PHOENIX — Former Vice President Joe Biden brought three guests with him to watch the first presidential debate from Cleveland, and a Phoenix native was among them.
Kristin Urquiza, from Maryvale in south Phoenix, also previously spoke at the Democratic National Convention in August and blamed Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and President Donald Trump for her father’s death from the coronavirus at the age of 65. She was invited after the obituary she wrote for her father, in which she took the politicians to task, was widely shared in June.
The other two guests were from Cleveland, a small business owner and a health care worker.
Urquiza told the Arizona Mirror ahead of the debate that she was surprised and honored by the Biden campaign’s invitation.
She told the outlet she hopes “people from Arizona can put politics aside and take a moment to listen to both candidates,” but that they will see Trump lied about the pandemic, leading many to die like her dad.
Since her father’s death, Urquiza started an organization called Marked by Covid to advocate for a “coordinated, data-driven response to the pandemic,” according to her Twitter profile.
#markedbycovid #TrumpLiedPeopleDied #PresidentialDebate pic.twitter.com/wztWk6ZlV3
— Kristin Urquiza, MPA (she/her) (@kdurquiza) September 30, 2020
In her speech at the DNC in August, Urquiza said that her father, Mark Anthony Urquiza, trusted political leaders to keep him safe amid the pandemic but ended up contracting COVID-19 after a night out with friends in late May. He thought it was safe to resume normal life after Ducey lifted Arizona’s stay-at-home orders.
“His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life,” she said.