by Jim Nintzel
Looks like the Pima County Democrats have found a candidate to run for the Senate in Legislative District 26: Cheryl Cage.
"This election cycle is one of the most important in my lifetime," Cage says. "We have decisions to make about our water, our growth, our educational system. I also want to make sure the Arizona economy grows by using what we have in abundance. We have a great opportunity for solar and alternative energy businesses to be based here."
Cage is familiar with LD 26; she ran Democrat Lena Saradnik's successful House campaign in the district in 2006. When Saradnik stepped down earlier this year after suffering a stroke, Cage's name was one of three submitted to the Pima County Board of Supervisors to replace her. The seat went to former Amphi School Board member Nancy Young Wright.
LD 26, which includes Oro Valley, the Casas Adobes area and the Catalina Foothills, is a GOP-leaning district where Democrat Charlene Pesquiera won an upset victory in 2006 against Republican Al Melvin, who had used his conservative base to knock off incumbent Republican Toni Hellon in the primary. Pesquiera announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection.
Melvin is campaigning for the Senate seat again this year against Rep. Pete Hershberger in what's expected to be a lively GOP primary.