Diane Douglas, Candidate for Superintendent, Finally Faces Opponent David Garcia

After ducking out on participating in more than a dozen political debates or public forums, Diane Douglas, the Republican candidate for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, was forced out of hiding.

Because she's running as a Clean Elections candidate, she was mandated to participate in a debate sponsored by the Arizona Clean Elections Commission. The debate was hosted by Arizona Horizon's Ted Simons and televised Thursday on KAET Channel 8. (Station operators say the video will be available online later this evening.)

Douglas, a former school board president, is running against David Garcia, an associate professor at Arizona State University.

See also: -Garcia Endorsed by 3 Former AZ Schools Chiefs in Bid for State Superintendent -Garcia Lands Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's First-Ever Endorsement

But, overall, Douglas stuck to the Republican talking points, blasting Common Core, and didn't commit to showing up for any more debates -- even when she was pinned down by Garcia.

She says she's been out in the community meeting people, and when asked whether she'd participate in future debates, she told him that she already had a campaign scheduler. Douglas also dodged questions from reporters after the debate.

We left her a message, as well, to get her take on last night's debate.

Garcia says that his opponent is "not interested in having a straightforward discussion of the issues."

"If she refuses to speak with the public during a campaign, how closed off and secretive will she be if elected to run a large state agency?" Garcia says.

Douglas has been called a one-issue ideologue, and for those who may want to debate that -- she makes it pretty clear on her own website:

She poses the question:

Why I am running for Superintendent of Public Instruction?

Then answers it:

Quite simply, to stop the Common Core Standards in Arizona and return control over your children's education to you through your locally elected school boards.

We now clearly understand that a major piece of President Obama's plan to "fundamentally change" America is by controlling the education of our children through the federally mandated Common Core Standards (renamed "Arizona's" College and Career Ready Standards).

Supporters of both candidates fired off some interesting post-debate tweets:

DernDawn ‏@noprezzie2012 David Garcia was only interested in attacking Diane Douglas 4 not meeting at his time & place. She calmly schooled him

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo