Candidates for the Arizona’s State Senate and House of Representatives are facing off in the Aug. 4 primary. The Herald/Review sent a request for biographical information and questions. Their responses appear below.

State Senate

Name: David Gowan, incumbent

Age: 50

Occupation: Realtor

Party Affiliation: Republican

Family: Married, 2 sons

Tell us a little about yourself: Patriotic American, who believes in serving others, and who believes in restoring our amazing country. I love my God, my family, my country.

What are the major issues facing the area?

Right now, the focus is on getting our state reopened safely and fully, so we can get our economy back up to speed. Prior to the shutdowns, Arizona had one of the strongest economies in the country, and as a state, we were a job-creating machine. Even so, it seems at times Southern Arizona lags behind the statewide numbers, so it’s always an area of particular focus for me to work on to attract new jobs and employers to our part of the state. We have a lot of unique and positive qualities; we just need to continue being aggressive in terms of marketing ourselves to others. Quality education is always something that we are working on, because even though we have increased funding rather dramatically on things like teacher pay, we also want the accountability and results that are promised in exchange for more funding. As well, I will always push to get rid of burdensome regulations and streamline government so it’s cheaper, more efficient, and out of our way as much as possible. And of course, I will always be there to protect those who protect us each and every day; our men and women in blue.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Everything I listed from the previous question are part of this answer, and I believe we will be successful, because those are the kinds of things that I have already been successfully doing as your Senator. We have made remarkable progress in the economy, education, and deregulation, even in the face of united and generally unanimous opposition from the Democrats in the legislature. It’s interesting, because I get a lot of support from Democratic voters in the district, who do care about these issues, and who are grateful that we are continually increasing funding for education each year, as one example. But the actual bills to increase funding are always opposed by the entire Democratic caucus in the legislature, because they don’t want to be a part of what they consider to be a “Republican bill,” or they feel that if they vote for something they can’t then run out and be critical of it and campaign against it. That’s a shame, because some of these issues really should not even be political contests. Still, we make progress anyway, and I look forward to continuing to do so as your Senator. God bless…

Name: Bob Karp

Age: 72

Occupation: Real Estate Broker/Owner (semi-retired)

Party affiliation: Democrat

Family: Single, none

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in Los Angeles, worked my way through college and graduated from UCLA with a BA in Political Science. I have been a business owner for over 40 years, in manufacturing, software development, and real estate. In 2005 I moved to Cochise county got my real estate license and in 2011 opened a real estate brokerage.

What are the major issues facing the area?

The pandemic and resulting economic dislocation have made budget issues the main priority going forward. However, the under investment in public school education and infrastructure by state government which has short changed southeast Arizona continues to be a major concern of mine. To create good-paying jobs state legislators must focus on solutions for the economic stagnation of rural areas rather than on slogans such as being “pro-business” and “pro-education” and “pro-rural way of life”. That is not a plan for economic growth.

We must recognize that there is a water availability crisis in the area and work to build consensus for solutions that protect residential wells, family farms and ranches.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

I plan to listen to everyone in the district, not just those that support my candidacy. I hope to bring civility, ethics, and bipartisanship back to the State Senate. One of my goals is to reform the budget process with input from both parties at the beginning of the process to work with the governor so that the people of the state understand and support the difficult decisions that will need to be made during the 2021 legislative session.

A priority of mine is to see the expansion of the port of entry in Douglas funded and started during my first term in office. I will aggressively lobby our congressional delegation to make this a reality.

District 14 State RepresentativeName: Gail Griffin, incumbent

Age: 76

Occupation: Real Estate Broker — Current State Representative LD14

Party Affiliation: Republican

Family: Widow- 3 children — 5 grandchildren

Tell us a little about yourself: I have been involved in local, state and national issues for many years. I’m a successful business woman and have lived in Cochise County for over 50 years.

What are the major issues facing the area?

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! And the economic stability of the local communities is high priority in Legislative District 4 and the State of Arizona. We need to get people back to work safely. Small businesses are the backbone of our country and we need to pay more attention to how we can partner with them to make sure they can be successful and expand their business. Less regulations and lower taxes is a proven policy for success. The free enterprise system works. I have been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Safe Communities — I support our local law enforcement and first responders. They are the ones that put their lives on the line everyday to protect our families, our properties and our communities. When you need help … who do you call? They are important members of our communities. They volunteer in our schools, civic organizations in addition to their professional duties. Safe communities are a must in our society!

Border Security — Border security is national security. We need to know who is in our country. I support legal immigration but oppose illegal immigration. We are a country of laws and we must enforce those laws to stop the flow of illegal activity or drugs, sex and human trafficking and the violence that occurs. Our Border Patrol agents work hard to protect our border and communities to keep us safe.

Education — We have added $1.5 billion in new K-12 monies to education since 2016. We funded a 20% increase in teachers’ salaries as agreed to by 2020. According to the Auditor Generals’ latest report the average teachers salary in Sierra Vista is $52,000.00 plus benefit package. I believe the goal in education should be to increase student achievement. Education dollars should get into the classroom for the students and the teachers.

Military and Veterans support — We are fortunate to live in a district that knows firsthand of the importance of our active military and gratitude of those men and women that have served our country to protect our freedoms. We support a strong national defense and are grateful for not only our military that sometimes are away from home a year or more at a time, but the spouses that support their loved ones and their duty to country.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Legislation District 14 needs a strong voice at the capital for rural Arizona. I have been that voice. I have the experience and leadership skills to continue to “WORK FOR THE PEOPLE.” We must balance the budget … support affordable healthcare … be pro-taxpayer … be pro-family … be pro-education … be pro-business and support and defend our Constitution. I promise to work for YOU!

Name: Becky Nutt, incumbent

Party Affiliation: Republican

Becky Nutt did not respond to the request from the Herald/Review.

Name: Kimberly Beach-Moschetti

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired Teacher

City of residence: Sierra Vista

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Family: Spouse-Michael Moschetti, Sons-Nicholas and Tony, Daughter-Maria

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in Iowa, one of eight children, to working class parents. Went to University of Northern IA, then into the Army. Following my years military stint, I became an educator and taught for 20+ years in Sierra Vista.

What are the major issues facing the area? The coronavirus and its economic impact are the major issues facing us locally, state, and countrywide. We need to focus on a path that provides viable solutions for small business while using some basic common sense regarding our health in terms of the virus. Returning children to brick and mortar schools has become a “hot” topic of discussion. The only reasonable solution is to put decision-making in the hands of educators and provide them with the funding and support needed to move forward. Smart choices about education affects all aspects of life within the community including drawing new business to the area. Political proselytizing serves no purpose other than to be self-serving. The name of the game is solutions to problems faced by our community.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? I want to see public education brought up to the highest level which means adequate funding in the appropriate places and decisions made by people connected to the profession. I want to reform our Behavioral Health system for the benefit of the children and adults that require assistance. I want protection for our for natural habitats, and a balance between economic growth and our environment. I want to see prison reform and rehabilitation. And I want our community to know that I will listen, work diligently, and be their voice at the capital.

Name: Ronnie Maestas-Condos

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Ronnie Maestas-Condos did not respond to the request from the Herald/Review.

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