Kelly Townsend

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Kelly Townsend
Kelly Townsend.jpg
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 16th[1] district
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Serving with Doug Coleman
Personal details
Born (1968-09-27) September 27, 1968 (age 49)
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Widowed
Residence Mesa, Arizona
Alma mater Southern Oregon University
Arizona State University
Profession Corporate Management
Birth Doula & Doula Trainer
Website Campaign website

Kelly Townsend (born September 27, 1968)[2] is an American politician who since 2013 has served as a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing District 16.


Townsend earned her BS degree in Human Communications and her Master's degree in Infant-Family Practice from Arizona State University.

Phoenix Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention[edit]

Rep. Townsend was elected President to the historic BBA Planning Convention held in Phoenix, September 12-15, 2017 by officially authorized delegates from 19 States. A convention where the delegates are authorized by both houses has not taken place since the 1861 Washington Peace Conference, where an unsuccessful attempt to advert the Civil War took place. At the BBA Planning Convention, proposed rules for an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the US Constitution were constructed and submitted to Congress.[3]

Chairmanships & Leadership Positions[edit]

Vice Chair of the Child and Family Services committee 2013-2014

Co-Chair of the House Veteran's Caucus- 2014 - 2015

Chair of the Federalism committee 2015-2016

House Majority Whip 2017-2018

Bills Passed Into Law[edit]


  • HB2476 - Regulation of "Scream Rooms" at public schools: Her first bill signed into law was to require schools to obtain permission from parents before they could place a child in a closet-sized isolation room for disciplinary purposes.[4]


  • HB2103 - Allowing active military ages 19-20 to conceal carry: HB2103 allows an individual of at least 19 year s of age to obtain a concealed weapon permit if the person is currently in military service or has been honorably discharged. [5]
  • HB2514 - Exempted special combat related compensation from being considered for alimony: HB2514 prohibits the courts from considering combat related special compensation in determining the separation of property and spousal maintenance in a divorce proceeding.[6]
  • HB2368 - Allowing law enforcement to have access to DCS files for investigation. HB2638 requires the Arizona Department Economic Security (ADES) or a person who receives Child Protective Services (CPS) information to provide that information to the fitting agency in order to help investigate and prosecute any violation involving domestic violence or violent sexual assault.
  • HB2639 - Increased penalty for employers who knowingly employ someone using a fake ID, as well as increased the penalty for those who cause economic damages for ID theft of $1000, down from $3000.[7]


  • HB2047 - A child may not be removed from the custody of the parent without the approval of the DCS Supervisor, except in cases of exigency.[8]
  • HB2571 - Allowing fellow legislators to discuss the confidential details of a DCS case, if the other legislator signs the confidentiality agreement.[9]


  • HB2059 - Gives the Governor access to DCS files for review and investigation.[10]
  • HB2061 - Mandates the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to adopt rules requiring all non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries to display signs warning women about the dangers of smoking or ingesting marijuana during pregnancy or to infants while breastfeeding. [11]
  • HB2339 - Stipulates the governing board (board) of an educational institution is prohibited from creating or enforcing any regulations regarding the lawful possession of a deadly weapon on a public right-of-way.[12]
  • HB2340 - Protection of the Salt River Wild Horse Herd.[13]
  • HB2341 - Expands the food and drink rule exemption to include potlucks not conducted at a workplace.
  • HB2427 - Requires that there be a Statewide uniform criteria to remove a child from the home.[14]

2017 (In House Leadership, minimum bills ran)

  • HB2423 - Requires DCS to place in a conspicuous place on their website a link to parental rights.[15]
  • HCR2010 - Application to Congress for a call for an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
  • SB1003 - (Townsend Amendment) Requires a warrant to remove a child from parental custody exept when exigency exists, prohibits the use of covert stress analysis machines without the consent of the person being interviewed, allows parents to record DCS interviews, etc.[16]

2018 (In House Leadership, minimum bills ran)

  • HB2422 - Allows a personal delivery device (delivery robot) to operate on Arizona sidewalks and sets safety regulations. Sunset clause included, and legislation will expire Aug 31, 2020 unless renewed by the Legislature.

Local/Community Involvement[edit]

Representative Townsend has been a champion for those in her district and around the State. She frequently comes to the defense of constituents who are being persecuted or have fallen on hard times. Some examples include the following:

  • Came to the defense of Apache Junction senior citizen, Virginia Kelley, who was at risk of being evicted from her own home due to bad tenants.[17]
  • Negotiated a solution for HOA residents who were told they could not decorate with Christmas lights. Delivered lights to residents just in time for Christmas Eve.[18]
  • Helped an Apache Junction family avoid eviction by starting a GoFundMe account and raising the money to help them get back on their feet. (No citation to protect the identity of the family)
  • Took great interest in preventing the removal of the Salt River Wild Horse herd by the Federal government. Felt horses were a State resource and treasure not to be disposed of by an uncaring bureaucracy.[19]
  • Worked to try and help the Fugate family in the rebuilding of the historic Mining Camp Restaurant just outside of Apache Junction.
  • Working to help the Hitiching Post Pizza restaurant in Apache Junction survive undue and oppressive regulations, as well as blatant discrimination.
  • Fervently challenged the #RedForEd movement after quickly realizing the leadership had ulterior motives, including pushing critical pedagogy when their leader, Noah Karvelis stated that "teaching is political."[20]


  • In 2010, Townsend initially sought a Legislative seat in District 22 six-way August 24, 2010 Republican Primary, placing fourth with 5,446 votes;[21] other front runners included Eddie Farnsworth and Steve Urie who went on to win the district's seats in the November 2, 2010 General election.
  • In 2012, she was Redistricted to District 16, and along with other politicians, Townsend was one of four candidates for the August 28, 2012 Republican Primary, placing first with 9,298 votes,[22] she also won the second seat in the five-way November 6, 2012 General election with 40,720 votes against Democratic nominee Matthew Cerra, Arizona Green Party candidate Bill Maher, and Democratic write-in candidate Cara Prior.[23]
  • In 2014, she won the primary election with 38.55% of the vote, nearly 11 points ahead of her seatmate, Douglas Coleman who came in with 27.74% of the primary vote. In the general election, she won 39.18%, placing her in first place, earning her a second term in the House of Representatives.[24][25]
  • In 2016, she came in first place in the primary with 34.62% of the vote, and in the general election, she came in first place with 33.45% of the vote.[26][27]


  • In 2018, she stirred some controversy during a highly publicized teacher protest for more education funding by responding to a constituent that the money in the budget that was set for other items to include a suicide hotline, training for police officers, money for Alzheimer's research, etc. would no longer be available. She also offered to help any teacher, parent, or student harmed by the illegal strike to find legal representation in a class action lawsuit and suggested that it was up to the lawyers to determine who the defendants would be. Representative Townsend was an ardent opponent to the political and ideological nature of the movement, yet maintained that she did support the teachers throughout the movement, despite the heckling online and at the Capitol, where her car was allegedly keyed while the RedForEd group mingled among the Legislative parking lot en masse. [28]


  1. ^ "Kelly Townsend". Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kelly Townsend's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "BBA Planning Committee". 
  4. ^ "Brewer signs bill regulating school 'scream rooms'". 
  5. ^ "Description of chaptered bill". 
  6. ^ "HB 2514 Bill explanation". 
  7. ^ "Chaptered version of HB2639". 
  8. ^ "Chaptered version of HB2047". 
  9. ^ "Chaptered version of HB2571". 
  10. ^ "Chaptered Version of HB2059". 
  11. ^ "Chaptered version of HB2061 Summary". 
  12. ^ "Chaptered Version of HB2339". 
  13. ^ "Chaptered Version of HB2340". 
  14. ^ "Chaptered version of HB2427". 
  15. ^ "Chaptered Version of HB2423". 
  16. ^ "Townsend Amendment to SB1003". 
  17. ^ "Virginia Kelley News Article". 
  18. ^ "Christmas Lights Story". 
  19. ^ "Salt River Wild Horses Article". 
  20. ^ "Noah Karvelis "Teaching is Political"". 
  21. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2010 Primary Election August 24, 2010" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 13. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2012 Primary Election August 28, 2012" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  23. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2012 General Election November 6, 2012" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Maricopa County Final Report" (PDF). 
  25. ^ "General Election Final Report" (PDF). 
  26. ^ "Primary election results" (PDF). 
  27. ^ "General Election Results" (PDF). 
  28. ^ "Arizona lawmaker suggests lawsuit over teacher walkout, lashes out at constituent". azcentral. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 

External links[edit]