Running for Office as a Black Woman in 2020: Sarah Tyree, Candidate for AZ Senate District 22

Sarah Tyree (Democratic Party) is running for election to the Arizona State Senate to represent District 22. She is on the ballot in the general election on November 3, 2020. She advanced from the Democratic primary on August 4, 2020.

October 8th, 2020 – Written By Jeremiah Isaiah

ARIZONA – Change isn’t always comfortable. Sarah Tyree has been subject to both uncomfortable brushes with discrimination amidst her candidacy, as well as making her rivals uncomfortable. Her truth-telling campaign focuses on countering her opponent who frequently espouses racist vitriol and ideology.

Her story is one of perseverance , triumph and heartbreak. She doesn’t shy away from sharing her upbringing as an unwanted mixed-race child, dealing with racism since birth. As an 8-year Army veteran, she faced unwanted sexual advances from fellow service members only to be silenced for seeking justice. These experiences have prepared Tyree to step up and run for office in Arizona’s 22nd Senate District. The District is unique, as it is comprised of roughly 150,000 registered voters, with over 30% or so unaffiliated with either party.

A Tyree victory would shake up the long standing Republican control and make her the first black woman to hold the seat. Financial contributions for this district have skyrocketed over the past two decades. As recently as 2000, contributions were as low as $3,674 between all candidates and jumped to $195,589 in 2008 during the Obama Election.

Tyree hopes to cut through the political noise and boasts a platform that includes veterans rights, increased funding to education and tenants rights. One of her ideas includes creating community partnerships between high schools and businesses to provide internships and workforce development opportunities for youth. She also believes in ending surprise billing in the healthcare industry and ensuring District 22 residents have access to quality care, which led to an endorsement from The Arizona Association of Nurses.

She has been a vocal leader in the #BlackLivesMatter movement leading efforts on police reform. She cites her opponent, David Livingston as a major proponent in why justice is unable to be achieved when seeking to prosecute police officers. He has previously supported bills that increase protections for cops that have been accused of misconduct. Because of her outspokenness on police reform ideas, she is often subject to racism and intimidation.

Tyree recalls her own harassment from police officers as well as her supporters who have reported police surveillance of their houses for having her yard signs visible. She is a fighter who has overcome being being thrust from her home at 15, enduring sexual assault and further defying odds with both a Bachelors and Graduate Degree.

She would make history if she wins her election on November 3rd. She is endorsed by the AFL-CIO, LUCHA, Arizona Nurses Association and MORE. If you would like to get involved with her campaign, check out https://www.tyreeforaz.com