John Kavanagh (Arizona politician)

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John Kavanagh
John Kavanagh by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
President pro tempore of the Arizona Senate
Assumed office
January 8, 2018
Preceded byDebbie Lesko
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 23rd district
Assumed office
January 15, 2015
Preceded byMichele Reagan
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 23rd district
In office
January 14, 2013 – January 15, 2015
Serving with Michelle Ugenti
Preceded byFrank Pratt
Succeeded byJay Lawrence
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 8th district
In office
January 8, 2007 – January 14, 2013
Serving with Michele Reagan (2007–2011)
Michelle Ugenti (2011–2013)
Preceded byColette Rosati
Succeeded byFrank Pratt
Personal details
Born (1950-06-05) June 5, 1950 (age 68)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Linda Kavanagh
EducationNew York University (BA)
St. John's University, New York (MA)
Rutgers University, Newark (PhD)

John Kavanagh[1] (born June 5, 1950[2]) is an American politician and a Republican member of the Arizona Senate representing District 23 since January 12, 2015.[3][4] Previously Kavanagh served as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing District 23 from January 14, 2013 to January 12, 2015, and (due to redistricting) representing District 8 from January 8, 2007 until January 14, 2013. He was a police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and retired as a detective sergeant, after 20 years of service. He is currently a professor of criminal justice at Scottsdale Community College (AZ), where he is Program Director of the Administration of Justice Studies and Forensic Science Programs. He is married to Linda with two children and one grandchild.

Education and early life[edit]

The grandson of Irish and German legal immigrants who came to Ellis Island in the early 20th century, he was born in Queens, New York.[5]

John Kavanagh earned his BA in liberal arts from New York University, his MA in government from St. John's University, and his PhD in criminal justice from Rutgers University.

Kavanagh was a Port Authority Police Officer for 20 years and retired as a detective sergeant. He served at Kennedy Airport, where he was also on the crash crew, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in the Times Square area of New York City and also taught in the police academy. Upon retiring from the Port Authority Police, Kavanagh moved to Fountain Hills, Arizona and taught as an adjunct and later full-time instructor at Arizona State University for several years and then was a professor of criminal justice and program director at Scottsdale Community for 15 years. He retired from SCC in 2017 but will still teach there as an adjunct.

Elections[edit]

  • 2014 Elected to the Arizona State Senate in District 23, defeating Democrat Paula Pennypacker,[6] and replacing Sen. Michele Reagan, who was elevated to Secretary of State in the same election.[7]
  • 2012 Redistricted to District 23 alongside incumbent Representative Michelle Ugenti, and with incumbent Republican Representatives John Fillmore running for Arizona Senate and Frank Pratt redistricted to District 8, Kavanagh ran alongside Representative Ugenti in the three-way August 28, 2012 Republican Primary; Kavanagh placed first with 20,922 votes and Representative Ugenti placed second;[8] they were unopposed for the November 6, 2012 General election, where Representative Ugenti took the first seat and Kavanagh took the second seat with 68,827 votes.[9]
  • 2010 With Representative Reagan running for Arizona Senate and leaving a District 8 seat open, Kavanagh ran in the six-way August 24, 2010 Republican Primary and placed first with 18,081 votes;[10] in the three-way November 2, 2010 General election Kavanagh took the first seat with 43,867 votes and fellow Republican nominee Michelle Ugenti took the second seat ahead of Democratic nominee John Kriekard.[11]
  • 2008 Kavanagh and Representative Reagan were unopposed for the September 2, 2008 Republican Primary; Representative Reagan placed first and Kavanagh placed second with 14,532 votes;[12] in the three-way November 2, 2010 General election, Representative Reagan took the first seat and Kavanagh took the second seat with 50,507 votes ahead of Democratic nominee Stephanie Rimmer.[13]
  • 2006 When incumbent Republican Representative Colette Rosati ran for Arizona Senate and left a District 8 seat open, Kavanagh ran in the five-way September 12, 2006 Republican Primary, taking second place with 7,979 votes;[14] in the four-way November 7, 2006 General election, Representative Michele Reagan took the first seat and Kavanagh took the second seat with 35,260 ahead of Democratic nominees Stephanie Rimmer and H. William Sandberg.[15]
  • 2000-2006 Was appointed to fill an open two-year term on the Fountain Hills Town Council and then was elected to another four-year term.
  • 1978-1981 Elected twice to the Lafayette, New Jersey Town Council.

News comments[edit]

John Kavanagh recently made news by passing a bill to end abusive lawsuits against businesses for minor violations of Arizona's American's With Disabilities Act. Kavanagh's bill gives businesses a "cure period" during which they can correct violations and avoid litigation.[16]

Kavanagh recently passed legislation granting those who break into locked vehicles to rescue children and pets from overheating on hot days immunity from civil liability and lawsuits.[17]

In 2016, John Kavanagh passed a law mandating that doctors check the Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP) database before prescribing a controlled substance to a patient, in response to doctor shopping by opioid abusers.[18]

John Kavanagh recently made news for his controversial comment on inmate Regan Clarine being asked to treat her C-section with sugar. He reportedly commented "That doesn't sound like a true allegation. That sounds ridiculous. Prisoners have 24/7 to think of allegations and write letters. I'm not saying that some of them can't have a basis in fact, but you gotta take them with a grain of salt, or, in the case of the hospital, maybe a grain of sugar."[19][20]

Kavanagh was the lead sponsor of a bill to remove eleven controversial phrases from Arizona's controversial 911 Monument. As a retired Port Authority police officer, Kavanagh was upset by the controversial phrases because he personally knew many of the 37 Port Authority police officers who died at the World Trade Center on September 11.[21] One of the phrases involved the name of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a victim of a racist retaliatory attack in Arizona after the September 11, 2001 attacks.[22] Claiming that Sodhi, who was murdered four days after the attacks by a white supremacist seeking revenge for the 9/11 attacks, he said Sodhi was "not a victim of 9/11," Kavanagh further stated "It's part of a myth that, following 9/11, Americans went into a xenophobic rage against foreigners. That's not true. America's reaction towards foreigners was commendable."[22] The bill passed, but was vetoed and did not take effect.[23] Kavanagh did meet with Sodhi's family, recognized his error in proposing to remove Sodhi's name and had agreed to keep his name on the memorial.

Kavanagh sponsored a bill to make it illegal to record the police within twenty feet, even of ones own interaction with them.[24] Another bill he sponsored would have prevented municipalities from requiring private businesses to allow transgender people to use restrooms that match their gender identities.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Kavanagh's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Arizona) biography". Legislative Action Center. Maryland Library Association. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  3. ^ "John Kavanagh". Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  4. ^ "John Kavanagh". Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Sandoval, Edgar (May 2, 2010). "Ex-New York cop, now Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh leads tough immigration law". Daily News.
  6. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2014 General Election November 4, 2014" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 16, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  7. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2014 General Election November 4, 2014" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 16, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2012 Primary Election August 28, 2012" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 11 & 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2012 General Election November 6, 2012" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2010 Primary Election – August 24, 2010" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  11. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2010 General Election – November 2, 2010" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  12. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2008 Primary Election – September 2, 2008" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 17, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  13. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2008 General Election – November 4, 2008" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2006 Primary Election – September 12, 2006" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  15. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2006 General Election – November 7, 2006" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 6, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  16. ^ Press, Associated (2017-04-18). "Serial ADA lawsuits update: Arizona legislature approved bill limiting disability lawsuits". KNXV. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  17. ^ TEGNA. "Gov. Ducey 'proud to sign' bill protecting people who rescue kids, pets from hot cars". KPNX. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  18. ^ "Governor Doug Ducey Signs Bills To Help Arizonans Suffering From Addiction". Office of the Arizona Governor. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  19. ^ "John Kavanagh and Regan Clarine case". Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  20. ^ Abigail Leonard and Adam May (May 28, 2014). Whistleblower: Arizona inmates are dying from inadequate health care. America Tonight. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  21. ^ Press, The Associated. "Memorial to 9/11 preaches vengeance and tolerance – Arizona Capitol Times". azcapitoltimes.com. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  22. ^ a b "The First 9/11 Backlash Fatality: The Murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "Mesa man pushes to keep brother's name on Sept. 11 memorial". Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  24. ^ Miller, Carlos. "Arizona Senator John Kavanagh Wants to Make it Illegal to Record Cops, Including Personal Interactions - PINAC News".
  25. ^ "Arizona transgender bathroom bill won't move".
  26. ^ "Anti-trans Arizona lawmaker John Kavanagh targets bathrooms again". 26 March 2013.

External links[edit]

Arizona Senate
Preceded by
Debbie Lesko
President pro tempore of the Arizona Senate
2018–present
Incumbent