Alexander: O’Connor critiques are ‘factual misstatements and tired allegations’

In reading Mr. O’Connor’s opinion in support of Mary Hamway for the Arizona Legislative District 28 race for the Arizona House of Representatives, I expected to read positive statements about Ms. Hamway’s experience, her political ideologies, and her plan if elected.

Instead, I read a statement full of factual misstatements and tired allegations from elections past against Maria Syms.

Misstatements and old allegations include:

1. Mr. O’Connor alleged Ms. Syms “asked independent expenditure committees to put out negative mailers on Mary Hamway.” This same allegation was made in the 2014 election cycle about a different candidate. The facts and circumstances indicate that the independent expenditure group(s) that disliked Ms. Hamway’s stance on the issues in 2014 dislikes her stance today, regardless of the other candidates in the election. This allegation never should have been made against Shawnna Bolick or Maria Syms. Accusations of criminal activity are not mere opinions. It is inappropriate to mask them as such.

2. Mr. O’Connor alleged Ms. Syms “stood up in Republican gatherings, asking voters to use a ‘single shot’ vote for her on the ballot.” Mr. O’Connor does not provide a date or location for reference. At our Sept. 13, 2016 LD 28 PC meeting, Ms. Syms publicly encouraged us all to support both her and Ms. Hamway. At our Oct. 11, 2016 LD 28 PC meeting, Ms. Syms again publicly encouraged us all to support the Republican Dream Team — Kate Brophy McGee, Mary Hamway, and Maria Syms. I have been invited to several joint fundraisers for all three candidates, as well as individual fundraisers for both Mary Hamway and Maria Syms. I have not seen nor heard Ms. Syms encourage voters to “single-shot” her in the upcoming election at any meeting or event.

3. Mr. O’Connor alleged “former mayors and council members have all endorsed Hamway, but not Syms.”  Maria Syms’ endorsements page lists numerous community leaders, including Former Paradise Valley Mayor Ed Lowry and Former Paradise Valley Vice Mayor Jini Simpson.

I can’t speak to Mr. O’Connor’s other allegations, having no personal knowledge of what transpired.

However, based upon Mr. O’Connor’s other misstatements and false accusations, it does not appear that he has firsthand knowledge either, and that these allegations also lack veracity.

The Town of Paradise Valley is home to all three candidates. Unlike other communities, we have the opportunity to vote for our neighbors.  I urge voters to get to know the candidates for themselves:


I am supporting both Maria Syms and Mary Hamway because they have the education, the experience, and the policy positions most aligned with my values.

Editor’s note: Ms. Alexander is a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley

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