Kavanagh, John

Meet the Candidate

Running For:
State Senate
Political Affiliation:
(480) 695-8561
College Professor
BA (NYU), MA (St. John's University NYC), and PhD (Rutgers)
Wife, Linda, two grown children and one grandchild.
Romman Catholic
Biographical Info:

John Kavanagh is a thirty-year resident of District 3, which covers half of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, a bit of North Phoenix, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, and New River. John and his wife, former Mayor Linda Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, have been married for 48 years and have two sons, Jonathan and Nicholas. John is a professor of criminal justice at Scottsdale Community College and teaches at A.S.U. Prior to teaching college, John served 20 years as a police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, retiring as a detective sergeant.

John’s dedication to public service is evident in his political career. He served six years as a town councilman in Fountain Hills and three years on the Lafayette, New Jersey Town Council. He is in his 18th year in the Arizona legislature, having served in the House and Senate, often as chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee. He was also Senate President Pro Tempore.

John was awarded a BA in Liberal Arts from NYU, a Master’s Degree in Government from St. John’s University (Queens, NY), and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers. He is also a military veteran.

John’s commitment to community service is reflected in his involvement in various government boards and community organizations. He has served on a Parks and Recreation Commission, Board of Health, School District Advisory Panel, Planning Advisory Group, and Senior Services Board of Directors. His dedication to the community extends beyond these roles, as he has also volunteered for the Community Center, the American Legion, the Civic Association, the Historical Society, and the Friends of the Chamber of Commerce. His diverse involvement demonstrates his ability to work with different groups and his commitment to the well-being of the community.


I have spent nine years on two town councils and eighteen years in the state legislature for three reasons. My primary reason is that I have always believed in public service, from my early years as a volunteer ambulance driver and attendant, along with my high school and college political activities, through my 20-year police career, and up to my holding elective offices. My second reason is that I want to promote conservative principles in government. Finally, I enjoy doing it.

PS. My campaign website is www.electkavanagh.com, and my X name is @JohnKavanagh_AZ. The above boxes would not accept them


AZ Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Police Association, Greater Phoenix Chamber, Arizona Troopers Association


Response Legend

  • SSupports
  • OOpposes
  • *Comment
  • Declined to respond
  • Declined to respond, Position based on citation

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Interpreting the 2nd Amendment as protecting an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. S
2. Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in nondiscrimination law. O
3. Amending the Arizona State Constitution to grant a fundamental right to every individual to an abortion. O
4. Securing the border by preventing all illegal crossings. S
5. Using taxpayer funds to support any organization that performs, promotes, or provides referrals for abortion. O
6. Allowing all parents to use tax credits and taxpayer funded empowerment scholarship accounts to enable their children to attend any private school, homeschool, or online academy of their choice. S
7. Legalizing physician-assisted suicide. O
8. Allowing parents to seek professional counseling for their minor child with same-sex attraction or gender identity issues. S
9. Permitting individuals and businesses to not provide services or promote ideas that violate their moral or religious beliefs. S
10. Keeping the flat income tax rate in Arizona’s state tax code. S
11. Requiring any government entity, including schools, to inform parents about their child’s physical, emotional, or mental health. S
12. Enhancing penalties for the sale and possession of fentanyl. S