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Charlene Fernandez

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Charlene Fernandez
Charlene Fernandez.jpg
Arizona House of Representatives District 4
In office
January 5, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 1, 2017
Years in position 0
Base salary$24,000/year
Per diem$35/day for the first 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and $10/day thereafter.
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsFour terms (8 years)
Prior offices
Yuma Union High School District #13 Governing Board
Bachelor'sNorthern Arizona University
Date of birthFebruary 24
Place of birthYuma, AZ
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Charlene Fernandez is a Democratic member of the Arizona House of Representatives, representing District 4. She was first elected to the chamber in 2014.


Fernandez earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University. She then worked for Congressman Ed Pastor for 12 years, coordinating constituent services for the western portion of then Congressional District 2. While working for Congressman Pastor, Fernandez spearheaded an effort that culminated in bringing a Veteran’s Administration clinic to Yuma County for the first time in history. She also served in a similar capacity for Congressman Raul Grijalva. She then become a consultant for a software company that produced a constituent management system for the U.S. House of Representatives. Fernandez later served Governor Janet Napolitano as a liaison for the Arizona Department of Environment Quality in Yuma County. In this capacity she worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as its counterpart in the Republic of Mexico. Fernandez was elected to Yuma Union High School District Governing Board and served as president and vice president.[1]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Fernandez served on the following committees:

Arizona Committee Assignments, 2015
Transportation and Infrastructure


Campaign themes


Fernandez's campaign website listed the following issues:[2]


  • Excerpt: "Charlene believes that every child deserves to have access to a quality education to include competent teachers, manageable classroom sizes and support from administrators and communities. She will pursue full funding for public education in the legislature and will work within our communities to empower families to work with policy makers to make education a priority."

Economic Development

  • Excerpt: "Charlene will work to develop apprentice and other skills training programs, particularly in high unemployment areas of the state and will work to create public infrastructure projects to put our people to work."

Health Care

  • Excerpt: "Charlene believes that every resident of our state should have access to quality and affordable health care and mental health services and our families should not have to choose between health care and food and shelter. She will work to curtail the cost of health care by expanding Medicaid eligibility and creating competition in the health care delivery."


  • Excerpt: "As your legislator, I will proactively address water issues and not wait for critical declines in water availability before getting involved. I am capable of, and willing to, work with elected officials from other states to develop long-term solutions to water shortages. Any collective strategies concerning water must protect our most important industry, agriculture, and the thousands of jobs it creates in our district."



See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Arizona House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 28, 2014. Incumbent Lisa Otondo and Charlene Fernandez defeated Jose Suarez in the Democratic primary. Richard Hopkins was unopposed in the Republican primary. Otondo and Fernandez defeated Hopkins in the general election.[3][4][5]

Arizona House of Representatives District 4, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngLisa Otondo Incumbent 35.4% 13,324
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCharlene Fernandez 32.5% 12,251
     Republican Richard Hopkins 32.1% 12,063
Total Votes 37,638

Arizona House of Representatives, District 4 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLisa Otondo Incumbent 38.2% 4,556
Green check mark transparent.pngCharlene Fernandez 37.7% 4,497
Jose Suarez 24% 2,861
Total Votes 11,914


See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2012

Fernandez ran in the 2012 election for Arizona House of Representatives District 4. She was defeated by Juan Carlos Escamilla and Lisa Otondo in the Democratic primary on August 28, 2012.[6]

Arizona House of Representatives, District 4 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLisa Otondo 34.9% 4,238
Green check mark transparent.pngJuan Carlos Escamilla 33.3% 4,038
Charlene Fernandez 31.8% 3,865
Total Votes 12,141



Fernandez was endorsed by the following people and organizations:[7]

  • Congressman Ed Pastor
  • Congressman Raul Grijalva
  • United Farm Workers Co-Founder Dolores Huereta
  • Arizona Education Association
  • Arizona's List
  • Emily's List
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Arizona State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police
  • Las Adelitas Arizona

  • Planned Parenthood of Arizona
  • Arizona Pipe Traders 469
  • Arizona Women's Caucus
  • Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE)
  • Progressive Majority Fund
  • Stonewall Democrats of Arizona
  • Professional Firefighters of Arizona
  • United Food Commercial Workers


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Arizona

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Arizona scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


Fernandez and her husband, Sergio, have three children: Brian, Carlye, and Lisa. She lives with her husband in central Yuma less than two miles from where she was raised.[1]

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