Sine Kerr Seeks Full Term in LD 13 Race
Sine Kerr is seeking a full term as Legislative District 13 State Senator. Kerr was appointed in 2018, replacing Steve Montenegro, who made an unsuccessful run for Congress. KAWC's Kim Johnson spoke to Kerr about seeking a full two year term.
Kim Johnson: Kerr's family owns and operates a fourth generation Arizona dairy farm. She and her husband began their Buckeye operation in 1980. She says she has a passion for agriculture. I spoke to her about what seems to be a new passion, the Arizona State Senate. "Can you tell me about your experience as a State Senator so far, and why you wanted a full term?"
Since Kerr: Ah, recently I was a candidate for a ah, House Seat in District 13. So when the vacancy occurred, when Senator Montenegro resigned, I put my hat in the ring, and was thankful to be appointed. I feel like I was the the strong, good conservative voice for our district and really looking forward to continuing all the good work.
Johnson: I know that you come from an ag family, so I'm wondering do you feel you have a good feel for the importance for agriculture here to the Yuma area?
Kerr: For 38 years my husband and I have been in the dairy business here in Buckeye. So I know the heart of a farmer, I know how critical the ag industry is. I'm a proven protector of Yuma's water. I've worked closely with our farmers, our irrigation districts there in Yuma, all the stakeholders to make sure that Yuma's water rights were absolutely protected.
Johnson: Do you think we'll ever come to a point where it's going to really be a situation of cities versus agricultural areas when it comes to who gets the bigger share of water?
Kerr: One of my main jobs is to make sure we don't get to that point. That everybody's allocations and rights are protected. It's important that we have people, like myself, in the Senate that understand how critical that is.
Johnson: Now education is another critical issue, both in the district and statewide. Are you happy with the pay raise plan that came from the governor and the legislature. And then, what are your thoughts on the possible ballot issue that would tax the state's highest wage earners in order to pay for more money to education generally?
Kerr: I was very pleased to be part of the passing the 20 by 2020 plan. We put clarifying language to make sure that the local districts knew that our intent was for those additional funds to go for teacher pay raises, and I think that's been very successful. The tax initiative, I don't support it. This initiative will hurt small businesses, family owned businesses and I think the ramifications are far greater than what it appears on its surface.
Johnson: I'm curious about your general view with regard to the Arizona/Mexico border, and then also your thoughts on the fact that recently we have been separating kids from parents. Some of those kids are here in Arizona, there are efforts right now to get those kids back with their parents. Your thoughts on that practice?
Kerr: I'm a hundred percent pro border security, we need a safe and secure border. It benefits both sides to have our border secure. Keeping ICE at our borders too. And then the situation with the families being separated, I feel like the administration is working towards resolving that as quickly as possible.
Johnson: And did you expect you'd see Don Shooter as a candidate? Did you have any indication that Don was going to be running for State Senate when you decided to run for a full term?
Kerr: No, I certainly didn't expect him to. I've done the job Don says that he wants to do. I don't feel it's realistic to think that he can be effective for our district.
Johnson: Shooter was expelled from the State House in February because of sexual harassment allegations. She'll be facing Shooter and Brent Backus in the August 28th Republican Primary. The winner takes on Democrat Michele Harris in the November General Election. I'm Kim Johnson, KAWC News.