The Parker Regional Chamber of Commerce and Tourism sponsored a “Meet the Candidates” night Oct. 10 at the Parker Community/Senior Center. Candidates for various offices had a chance to present themselves to the voters. Following the presentations, attendees were encouraged to meet with the candidates in the back of the center, where they had tables set up with campaign literature.
U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona District 4
Tom Van Flein spoke on behalf of the incumbent, Rep. Paul Gosar (R). He noted Gosar has done a lot for La Paz County. He also has 100 percent ratings from the National Rifle Association and the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform. He has also received a 100 percent on pro-life issues. He has won the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seven years in a row.
Van Flein said Gosar backed President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, which have worked in stimulating the economy.
“Employers can’t find enough workers,” he said.
Van Flein added that Gosar stands for the rule of law.
The Democratic candidate, Dr. David Brill, said there was a need to level the playing field between rural and urban education in America. He said broadband Internet service is essential to this, and there needed to be interest-free loans to rural communities for broadband service. He added there needed to be education loan debt forgiveness to teachers who go to rural areas.
Brill, who spent many years as a physician in the Veterans’ Administration, said one way to bring down the costs of health care would be to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies. Such competition would help bring down the costs of prescriptions.
“I love competition!” he said.
Harayksha Gregor Knauer, the Green Party candidate, was also on hand for Meet the Candidates. He said health care should be free for all, and the very wealthy should be taxed for it. He said the nation needs people in Congress who will represent the working people and the environment.
Knauer urged voters not to listen to Arizona Public Service and vote “yes” on Prop 127.
Arizona State Senate, District 5
Incumbent Republican Sonny Borrelli said that, in the last six year, he has worked to improve relations between the district and the state government in Phoenix. He also wants to take care of area veterans, having spent 22 years in the Marine Corps himself.
Democratic challenger J’aime Morgaine said Borrelli has done nothing about groundwater issues. She added he has a poor record on education, while she will be a “fierce advocate” for schools. She said Borelli has done little for homeless veterans living in the desert near Quartzsite, whom she said Borrelli has described as “homeless by choice.”
Morgain said she will be responsive to her constituents, and she will hold town hall meetings in her district.
Arizona House District 5
Two candidates for Arizona House District 5 were on hand Oct. 10, Republican Leo Biasiucci and Democrat Mary McCord-Robinson. The third candidate, incumbent Regina Cobb had a prior commitment.
Biasiucci said he was born and raised in Lake Havasu City, and he understands the issues facing rural Arizona. He added that Borrelli and Cobb have done a lot for the district, and he would work with them to get things done.
He urged voters not to support Prop 127, as he doesn’t want people from out-of-state telling Arizonans what to do.
McCord-Robinson said she had worked for large and small companies, and she knew what worked well in both. She also learned to understand and appreciate different cultures when she worked for a company owned by a tribe. She said the three issues most important to La Paz County were schools, water and access to health care.
She said she would hold town hall meetings in the district.
“You’ve got to know what’s going on,” she said.
La Paz County Superior Court Judge
Karen Hobbs (R) and Jessica Quickle (D) are running for Judge of the La Paz County Superior Court.
Hobbs is currently Deputy County Attorney. She said the court needs a judge that is fair and impartial, knows the law and understands families. With most people will likely have little or no contact with the Superior Court, she said what happens in that court impacts the entire community.
“People need to feel they will be treated fairly,” Hobbs said.
Quickle said she has served in many roles as an attorney, including criminal defense attorney and prosecutor. Given there is only one Judge for the Superior Court, she said she has the diverse experience needed to handle the wide variety of cases that will come before her. She added personal political views do not belong in the courtroom.
La Paz County Justice of the Peace, Dist. 6
The two candidates for Parker Justice of the Peace, Republican Tiffany Dyer and Libertarian Ken McFarland, were on hand for Meet the Candidates.
Dyer said she has been the court’s clerk for some time and has also served as a “pro tem” judge. She has also been through training to be a judge. This would make for a smooth transition if she were elected judge.
McFarland noted he has a doctorate in criminal psychology. He has worked with government entities, including tribes and school districts, to deal with legal issues.
Parker Fire District
There were two candidates for the Parker Fire Board on hand, Ramona Duran and Courtney Rogers.
Duran noted the Parker Volunteer Fire Department has 25 members, and handles 500 to 900 calls annually. The members are all certified firefighters and EMTs. She added the fire department is looking at buying a new fire truck.
Rogers is the Community Outreach person for the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment, and she said she has met and talked with many people. She said she and Duran agree the Parker residents need the best care that they can have.
The meeting also included a brief presentation on Prop 402 from La Paz County District 1 Supervisor D.L. Wilson. This is the proposal to increase the state-mandated spending limit for the county.
Wilson said about 50 percent of the county’s budget is not under the spending limitation. However, locally raised revenues, including property taxes and revenue from enterprises like the parks and the Emerald Canyon Golf Course, are under the spending limitation. He said the county needs to raise the spending limit so they can use these funds they already have.
Prop 402 will also provide room for the county to grow in the future and to be able to spend any additional revenues that come in.
Wilson said eight Arizona counties are currently budgeted at their spending limit.
The General Election is Nov. 6. Early balloting started Oct. 10.