Kelly Townsend

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Kelly Townsend
Kelly Townsend.jpg
Arizona House of Representatives District 16
In office
January 7, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 5, 2015
Years in position 1
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
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
High schoolGrants Pass High School (1986)
Bachelor'sSouthern Oregn University (1997), Arizona State University, 2012
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1988-1992
BirthdaySeptember 27, 1968
ProfessionBusiness owner/Author
Office website
Kelly Townsend is a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, representing District 16. She was first elected to the chamber in 2012.


Townsend earned B.S. in Human Communications/Psychology and Small Business from Southern Oregon University in 1997.[1] Her professional experience includes working for US Airways Group as Management in Customer Relations (Complaint Department) from 2004 to 2008, Ashland Community Hospital La Clinica Del Valle as Doula Program Director from April 1997 to October 2004 and at Hub Distributing/Miller's Outpost as a manager from March 1988 to April 1995. Townsend served in the US Navy as an E-4 Aviation Structural Mechanic from March 1988 to February 1992.[1]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Townsend served on the following committees:

Arizona Committee Assignments, 2013
Insurance and Retirement
Reform and Human Services, Vice Chair


Campaign themes


Townsend stated the following about her political philosophy in a bio submission to Ballotpedia:

"I believe in limited government, personal responsibility, free-market principles, deregulation of small businesses, American-made companies, and above all else, the rule of law. I am a Navy Veteran who swore an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, and that oath did not end in 1992 when I was honorably discharged. I demand integrity and principled leadership of myself and my peers, and remembering where I have come from, I have a heart of compassion for the less fortunate. I expect top quality schools for my children and your children, and I will work to make sure common sense steps are taken to raise our standards and output in our schools. I am pro-life and pro-family, pro-second amendment, and pro-liberty. I am a Reagan Republican, but I put country ahead of party. I have pledged allegiance to this Republic and her Constitution, and I intend on voting accordingly. I look forward to representing you!"[2]

Medicaid expansion lawsuit

See also: Can Arizona conservatives beat the clock to block Medicaid expansion from taking effect Jan. 1?

Kelly Townsend is one of the 36 Republican members of the state legislature who signed onto a lawsuit in September 2013 against Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with the conservative Goldwater Institute over the Arizona Medicaid Expansion.[3]

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act in June 2012, Brewer, a Republican who had long fought for its repeal, ultimately broke ranks with her party on the issue of Medicaid.[4] She first publicly embraced Arizona's participation in the federally controlled Medicaid expansion during her 2013 State of the State address. In addition to conceding the futility of continued opposition to Obamacare in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and Obama's re-election victory, Brewer discussed the considerable popular support for expanding patient eligibility: residents had already voted twice to make the state government provide free care for everyone up to the federal poverty line.

By June, a Medicaid expansion law had obtained passage in Arizona, despite a reluctant Republican-led state legislature. The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives responded by filing a referendum to block the Medicaid Expansion law from taking effect, but the referendum failed to collect the required 86,405 valid signatures to land on the November 2014 ballot before the September 11, 2013, deadline.[5]

The referendum option off the table, expansion opponents decided a lawsuit was the best available alternative. The suit was filed on the grounds that because the expansion would require participating hospitals to pay a set fee to the state to help compensate for future reductions in the federal subsidy, the law contains a tax and therefore its implementation under the control of the executive branch would violate the state law enforcing separation of powers. While the imposition of such a fee is an authority given to state agencies "over 80 times in the past five years,"[3] according to a Brewer spokesperson, critics insist that the fee's resemblance to a tax is too close for constitutional comfort, per Article 3, Section 22, the distribution of powers.[6]

The state's conservative interests, plus the 36 Republican members of the legislature who voted against Arizona's involvement in the federal government-controlled Medicaid reform, hoped to have expansion shut down before it officially went live Jan. 1, 2014, with eligible residents beginning to enroll as early as Oct. 1.



See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Arizona House of Representatives will take place in 2014. A primary election took place August 26, 2014. The general election will take place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 28, 2014. Cara Prior was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbents Doug Coleman and Kelly Townsend faced John Fillmore and Adam Stevens in the Republican primary.[7]


See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2012

Townsend won election in the 2012 election for Arizona House of Representatives District 16. She and Doug Coleman defeated Jeff Davis and Judy Novalsky in the August 28, 2012 Republican primary. She won the general election on November 6, 2012.[8][9]

Arizona House of Representatives, District 16, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Coleman 35.4% 41,063
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKelly Townsend 35.1% 40,720
     Democratic Matthew Cerra 21.5% 24,942
     Democratic Cara Prior (Write-in) 7.8% 9,094
     Green Party Bill Maher 0.2% 234
Total Votes 116,053
Arizona House of Representatives, District 16 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKelly Townsend 31.5% 9,398
Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Coleman 26.9% 8,021
Jeff Davis 23.7% 7,064
Judy Novalsky 17.9% 5,328
Total Votes 29,811

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Townsend is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Townsend raised a total of $39,289 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 23, 2013.[10]

Kelly Townsend's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Arizona State House, District 16 Won $36,674
2010 Arizona State House, District 22 Defeated $2,615
Grand Total Raised $39,289


Townsend won election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Townsend raised a total of $36,674.
Arizona House of Representatives 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Kelly Townsend's campaign in 2012
Public Fund$35,835
Fillmore, John$150
Townsend, Kell$59
Hicks, Susan$55
Spate, Randy$50
Total Raised in 2012$36,674
Source:Follow the Money


Townsend lost the election for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Townsend raised a total of $2,615.



In 2012, Townsend's endorsements included the following:[2]

  • The National Rifle Association, Arizona Right to Life, Arizona Citizen's Defense League PAC, the Pachyderm Coalition, and the AZ Conservative Blog.[2]


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

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


In 2014, the 51st Arizona State Legislature was in session from January 13 to April 24.[11]


In 2013, the 51st Arizona State Legislature was in session from January 14 to June 14.[11]


Townsend is widowed and has three children.[12]

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