From time to time, Sonoran Alliance will
be interviewing candidates who are running for office, so that our
readers can better get to know the conservatives who will be asking for
our votes and support. Today, we spoke with Rich Davis, candidate for
the open State Senate seat in LD11 that is being vacated by the
term-limited Barbara Leff. For more information on Rich and his
campaign, you may visit...
SA: What led you to run for office?
RD: I think it was a
combination of my personal experiences, the needs that our state has
and a deeprooted passion to make the state a better place. We’re going
to be losing a great State Senator in Barbara Leff and we need to be
sure that we elect a conservative Republican to take her place.
SA: What is it about your background that you feel lends itself to the office?
RD: You know, it is a
lot of things that match up very well. For folks whose primary concern
is education, I’ve been a teacher and an administrator, even a
chancellor for a school system. For voters whose main interest is
business and the economy, I have run a successful business and know
what it means to make payroll. If border security is what matters to
you, then my background in the Department of Homeland Security has
given me unparalleled expertise on the topic. In every case, my job has
been to look after the best interests of people, groups, businesses, as
well as the community they serve, and that is very much the role of a
SA: You mentioned Homeland Security, what exactly did you do there?
RD: I was asked by
President George W. Bush to work at the White House as the Director of
Terrorism Prevention Policy for the Homeland Security Council. And
prior to that, I served as the Director of the Task Force to Prevent
the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect and the Director of the Academe,
Policy and Research Senior Advisory Committee for Secretaries Tom Ridge
and Michael Chertoff at the Department of Homeland Security. Big long
fancy titles like you would expect to find in the Federal Government,
but essentially we worked to build defenses needed to prevent terrorism
here in the United States. Issues like nuclear and bio-terrorism were
primary concerns of ours.
SA: Did the issue of border security come up often in those scenarios?
RD: Oh it came up all
the time. You can imagine how difficult it is to protect your home when
you leave the backdoor wide open, twenty-four hours a day. It is one of
the many reasons why securing the border needs to be a top priority for
our federal government and our state government as well. The issue of
illegal immigration isn’t just about people coming for jobs. Its about
drugs, crime, guns, human trafficking and abuse, welfare fraud, and of
course national security above all else. We need to develop history’s
most sophisticated border integrity system to help meet these
SA: The big story at
the Legislature this year was the budget, and its likely to dominate
next year as well. How would you approach the state’s budget woes?
RD: If you stand up in
front of voters and say “We cannot spend more than we take in” everyone
gets it and no one disagrees. When she was Governor, Janet Napolitano
spent us into a huge hole, and now its time to get out. The only way
we’re going to do that is to cut spending and make systemic changes to
state government. We need to change the programs that are on auto-pilot
and get the voters to give the power to spend back to the legislature.
We also need to give the legislature the power to control the entire
state’s budget. Right now, we are one of three states where they do not
have that power. There are billions of dollars that are controlled by
the Governor without any input from the elected Legislature, and that
leaves us without adequate checks and balances….and that of course will
add to our budget issues.
SA: As a legislator,
Jan Brewer agreed with that position, but as Governor, she no longer
wants to give that power to the Legislature. How would you deal with
RD: Putting a
politician in control of billions of dollars without supervision is
never a good idea. It isn’t right. The governor of Arizona should have
accountability for budget decisions. Checks and balances are necessary
to ensure that the taxpayers’ money isn’t squandered. Going forward, we
need to insist that all of the candidates for Governor take a public
position on this issue and then hold them accountable. Frankly, whether
its this issue or any other, we have to be able to hold our elected
officials accountable and we have to insist that they keep their words
and campaign promises. Too many people have lost faith in the process
because they have lost faith in the politicians, and that’s a real
danger to the Republic.
SA: There is
speculation that others might be interested in running in the
Republican Primary for this seat. How would you deal with that?
RD: We’ve heard a lot
of names that might be interested in this seat, and we’re very aware
that the Democrats are also going to make a major push for it in the
General Election. From early on we’ve known that this was going to be a
very expensive race and that we would probably have to spend north of
$100,000 to win the primary, then reload for the general. So we’ve been
very aggressive with our fundraising and are delighted by the results.
It is important that we elect fresh blood into the State Legislature
and we most certainly need to keep this seat in the hands of a
SA: You describe yourself as a conservative Republican, so are we safe in assuming that you are pro-life?
RD: Oh absolutely. I believe in the sanctity of life and marriage. I am pro-2nd
Amendment, pro-State’s Rights. Pro-all the good stuff (laughing). Our
party has got a great platform and I look forward to defending it.
SA: Thank you for spending this time with us.
RD: Happy to do so.