Journalists’ Roundtable: Presidential Preference Election, Hobbs vetoed housing bill and dual language learning lawsuit

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Journalists’ Roundtable. To discuss this week’s top stories, we were joined by Mary Jo Pitzl of “The Arizona Republic” and azcentral.com, Jeremy Duda of Axios Phoenix, and Mark Brodie of KJZZ Radio.

  • Presidential Preference Election
  • Hobbs’ veto of housing bill
  • Burch reveals planned abortion
  • Hodge resigns from legislature
  • Petersen vs. Toma on immigration measure
  • Dual language learning lawsuit

On the Presidential Preference Election:

Mary Jo Pitzl: “The winners were Donald Trump for the Republican primary and Joe Biden for the Democratic primary. I think that shows (with Nikki Haley getting 20% of the Republican votes) that there’s some anti-Trump sentiment. That’s been consistent with what we’ve seen at other early primary states as well. Whether those people are all Republicans or whether they’re independents and registered as Republicans to vote, it’s hard to tell.”

Jeremy Duda: “She (Nikki Haley) didn’t suspend her campaign until halfway through early voting, so to really see if this presents problems for Donald Trump down the road, you’d kind of have to know when did a lot of those votes come in. Were people still voting for her as a protest vote after she suspended her campaign? If you look at the initial results that came out at 8’oclock, the first batch, which were all the early ballots, Haley’s vote total was a bit higher than it ended up being, which would indicate that Election Day results favored Trump.”

Mark Brodie: “I think the big question that I keep hearing is what will all those people who didn’t vote for either Biden or Trump do come November. Will they come home to their party’s nominee? Will they sit it out? Or just sit out the presidential race? Or will they cross and vote for the person on the other ticket? And that could affect the presidential race, but also down ballot, especially if some number of those voters decide to just not vote in November because they’re just not happy with the choices on the presidential ticket.”

Eva Burch announcement on the Senate floor:

Pitzl: “Eva Burch is a freshman, Democratic senator from Mesa. She is also a nurse by training, and she stood up on Monday and gave a speech about why she has scheduled an abortion. She has a pregnancy that is not going well and will not be viable and talked about the decision that she and her family made to take this step. It’s not an unknown thing that’s she’s been through before. She wanted to share her story. She kept saying, ‘I don’t owe an explanation to anybody for the decision that I’m making, but I want to talk about what the laws that we passed out of this place, the legislature, what that requires.'”

Brodie: “To Mary Joe’s point, she had said her pregnancy was not viable, so something like adoption is really not an option for her. But she also mentioned that she hopes that voters have a say on this in November, when voters very well could decide whether or not to put abortion rights into state law.”

Pitzl: “She talked about, you know, the requirements to have a second ultrasound done, to be given a speech on alternatives to abortion, to be asked again, ‘Are you sure want to do this?’ These kind of things. Her point is that this isn’t the government’s business.”

Duda: “(Abortion laws) have been talking points at the legislature, I think, for many years among abortion rights advocates, and right now it seems a bit more poignant with this issue most likely going on the ballot, when you have landmark Supreme Court rulings happening, and I think these are things that are going to become front and center.”

Duda: “Senator Burch’s point, and allies who share her view, is that they believe it’s not the government’s position to get in the way of a woman’s decisions between her and her doctor.”

Mary Jo Pitzl, "The Arizona Republic" and azcentral.com
Jeremy Duda, Axios Phoenix
Mark Brodie, KJZZ

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