Darin Fisher

Democrat Darin Fisher during the Legislative District 18 Candidates Clean Elections Debate on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Why are you running for office?

We need a Legislature that is more reflective of our district and our state. We have just witnessed the conclusion of a 50th Legislature that was more ideology driven than solutions oriented. I want to restore a moderate approach focused on real and substantive policy discussions that will create a new vision for Arizona for the next 20 years.

What issue will be your biggest priority if/when elected?

Ultimately, everything flows from and through the budget in one form or another. My top priority will be a focus on working to create and execute a new, forward thinking approach to education that rebuilds our crumbling schools, supports teachers in the classroom and gives students the resources they need to compete in the 21st century economy. By making education a priority, we can support alternative certification programs that bring fresh ideas and concepts to the classroom and strengthen the continuing professional development for teachers and paraprofessional staff that will best serve our students.

My second priority will be a complete review and restructuring of Arizona’s piecemeal tax code in favor of a fiscally sound tax policy that will allow the state to meet financing needs for vital programs and services. We need to explore ways to offer real and meaningful reductions in sales, income and property tax rates by simplifying the code and ensuring we have a base that generates the needed revenues for all of Arizona’s spending and investment priorities.

Finally, we cannot have meaningful employment growth without transforming Arizona into a regional leader in the 21st century economy. We need to focus on core areas and facilitate new startups and relocations of businesses in the high growth sectors of transportation, technology, telecommunication, financial services, energy, entertainment, and biomedicine. Creating this economy requires a superior workforce which graduates from world class public schools and universities. Arizona must commit to funding education, attracting the highest quality teachers and support professionals, and holding students, families, and schools equally accountable for the success of our educational system.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I am neither hyper-partisan nor an ideologue bent on political division. This is why Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic selected me as one of the Top Ten Up and Comers to restore sanity and civility to the Capitol. I focus daily on compromising and finding workable, common sense solutions that can gain a true consensus to move my community forward. As a business owner who has helped to create hundreds of jobs in our district, I live and operate in a world where these are not concepts to be denigrated and attacked but rather are celebrated and most importantly; effective. Managing nearly 120 non-profit corporations, responsible to 400-plus board members, and allocating tens of millions of dollars in operating budgets, I have honed operational, financial, and communication skill sets which translate well to the constitutional responsibility bestowed upon a legislator.

Fisher in an Ahwatukee Foothills resident. For more information, visit fisherforarizona.com or call (480) 766-2388.

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