Kelly Fryer is a longtime supporter of progressive causes, a former pastor, and part-time Bisbee resident
By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | The Republic
Disenchanted with the other Democrats running for governor, Tucson activist Kelly Fryer threw herself in the mix earlier this year.
Fryer, 56, said was inspired to run by the energy she felt during last year’s Women’s March, where she spoke in front of thousands of people who took to the streets for a local-style version of the march on Washington, D.C.
A longtime supporter of progressive causes, a former pastor, and part-time Bisbee resident, Fryer wondered how she could sustain that type of energy in Arizona around education funding, income equality, criminal justice and other issues facing the state.
After that moment, community leaders began asking her to run for office, she said.
“It’s really the moment where I thought, you know, something really different is possible,” Fryer said during a recent interview with The Arizona Republicbetween campaign stops in Maricopa County.
“We need new policies, we need new laws . . . We need leaders who are not just in this for the sake of their career, but who really are putting people first.”
A year later, after talking to family and friends, she decided to step back as CEO of the YWCA Southern Arizona, a job she held for more than five years.
On Jan. 9, about an hour before Republican Gov. Doug Ducey took the dais to deliver his fourth State of the State address at the state Capitol, Fryer announced she was entering the crowded field for the Democratic nomination for governor.