About five minutes into a conversation with Sanda Clark you discover she isn’t much interested in politics — left, right; conservative, liberal; Democrat, Republican.
What she really wants to talk about is freedom, hanging on to it, and wondering why Americans are nonchalant about giving it up.
You can credit her background for that. Clark was born in Communist Romania, immigrated to Israel as a young girl, then — through nothing less than “don’t take no for an answer” grit, landed in the United States to study piano (she’s quite good).
She became a citizen in 1979, and now is a Democrat running for a seat in the state Legislature out of GOP-leaning LD19, which includes Green Valley and parts of Sahuarita. She’s up against two Republican incumbents but the thought of not having a Democrat on the ballot — or that any race at all goes uncontested — is revolting to her.
Why wouldn’t Americans want to take advantage of voting in open and free elections; supporting — or being – a candidate in a race; or, heck, enjoy the freedom to publicly declare your politicians are wrong. without risk of arrest?
“It is becoming increasingly incomprehensible to me how Americans can let go of something as enviable, as precious as what is known as our way of life, the freedoms we have enjoyed," she says.
The Trump and post-Trump years have been difficult to maneuver because of what Clark calls threats to a great — but not perfect — system built over nearly 250 years.
She hasn’t always been a Democrat. She “loved Ronald Reagan” for taking a hard line with Communists and calling out their corruption. Reagan's boldness only added to the difficulty of the Trump years.
“We had a president who would trust Putin before he would trust our CIA or FBI or any of those people who protect our freedoms… it is something that is just beyond appalling.”
Here’s a cursory glance on the issues:
•Clark believes in “Arizona first,” not as a slogan but as a policy. That means control water through AMAs (Active Management Areas), limit migration from California (!), cut the number of building permits and demand two- to four-acre lots per home, and require solar. It’s all good for Arizona, she says.
•No foreign business ownership in Arizona — a shot across the bow of the mining industry, including Canadian-based Hudbay and their work in the Santa Ritas. “You have to live here to benefit from our beauty and our resources. No more stealing, because that’s what it is, theft,” Clark says.
•She supports abortion rights but acknowledges there is a baby involved. She is firm, but also recognizes the gut-wrenching decisions involved in abortion regardless of the reason. Still, “Privacy includes the right to privacy in your own body, in your own bedroom.”
•She opposes school vouchers because they divert money from public education. “I don’t have a problem with choice, I don’t want to pay for your choice.”
•The best way to combat scammers is by building a strong defense through education. “You can’t stop it, the government can’t stop it. They are very determined.”
Go deeper on the issues on her website: www.clark4az.com.
Clark said nobody asked her to run and everybody has told her the newly redrawn district is unwinnable for a Democrat. Doesn’t matter.
“You don’t enter a race because you know you can win it. What’s the point? There is no satisfaction in that. You enter a race because you have strong beliefs and you stand for something and you want to defend those beliefs and be counted. Stand and be counted, no matter what the outcome is.”
— Dan Shearer