David is a kid from the neighborhood. His dad was a commercial painter and Vietnam-era veteran and his mom juggled parenting along with a job at an electronics factory to help make ends meet. David knows what it’s like to struggle and understands the daily challenges Arizonans face; “When we first got health insurance,” David recalls as a third grader, “my sisters and I went to the dentist and the eye doctor right away. We had never been to either one before then.” David’s family did not have a lot but he credits his success to one simple constant in his life – “they loved the hell out of each other.” His mom still lives in his childhood home in Mesa.
David married his high school sweetheart, Lori, a fellow Mesa High Jackrabbit. Together, they have two beautiful daughters Lola and Olivia who attend our public schools. Lori and David set the example for their daughters through their commitment to community and an appreciation for Arizona’s rich diversity.
David has a soldier’s sense of duty. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry. His time as an infantryman instilled values that guide his life to this day: discipline, accountability and duty. “Discipline is doing the right thing when no one is looking,” was the mantra that his Drill Sergeant instilled in him and other young soldiers. David was a leader, trained as a chemical warfare specialist, qualified as an expert marksman and decorated with the Army Achievement Medal and the Humanitarian Award for fighting wildfires in Yellowstone National Park. Serving in the Army to protect our freedom remains one of his proudest life accomplishments.
The military, along with one of our most successful government programs, the GI Bill, changed David’s life. He is the first in his family to finish college and earn a quality education that allowed him to realize his American dream. After graduating from the Honors College at Arizona State University, he received a master’s and doctorate from the University of Chicago and has become a nationally-recognized expert in education research and policy.
David has dedicated his career to improving Arizona public schools. David is a well-respected teacher in both the education and business communities, as well as in the classroom. His strengths include legislative experience, serving as a research analyst for the Arizona State Senate and leading the Arizona Department of Education as Associate Superintendent. He is known for answering tough questions and developing visionary solutions. These traits have earned respect and accolades from people on both sides of the political aisle. In 2014, the Arizona Republic called David a “Champion for Education.”
Now, he is a professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University where he teaches research and policy to Arizona’s next generation of leaders.
David is the one person most capable of tackling the crisis in Arizona’s schools. Arizona is being held back because our state leadership is not committed to creating an excellent public education system. “Doug Ducey’s failed commitment to public education is hurting our economy. We need a well-trained workforce to attract good-paying jobs and encourage businesses to start, build and stay in Arizona,” he says. To strengthen our schools, our next Governor needs not only expertise, but a teacher’s commitment to education. David Garcia is that person.
David will fight for working families. David has never forgotten the people who shaped him and the neighborhood he will always call home. He’s running for Governor because the political process is rigged against the regular, hard-working Arizonans that our state leaders are elected to serve. Governor Ducey slashes the state budget and we pay the price. Our teachers can’t earn enough to support a family, our foster care children remain endangered, and rural Arizona struggles with inferior infrastructure. Meanwhile, Ducey’s rich and powerful friends raise your utility rates, give themselves big money kickbacks and line their own pockets with our tax dollars.
David Garcia is fighting for an Arizona that works for everyone. As Governor, David will restore integrity to the Executive Office, will make our schools excellent, keep healthcare accessible to all, and will fight to ensure Arizonans are ready to lead the economy of the future.
David Garcia is from us, and for us: a veteran, a teacher and a fighter for Arizona families.