Four candidates vie for two District 6 State House seats

COTTONWOOD - Four candidates - two Democrats and two Republicans - are running for two available seats in the State House of Representatives. The newly formed Arizona Legislative District 6 was created by the redistricting commission. It is a new district that is one of 30 legislative districts created by the 2010 U.S. Census.

State Representative candidates in District 6 include Democrats Doug Ballard of Parks and Angela LeFevre of Sedona, and the slate also includes Republicans Brenda Barton of Safford and Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff.

The primary election is Aug. 28, and the last day for voter registration is July 30. The general election is Nov. 6, and the last day for voter registration will be Oct. 9.

Democrat Doug Ballard is retired after 31 years in public service. His bio sheet says that during this time, he helped create thousands of jobs and improved the lives of residents in communities.

Ballard served 14 years as the Planning and Development Director for the City of Chandler. He had a staff of more than 120 and an annual budget of more than $25 million. In that position, he was responsible for planning, development services, civil engineering, community development and the housing authority. He was also in charge of economic development for much of his time with Chandler.

Ballard's bio sheet says he was heavily involved with Intel semi-conductor plant projects, and other high-tech development.

He also served as Director of Development for the City of Ft. Pierce, Fla. for 10 years. As department head, he was over planning, building, economic and community development.

Before Ft. Pierce, Ballard was program manager for an 11-county development commission in Ohio. In that position, he was responsible for managing local planning, community and economic development activities, and he was involved with regional transportation and health care programs.

Ballard has been a board member for Neighbors Who Care, a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, chair of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church building committee, board member for Main Street Ft. Pierce, and he has been involved in various other non-profit organizations.

Ballard lives in Parks since 2008 with his wife of 33 years. The couple enjoys the outdoors, hiking and exploring Northern Arizona.

Democrat Angela LeFevre came to the United States as a foreign exchange student to Davenport, Iowa. She earned a degree in economics and international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In 1981, LeFevre moved to the U.S. and became a substitute teacher in New Orleans, as well as a single mother of two. She started a telecommunications business and eventually went into senior management for a Fortune 500 company in that industry.

LeFevre has years of experience in grassroots political efforts. During the 1990s, she worked in Denver for Colorado Representative Dianne DeGette, who is now in the U.S. House of Representatives.

LeFevre came to Arizona in 2004 with her husband Paul LeFevre. She joined Arizona Saves and Kids Save programs. She worked with Catholic Charities for several years, and also as a supervisor in the Yavapai County Junior Probation program in Cottonwood. She has served Keep Sedona Beautiful, and she is on the Sedona Community Plan Citizen's Steering Committee.

In 2006, LeFevre was the local campaign coordinator for the congressional and state elections. She was first vice chair of Yavapai County Democrats during 2006-2008. She became a state precinct leader to represent the county and vote at the state level of the Democratic Party.

In 2010, LeFevre took part in EMERGE, a nationwide program to train Democratic women to run for office.

Republican Brenda Barton lives in Safford and is a fifth generation native of rural, Eastern Arizona. He pioneer family established Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River and Lee's Valley in the White Mountains during the 1800s.

During the 1950s Barton's family left Arizona for the economic boom in California. In the mid-1970s, she worked in the real estate market of Orange County California.

But in 1977, her family returned to Arizona, where she began a career in public service with the City of Safford. By the mid 1990s, she had become a political activist and was elected officer of the People for the West, a land-rights organization engaged in the public policy debate over the Gila Box Wilderness Area. Later in the 1990s, LeFevre went to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress against the land-rights losses contained in the Kyoto Treaty.

Barton lives with her husband, Bruce, in Safford. The couple has two grown children and six grandchildren. She has been an active participant in the campaigns of nearly all Republican office holders in Eastern Arizona, and she has served as an alternate delegate to the Arizona Republicans State Convention in 2008.

Republican Bob Thorpe says he is a grassroots citizen candidate and a life-long fiscal conservative. He is a published Constitutional author, lecturer and researcher. Thorpe co-founded the Balanced Budget Amendment Taskforce. He also serves as a precinct committeeperson, and has published numerous papers in support of states rights.

Thorpe is a graduate of the California State University system with a bachelor's degree, and he has done graduate studies in Ergonomics.

He has business experience as an entrepreneur and a small business creator of a software company. He also worked for companies such as Price Waterhouse, Walt Disney Company, the aerospace industry, software and online industries, the medical industry, construction industry, K-12 public education and teaching software and robotics at UCLA extension.

He served for more than 7 years as a certified volunteer firefighter and EMT. Thorpe also was president of a firefighters' association and charity. He helped establish emergency fire and medical services for rural Northern Arizona families, and he volunteered at a Flagstaff elementary school for more than two years for his church and assisting local charities.

Thorpe lives in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff with his wife, Donna, of 29 years, their daughter and son and two black Labradors and a couple of desert tortoises. The family lives in an energy-efficient home built by Thorpe and his wife.

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