2024 Arizona Senate Voters Guide

Ruben Gallego (D) vs Kari Lake (R)

US Senate | Election | Nov 5, 2024

The Candidates

Ruben Gallego

Ruben Gallego

Democrat

Kari Lake

Kari Lake

Republican

The Issues

Abortion

Ban or legal?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Legal. Cosponsored bills to protect abortion access, abortion service providers, and reproductive health data. About Roe v. Wade and Arizona’s abortion rights initiative: “The only protection we really, really have is to codify this and put this on the ballot and enshrine Roe.”

Kari Lake (R)

Ban. In 2021 said Arizona should pass a “carbon copy” of a Texas law, with a ban at six weeks, no exceptions for incest or rape, and incentives for individual citizens to sue people who aid or perform an abortion. In 2022 was “incredibly thrilled“ with Arizona’s 1864 near-total ban. In 2024, after an Arizona Court upheld the 1864 ban, said she supported exceptions for rape, incest, and the mother’s life.

Climate Change

Should climate change be a top priority?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Yes. “The climate is changing and we need to act.” We “can’t keep kicking the climate can down the road.” Supported a $369 billion commitment to climate and clean energy, the biggest investment in US history.  Voted to keep programs reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Kari Lake (R)

No. “Radical leftists… have spent months pushing mass hysteria… to declare a climate emergency.” Opposed $369 billion climate and energy investments. “We can’t keep pushing this green agenda that is actually destroying our jobs and our economy.”

Criminal Justice

How to ensure effectiveness and fairness in law enforcement?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Voted to keep a Washington, DC law banning neck restraints and expanding body cameras. Sponsored a bill to confront a crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women by helping tribal police provide more protection. Condemned efforts to defund police.

Kari Lake (R)

Stop this assault on our police.” Opposes civilian review boards. Protect police from lawsuits. “Police do not target people of color.” Dismantle the FBI. Don’t let people seek US asylum if they’re leaving a country with “elevated crime.”

Economy

Decrease or increase government investment in, and regulation of, the economy?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Increase. Supported $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which included more than $1 billion for Arizona infrastructure. Sponsored a bill funding anti-poverty programs. Opposed cutting funding for IRS operations and enforcement.

Kari Lake (R)

Decrease. Would “slash the federal government by 50 percent.” Would “make life easier for our mining industry,” even “if we have to push back against the federal government to do that.”

Education

Limit teaching of issues around racism and gender identity?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Likely no. “Banning books“ is what communists do. “Black history is American history.”

Kari Lake (R)

Limit. “Our schools need to concentrate on educating our young generation. Truly educating, not indoctrinating…not forcing this DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) garbage.”

Elections

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 Presidential election?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Yes. Sees a threat to elections from election officials who “support former President Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.”

Kari Lake (R)

No. “It was a rigged election.” The results “were garbage and EVERYBODY knows it. That’s why the corrupt swamp creatures are going after everyone who speaks the truth about our fraudulent elections. Trump won.”

Environment

Loosen or tighten environmental regulations?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Tighten. Protect the Grand Canyon from mining. Tax companies that grow water-intensive crops in drought areas. Strengthen pollution safeguards.

Kari Lake (R)

Loosen.Open our oil reserves to exploration.” Would exempt her proposed water delivery system from “lengthy environmental review processes.”

Gun Laws

Loosen or tighten gun regulation?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Tighten. Supports “commonsense policies that keep guns out of the wrong hands.” Opposed efforts to block red flag laws, ghost gun restrictions, and other firearm regulations.

Kari Lake (R)

Loosen. Calls background checks, red flag laws, and waiting periods “unconstitutional.” Supporters should “maybe strap on a Glock” to be ready for the 2024 election.

Health Care

Increase or decrease government support for health care?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Increase. Supports Medicaid expansion and voted against Obamacare repeal. Voted to lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, including $35 limit on insulin cost. Supports funding improved rural healthcare access.

Kari Lake (R)

Decrease. “We need to overturn Obamacare and come up with something better.”

Immigration

How to handle immigration and the border? Support a path to citizenship for “DACA” participants brought to the US as children?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Supports a bipartisan immigration bill to address border reform. Sponsored a bill to give DACA participants a pathway toward permanent residence after US military service.

Kari Lake (R)

Opposes the bipartisan immigration bill. It “legalizes nearly 2 million invaders.”  Opposes the military pathway for DACA bill. Supports ending automatic citizenship for anyone born in the US. Expand border wall.

Labor

Make it easier or harder for unions to organize?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Easier. Supported the Protect the Right to Organize Act, which expands the rights of unions to organize workers

Kari Lake (R)

Unclear. Has criticized the “union bosses” of teachers unions.

LGBT Rights

Limit or expand LGBTQ rights?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Expand.Will continue to fight for the LGBTQ+ community.” Voted for the Equality Act, to expand protections against discrimination.

Kari Lake (R)

Limit. They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens.” Adding sexual orientation to nondiscrimination law infringes on religious freedom. Will shut down “this whole push for transgenderism.”

Marijuana

Ban or legal?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Legal. Voted to decriminalize marijuana. As AZ state Representative, introduced a 2014 bill to legalize. Sponsored a bill to allow banking services to a state-legal marijuana business.

Kari Lake (R)

Unclear. In 2018 said a campaign to increase school funding and teacher pay was “a big push to legalize pot.” She later apologized.

Minimum Wage

Raise federal minimum from $7.25/hr?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Raise.Raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15/hour.”

Kari Lake (R)

No position found.

Student Financial Aid

Support lowering interest on student loans and/or forgiving them?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Yes. Supports Biden student debt relief package. Would work to reduce the “soaring costs of higher education.”

Kari Lake (R)

No. Regarding Biden’s student loan forgiveness, said “Democrats…will rob you blind and expect you to thank them for it.”

Taxes

Raise or lower taxes on corporations and wealthier individuals?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Raise. “We need to end the system of tax loopholes and exorbitant giveaways for the rich.” Opposed extending the 2017 Trump tax cuts that included the largest corporate cuts in US history and major tax cuts for the wealthy.

Kari Lake (R)

Lower. Would vote to extend the 2017 Trump tax cuts.

Voting Rules

Make voting harder or easier?

Ruben Gallego (D)

Easier. Would “fortify…our sacred right to vote.” Supported the Freedom to Vote Act, which would have required same-day voter registration, made Election Day a public holiday, required a minimum number of early voting days, and let people vote absentee by mail for any reason.

Kari Lake (R)

Harder. Wants to end early voting. “We have to get back to voting on Election Day.” Wants electronic voting machines declared unconstitutional. Opposed then supported mail balloting.

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