Steve is a 54-year-old small-business owner and father of Amelia, 22, and Genevieve, 18. He is engaged to Kitt Leonard, a Tempe native who works in IT at Tucson Medical Center. Steve graduated from Williams College (Mass.) in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He was elected to represent the citizens of District 9 as State Senator in 2012. He was first elected to the Arizona Legislature as State Representative from District 28 in November 2006, eventually rising to become House Assistant Minority Leader. He now serves as Senate Assistant Minority Leader and the Ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, as well as Member of the Appropriations, Joint Legislative Budget, and Ethics Committees.
Steve entered public service because he loves Arizona and understands the challenges facing our families and communities. He has fought to increase teacher pay and reduce class sizes all to ensure every Arizonan has access to a first class education. Steve has made it a point of his legislative career to focus on bringing good paying jobs, spurring economic development, exemplary public safety, and world class transportation choices to Arizona.
When he’s not at the state Capitol, Steve is a well-known artist and graphic designer who invented a new way of converting photographs to glazed ceramic tile, and he has since completed numerous mural projects around the U.S. He has run his own public art and graphic design business since 1991.
Steve has also become a strong advocate for public transit and other transportation improvements all over the state. He was instrumental in gaining approval for a comprehensive regional transportation system of roads, buses, bikeways and sidewalks, and the Modern Streetcar light rail line which opened in Tucson in 2014 and which has created hundreds and hundreds of jobs and more than a billion dollars in private construction projects within three blocks of its route — all in the middle of the worst recession Arizona has seen. Steve’s leadership in the creation of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has resulted in thousands of new, good jobs and a revitalized Southern Arizona.
Steve’s love of Arizona is deeply rooted in his everyday life. Be it with his infectious smile or famous hugs, anyone who meets Steve can easily see that his only desire in public office is to improve our state for every Arizonan, regardless of who they are.