Educational background: Masters in mass communication, bachelor’s in fine arts, bachelor’s in education
Current employer/job: Educator, Small Business Owner
Immediate family: Rafael (US Navy Vet), two daughters
Year you moved to LD 18: On and off since 2006
Last book read: With my kids, it was a children’s book for sure!
Why are you running for -the Arizona Legislature?
Becoming a U.S. citizen was one of the greatest days of my life. Most people who come from somewhere else (legally) are especially aware of the miracle that is the USA. I’ve spent years talking about liberty/opportunity for everyone, that’s why my campaign slogan is Restore the American Dream.
Why should voters consider you?
I believe in working for people and with people to makes things better. It’s a simple concept but one that should guide our legislators. I’m committed to conservative values, will put the taxpayers and families first, and I’ll focus on jobs, schools, infrastructure, and safe neighborhoods.
What sets you apart from the field of candidates you’re running in?
We’ve got a great group, but my educational background, work experience and years of community involvement will help a great deal in getting a great job done. I also think that I can help the Republican Party by taking our conservative message into neighborhoods where traditionally we’re not heard from.
Does public education in Arizona need more funding? If so, how should that be accomplished? If not, why not?
Our K-12 schools just received an extension of Prop301 money (~$13 Billion over the next 20 years) plus billions from Prop123 money, plus the 20% pay raise Republicans passed earlier this year. Money is no longer the issue. Getting that money out of the bureaucracy and into the classroom is.
Regardless of what happens on the school voucher referendum in November, do you favor expanding the voucher program in the future? Why or why not?
I support giving parents the most options possible so they can pick the best education for their children. Politics should never trap a kid in a failing school or one that isn’t meeting their needs. Competition is good for parents, kids, and schools themselves.
Do the three state universities need more funding and, if so, how would you increase it? If not, why not?
The state has increasingly asked the universities to stand on their own in spite of a Constitutional charge to help keep tuition as close to free as possible. I believe the state should team with the universities to provide funding and/or help them to become more reliably self-sufficient.
In your view, have there been enough bipartisan approaches to issues in the Legislature in the last five years and how would you expand that bipartisanship?
One big reason I’m running is Mitzi Epstein campaigned on legislating/voting as a non-partisan and lied. She’s one of the most partisan legislators in Arizona, voting against teacher pay raises for instance, because it was a Republican bill. That’s terrible. Vote yes on good bills no matter who wrote them.
What are the three biggest challenges facing Arizona in the next two years that you want to address?
Improving education funding to the classroom.
Keep Arizona’s economy growth by protecting the pro-growth policies that Republicans have enacted over the last 5-6 years.
I also want spend time on quality of life issues (public safety, parks, etc) so that Arizona isn’t just a top state for setting up a business, but it’s a top state for setting up your family.
Do you favor further tax cuts? If so, which taxes? If not, why not?
Arizona has a balanced budget and booming economy because we’ve cut taxes, reduced regulations, improved our schools, and made it clear to companies fleeing high-tax and high-regulation states like California that we are open for business. We should continue to find ways to make Arizona the most attractive destination possible.