Why are you running for office?
I originally ran for office to bring common sense leadership to the Legislature. I believe that is what I have done and will continue to do if re-elected. A frequent complaint from the public is that the Legislature is too polarized — that both sides spend too much time shouting at each other and not enough time working on solutions. I have established a reputation as someone that listens to all sides and seeks common ground. I am also known as someone not afraid to push back against the powerful when they go too far. As legislators, we have the responsibility to govern, irrespective of our party or philosophical leanings. Understanding in these tough economic times that resources are limited, I want to provide for a high quality education and a positive business environment that promotes job growth.
What issue will be your biggest priority if/when elected?
There are two. The first is health care. At the request of Senate President Pierce, I chair a Health Care Working Group that has been meeting since last spring. Members are CEOs and other management personnel from the entire health care arena. We are dealing with subjects such as how the state of Arizona should adapt to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); and what steps should the state take to fix the present physician shortage as well as the projected shortage of personnel in many other health care professions. These issues will have a critical impact on all Arizonans. As the chair of the group, I will play a major role in whatever legislation is recommended.
The second issue is sales tax. Gov. Brewer has appointed a Sales Tax Simplification Task Force, consisting of state and municipal leaders, business executives, and legislators. There is one state representative on the panel, and I am the only senator. Taxpayers in the state are faced with a myriad of differing categories and amounts that are taxed. Each city has its own code as does the state, making it difficult and expensive to do business in Arizona. We want to conform and simplify the tax codes. Again, I will play a major role in managing the legislation that is recommended by this group.
What are your qualifications for this office?
I spent 24 years as a corporate executive, owned a small business in Ahwatukee, then was the CEO of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, and taught college courses for South Mountain Community College. in addition, I have served on my church board, the Phoenix Planning Commission, was chair of the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee, among other community and charity works. For the past 23 years, my wife Karen and I have lived in Ahwatukee Foothills. I believe that it is important for an elected official to have deep roots in the community as well as a record of community service. For the past eight years I have served in the Legislature. I served as majority whip and majority leader in the State House, before being elected to the Senate, where I now serve as chair of the Banking and Insurance Committee. Experience and seniority are important when it comes to knowing how to get things done. I am eager to continue my service to this great state.
McComish is an Ahwatukee Foothills resident. For more information, visit votemccomish.com.