Republicans in Congressional District 9 are gearing up to take on incumbent Democrat Kyrsten Sinema with candidates who have life experience and lofty goals.

The two Republican candidates for the office addressed the Ahwatukee Republican Women on Tuesday, May 27. Each spent 20 minutes explaining to the crowd why they are best-suited for the job.

Retired Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers ran for the position in the last election. She is returning to challenge Sinema once more. Rogers is a fifth generation officer in the military and a small business owner. She believes her perspective is needed in Washington.

“Today Congress is comprised of 19 percent veterans,” Rogers said. “In 1960 it was 80 percent… It is so important today to elect leaders who have the integrity and the backbone and the unflinching willingness to do what is right no matter what’s popular.”

Rogers said she’s running for Congress because she made a promise to her father that she would honor his family’s legacy of service.

Andrew Walter is the second Republican vying for the office. He’s a former professional football player and has been in banking and finance ever since leaving the NFL.

“I believe we’ve reached a unique point in our history,” Walter said. “The stakes have never been higher for us as a country, as a people… I didn’t feel like I had any time to wait. This was the time. I’m starting a family. If we’re blessed to have children I don’t want to look them in the eye and have them ask me, ‘Dad, what did you do at this critical time in our nation’s history?’ I have to be able to say I did something. I want my kids to be able to chase big dreams.”

Walter outlined seven goals he has for when he gets to Washington including creating a flat tax, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and auditing the Federal Reserve, among other things.

Both candidates promised to be a stark contrast to Sinema.

Sinema won a very competitive election in 2012 and has filed signatures to run again.

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