To answer Bill Richardson’s two main questions, “Do we keep Democrat Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema to represent us or do we elect someone else?” And, “Are Rogers and Walter the best Republicans can come up with to challenge Sinema in CD 9?”
First, yes, we must elect someone other than Ms. Sinema and second, in the current contentious political environment we should be thrilled that we have two people willing to put themselves and their families through the brutal political arena. It takes mentally tough individuals to run for office and have every facet of their lives critiqued, challenged and biopsied.
These are perilous times for our country and our state. We need focused warriors to go into battle for the average Mr. or Mrs. Joe America; who is the common citizen, the average voter, the consumer, the students with high student loan debt and no jobs, and the homeowner facing the loss of their American Dream.
Sinema has exhibited an extreme disregard toward stay-at-home mothers, wives and their husbands. There are so many logistics related to how families function on a daily basis I am amazed that she would have the audacity to put down any type of mother. There are working mothers who will always work and be happy with that decision. There are working mothers who wish they could stay home, but for financial reasons find it difficult. There are committed stay-at-home moms as well as mothers who are probably ready to go back into the workforce, but remain steadfast in their decision to stay home. These are each complicated family decisions that require sacrifice and dedication and certainly do not deserve her condemnation. Additionally, I need to be reassured that my Congress members are able and willing to turn to and rely on a power greater than themselves.
I had the unfortunate experience of having met Col. Wendy Rogers at a round table event in Ahwatukee in mid-June. Her behavior was simply rude, aggressive and insulting. She somehow fixated her energy on a high school senior deciding on which college to go to. She attempted to berate him into skipping college altogether and going straight into the work force. Again, we are all on our own path and these decisions are best left to the family. She did not utilize her time wisely to share her vision for pressing issues like the VA, our unsecured border or immigration. I was very interested in hearing her insights because she is a military colonel and I felt probably had something to offer. It was a missed opportunity for all of us. Unfortunately, she left our whole table speechless and I could never vote for her.
I have met Andrew Walter and have had him in my home to discuss his vision for our country and our district. I like him as a person and I respect his dedication, passion and willingness to put himself into the lion’s den on behalf of average citizens, who are people like me and my family. I purposely brought my family to America in 1997 because I bought into the American Dream. I wanted that for my children. Today I see that dream slipping away fast, right before my eyes and it literally wounds me.
I found the butt-slapping characterization from Richardson of sports figures demeaning. Dedicated sports men and women have an incredible work ethic. They push their bodies, hearts and minds to the extreme outer limits of what most of us are willing to do. Their brains are hard wired in a competitive, team building way that inspires so many. People who have dedicated much of their lives to sports grow up early understanding sportsmanship, commitment, graciousness and the value of a cohesive team operating with one goal in mind. They intuitively understand that no one can do their push-ups for them and that with skill, personal drive and a little luck their team will prevail. I believe Walter can literally come to the table, be an intelligent leader and be respectful at the same time. He is exactly the type of person we need as a congressman for District 9.
The reality is that our elected officials don’t get there without our permission. We must resolve not to be apathetic, worn out, or too disgusted to care. As boring and cliché as this may sound, we must realize that every action or inaction we take has the potential to affect our children and grandchildren for generations. We must develop long memories. It is difficult for an instant gratification culture such as ours to understand this. We need to compel ourselves and our families to put our energy and passion for America and Arizona into action by working to elect candidates who reflect solid conservative values. It is that simple. And once they get to Washington, we must hold them accountable and remind them who we are.
I believe Walter’s real-world life experiences, especially the unpleasant ones, his educational background with an MBA and his ability to communicate his vision will be a significant asset to the residents of District 9 back in our nation’s Capitol. I personally am grateful that he is running and I will vote for Andrew Walter.
• Janelle Dessaint Kimura has been a resident of Ahwatukee for 13 years.