better place.  I wanted to give them the tools needed to become contributing, engaged members of the workforce and of their communities. I tried always to challenge them to reach beyond their own comfort zones as they worked to improve their skills in reading, writing, and independent, critical thinking.

In 2016, after nearly three decades in the classroom, I was incredibly honored to be named Arizona’s Teacher of the Year. Through that experience, I had the opportunity to travel across the state to see first-hand the issues that public schools were – and are — facing on a daily basis.  I carry those lessons with me now as I run for election to the State Senate from Legislative District 28.

I’ve had experience, too, in the ways of running small businesses.  When I was just six or seven, I started helping in my father’s catering business, doing little jobs, like wrapping silverware in napkins.  By the time I was 16, I was working 20 to 30 hours a week, preparing and delivering food. We used to cater for a meals-on-wheels type of non-profit that delivered food to retirement homes, and I ran the routes. 

My mom also owned her own small business, as did my grandparents and great-grandparents on both my mother’s side and father’s side of the family. I learned at an early age the value of hard-work, initiative, and honesty. My father ran one of the first kosher catering companies in Phoenix, and I remember how important it was to my father, and to all of us, to respect the rules required to keep the food kosher.

And finally, I’m also a writer, runner, active member of my church family, education activist, friend and daughter. Each of those roles is important to me.  In all parts of my life, I always try to contribute as much as I am blessed to gain.


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


AZ Tucson Food Voting image

Local News

Related Stories
Share This