Republican candidates court voters in Sun City West

By Jeff Dempsey DAILY NEWS-SUN

Sun City West was the hub of GOP politics Saturday when 28 candidates attended a forum sponsored by the Arrowhead Republican Women.

The event at the Briarwood Country Club covered regional legislative races in Districts 21 and 22 on up to statewide races, including the contest for governor that attracted six candidates.

The first to make his case was Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

“Experience matters,” he said. “That’s what I want to leave you with today. Now is not the time when we want to hire someone without experience to be the CEO of the state of Arizona.”

State Treasurer Doug Ducey recited some of his endorsements, including one from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He noted how many Arizona residents are transplants from other states and said there is a reason people come here.

“Let’s make sure the bad ideas in those other states that are crushing them and pushing people out do not happen here in Arizona,” he said.

Christine Jones said she decided to run because she was tired of politics as usual in Arizona.

“When you love something, you want it to thrive, to prosper,” she said. “I’m running because I believe we can make Arizona the brightest star in the union.”

District 26 Sen. Al Melvin said he wants to shield Arizona from what he views as bad national policies coming out of Washington, D.C.

“I’m a member of the tea party,” he said. “The tea party saved our country in 2010 and will save us again this year. We can take our country back, and it will start this year.”

Frank Riggs spoke about his background as an Army veteran, former police officer, small businessman and congressman. He said he is running to stop the “Obamanization” of Arizona.

“This nation is at a crossroads,” he said. “I have a good record, one I’m proud of. In a crowded field, I am the tested and trusted candidate, and I encourage you to look at my record.”

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said voters need only look at what he has done in his city to know why he should be governor.

“I know how to take a company, an organization that is struggling and make it successful,” he said. “I came to Mesa with the city facing a $62 million shortfall. We used what I learned in business and applied that to government and incredible things started happening. We balanced our budget during the worst recession ever, six years in a row. I did it at the city level, and I can do it at the state level.”

Rep. Trent Franks is facing a primary challenge from Clair Van Steenwyk, who said he is running because he believes the House of Representatives needs fresh blood.

“I know some people have a hard time with someone running against an incumbent,” he said. “But look at some of the laws our congressmen have passed for us in the last decade or better. If you think we are better off now than we were four, six, eight years ago, then by all means, continue to vote for the same people. I submit that we are not.”

Franks said he agrees with the idea that changes need to be made in Washington, but he believes he is the man to make those changes.

“In the last five years we have seen this republic with Barack Obama at the helm,” he said. “If we get a candidate like him in 2016 then everything we love is at risk. If we as a party, as a people, make the same mistake that we did in the last two elections, we will look back and realize this was the generation that lost the greatest country in the world.”

Sandra Dowling, who is challenging Clint Hickman for the District 4 Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seat, said she has experience Hickman lacks.

“I believe we need to reduce the size of county government,” she said. “And we need an open government where everyone gets a chance to sit down and talk about the issues. Closed meetings? You don’t have those in a transparent government.”

Clint Hickman pointed out his mother and father, who were both in attendance, and said he stepped away from the family business because he wanted to make a difference. He said taxes are an important part of government, but they are too easily misused or abused.

“Taxes are important to me,” he said. “It’s how we fund our government. But, man, it is hard to watch that money go to governments that do not use it wisely. Jan Brewer has endorsed me. Max Wilson has endorsed me. I’m proud to be your supervisor, and I plan to continue throwing myself at the issues.”

Debbie Lesko currently serves as a representative in District 21 and is now running for the state Senate. She spoke about her strong ties to the West Valley and the support she has received over the years.

“Democrats beat me up, liberals beat me up, but I have persevered with your help,” she said. “I have been named legislator of the year, hero of the taxpayer, guardian of small business. People who know me know how committed I am and that is why I have received all these honors.”

Rep. Rick Gray is running for re-election in District 21 and will have two opponents in the primary. He said he is running for a third term because he believes he can continue to do good work in the position, even if it means giving up one of his go-to lines.

“I used to say I’m a businessman, not a politician,” he said. “Now that I’m running for a third term, I don’t think I can say that anymore.”

He pointed to his experience as a single father of four in discussing why he is the man for the job.

“You learn that people will complain and there will always be someone nagging at you,” he said. “But your job is to look for what is right and do what is best for the people you serve.”

Former Youngtown Mayor Bryan Hackbarth said he is running not against Gray but to occupy Lesko’s vacated seat, which he said is a tremendous responsibility. He said if elected he will work to do more to attract businesses to Arizona.

“The corporate tax rate is too high,” he said. “We need to lower that and relax restrictions in order to get businesses to come here. I’m also against Common Core in education. I’m for local control. Immigration, too, is an issue. We currently have undocumented immigrants coming into Phoenix by busloads as we speak but our governor is not doing anything about it.”

Peoria City Councilman Tony Rivero said he has learned a great deal in city government and now hopes to bring what he has learned to the state Capitol.

“I don’t take the City Council position for granted,” he said. “There is a lot of power and responsibility there. I represent 26,000 people in my district. A lot of actions are taken that impact citizens.”

Rivero positioned himself as a fighter, saying he has stood by his principles even in the face of same-party opposition.

“Being a conservative is not an easy thing to do,” he said. “I take stands that get me attacked by my own mayor, who is also Republican, or by fellow council members who are also Republican.”

The current representatives of District 22, Sen. Judy Burges and representatives Phil Lovas and David Livingston, said they are each facing opponents in the general election and can use all the support they can get. Burges said they can each boast of a strong record.

“Phil and David and I have been named guardians of small business,” she said. “And that is quite an honor.”

Livingston said he is proud to represent a district that has Sun City West as part of its constituency.

“I think the reason you see all these candidates here today,” he said, “is because they know they cannot win a state race without winning Sun City West. The people here always show up and they hold us accountable.”

Lovas, who was the last of the candidates to speak, made a good-natured joke about the forum.

“I think all the candidates behind me are very excited to hear me speak,” he said. “Not because they are excited to hear me but because they know I am the last one.”

Lovas spoke about his journey to conservatism that saw him enter college a liberal and leave a registered Republican, and he said everything he has done in office has been with District 22 in mind.

“What is best for LD-22,” he said. “Sometimes that has meant voting with the Republican establishment and sometimes it has meant voting against it.”

The candidates involved in other races who were also present included: Justin Pierce and Wil Cardon, candidates for secretary of state; Randy Pullen, Jeff DeWit and Hugh Hallman for treasurer; Tom Horne and Mark Brnovich for state attorney general; Diane Douglas for superintendent of public instruction; Doug Little, Lucy Mason and Vernon Parker for corporation commission; and Michael Jeanes for clerk of the Superior Court.

Arizona Lawmakers Propose Drug-Testing People Seeking Unemployment Benefits

By Matthew Hendley | Phoenix New Times

Among the first bills submitted this legislative session is a proposal from a trio of Republicans to create a drug-testing program for people seeking unemployment insurance.

Perhaps the most important part of the legislation from Representatives Phil Lovas and David Livingston and Senator Judy Burges is that it wouldn’t apply to everyone seeking benefits.

This bill is a result of a federal battle in 2012, when members of Congress argued over extensions of the payroll tax cut. The deal included a number of things, including giving states the ability to drug-test applicants for unemployment assistance if they’re pursuing work in an industry that typically demands drug testing.

There’s been an argument about how extensive the list of jobs that require drug tests would be. The federal Department of Labor is tasked with making the rule about that, and it appears that it hasn’t done so.

A law similar to the one proposed here was passed in Texas last year, and according to a University of Houston Law Center analysis, a total of nine states have adopted a similar law.

Here’s an interesting caveat to Arizona’s bill, House Bill 2030. If someone applies for unemployment benefits, he or she would have to take a “drug-screening assessment” before being forced to provide a urine sample.

According to the text of the legislation, “The drug-screening assessment must consist of a written questionnaire to be completed by the individual and must be designed to accurately determine the reasonable likelihood that the individual is using a drug.”

If someone passes the written test, then he or she wouldn’t have to take the drug test. This apparently leaves open the possibility to fill out this application with a crack pipe in your left hand, while writing, “Drugs? Never heard of ‘em!” with your right hand, and your check will be in the mail shortly.

Those who failed the written test and the drug test would have to wait four weeks before testing again. The bill also would provide several other caveats, so someone who fails a test for a prescribed medication or is actively attending a treatment program would remain eligible for unemployment benefits.

Click here for the complete text of the bill.

In 2009, Arizona became the first state to pass a bill calling for drug-testing welfare recipients, and it was reported a few years later that a grand total of one person had failed the drug test. The convenient argument was that the drug-testing discouraged drug users from applying for welfare.

In 2012, Republican Steve Smith, then in the Senate, proposed mandatory testing of all people seeking to collect unemployment benefits, plus random drug testing for those who continued to receive benefits. That bill passed the Senate, but was held in the House.

GOP lawmaker: Time Arizona’s primary with Iowa caucuses

By: Julia Shumway, Cronkite News Service | Arizona Capitol Times

 

Moving Arizona’s presidential preference election earlier in the primary cycle would give the state a greater say in national politics, a state representative contends.

Rep. Phil Lovas, R-Peoria, has authored a bill that would require Arizona’s primary to be held on the same day as the Iowa caucuses, which have been first in the nation since 1972. If another state leapfrogs Iowa, the bill calls for Arizona to match that date.

Lovas said political party rules allowing only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries to be held earlier than the first Tuesday in March give those states an unfair advantage. They also see larger slates of candidates, as those who are unsuccessful early on often drop out before Arizona’s primary.

“We don’t get the whole pick of candidates that other states do,” he said. “I’m concerned that we have 2 million-plus voters here in Arizona who don’t get the full choice that other states do, and I think that they should have their feelings heard on who they think should be president.”

HB 2017 had yet to be assigned to a committee as of Wednesday.

The change likely would lead to penalties cutting Arizona’s delegation to the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Because Arizona’s 2012 presidential preference election took place on Feb. 28, a week before allowed by party rules, half of Arizona’s 58 delegates to the Republican National Convention weren’t seated.

With President Barack Obama unopposed for reelection, Arizona didn’t hold a Democratic presidential primary. But the party has similar sanctions for states holding primaries earlier than allowed.

Lovas said a potential loss in delegates is a small problem compared to Arizonans continuing to vote later in the primary process. Neither party has had a national convention requiring a second ballot in more than 60 years, he noted.

Early primaries in Eastern and Midwestern states focus little attention on Western issues like immigration, water and land, Lovas said.

“In New Hampshire, they talk about home heating oil prices,” he said. “In Iowa, they talk about ethanol subsidies. And the country seems to hear about these things for four years, but issues of particular concern to Arizona are never addressed.”

Barbara Norrander, a University of Arizona political science professor, said the reasoning that being earlier in the primary process would provide more choices to voters misses a key part of the process.

“Usually early contests eliminate the weaker candidates,” she said.

Norrander said a loss of delegates at the national conventions is far from the only ramification Arizona could face. The national parties and the states that are used to holding early primaries or caucuses would pressure candidates not to campaign in Arizona, she said.

Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert said the party couldn’t take a stand on Lovas’ bill this early in the process because legislation is often amended. He declined to comment on the impact of sanctions on the state’s delegation to the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Frank Camacho, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said the bill could do more harm than good if passed because it could result in sanctions and divert legislative attention from real problems.

“Lovas is over here wanting to deal with an issue that’s really a non-issue,” Camacho said. “Is he solving a problem that exists, or does he have a solution that needs a problem?”

Democratic Party rules:

• Primaries begin the first Tuesday in March (March 6, 2012, and March 1, 2016) and end the second Tuesday in June (June 12, 2012, and June 14, 2016).

• Iowa may host its caucus 29 days before (Feb. 6, 2012, and Feb. 1, 2016).

• New Hampshire may hold its primary 21 days before (Feb. 14, 2012. and Feb. 9, 2016).

• Nevada may schedule its caucuses 17 days before (Feb. 18, 2012, and Feb. 13, 2016)

• South Carolina may host its primary seven days before (Feb. 28, 2012, and Feb. 23, 2016).

Republican Party rules:

• 2012: Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire may schedule their primaries beginning Feb. 1. No other states may hold primaries until March 6, and all elections must end by July 23.

• 2016: No primary may occur before March 1 or after June 11, with the exception of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, which may hold their primaries and caucuses no earlier than one month before the next earliest state.

LOVAS PASSES $60,000 FUNDRAISING MARK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 24, 2012

PEORIA, Ariz. – State Rep. Phil Lovas, candidate for Arizona State House in District 22, has passed the $60,000 fundraising mark to lead West Valley legislative candidates.

Through July 23, Lovas raised nearly $48,000 in individual contributions and more than $12,000 in PAC contributions.

“I appreciate the enthusiastic support my campaign has received,” said Lovas.  “This shows that Arizonans agree with my goal of making Arizona the best place in America to do business.”

Lovas is an Arizona businessman with more than a decade of experience in hotel development throughout the western U.S.  He advocates greater economic opportunity by cutting the size of government and protecting and promoting conservative values.  Lovas and his wife, Corinne, live in Peoria with their three children.

Legislative District 22 covers north Peoria, north Glendale, Sun City West, and Surprise.

 

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MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO ENDORSES PHIL LOVAS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO ENDORSES PHIL LOVAS

PEORIA – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio today endorsed State Representative Phil Lovas in his bid to represent the newly formed Legislative District 22 which covers north Peoria, north Glendale, Sun City West and Surprise.

Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff since 1993, said Lovas will continue to be a consistent conservative vote in the Arizona legislature.

“I trust Phil Lovas to be a strong, conservative vote in the state legislature,” said Arpaio. “You can always count on him to vote to protect the taxpayers and Arizona’s families.”

In addition to Arpaio, Lovas has been endorsed by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, U.S. Congressman Ben Quayle, Peoria City Council Member Cathy Carlat, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, State Treasurer Doug Ducey, State Senator Judy Burges and State Representative Jack Harper.

Lovas is a businessman from Peoria.  He has over a decade of experience in hotel development throughout the western U.S.  He advocates greater economic opportunity in Arizona, cutting the size of government and protecting and promoting conservative values.  Lovas and his wife Corinne live in Peoria with their three children.

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State Treasurer Doug Ducey Endorses State Representative Phil Lovas

STATE TREASURER DOUG DUCEY ENDORSES PHIL LOVAS

PEORIA – State Treasurer Doug Ducey today endorsed State Representative Phil Lovas in his bid to represent the newly formed Legislative District 22.  This is Ducey’s first legislative endorsement of the 2012 campaign cycle.

Ducey, who is serving his first-term as treasurer after a successful private sector career as CEO and partner of Cold Stone Creamery and current chairman of iMemories, said Lovas has the business experience needed to help grow Arizona’s economy.

“Phil has worked for over a decade to create jobs in our state,” Ducey said.  “Arizona needs people with a business background who understand how to create jobs in this economy.  I support Phil, and look forward to working with him to make Arizona the number one place in America to do business.”

In addition to Ducey, Lovas has been endorsed by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, U.S. Congressman Ben Quayle, Peoria City Council Member Cathy Carlat, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, State Senator Judy Burges and State Representative Jack Harper.

Lovas is a businessman from Peoria.  He has over a decade of experience in hotel development throughout the western U.S.  He advocates greater economic opportunity in Arizona, cutting the size of government and protecting and promoting conservative values.  Lovas and his wife Corinne live in Peoria with their three children.

Once redistricting is completed, Legislative District 4 will become the new Legislative District 22 covering north Peoria, north Glendale, Sun City West and Surprise.

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Lovas Endorsed by Burges and Harper

LOVAS ENDORSED BY BURGES AND HARPER

PEORIA – LD4 State Representative Phil Lovas was endorsed today by State Senator Judy Burges and State Representative Jack Harper for election to his House seat.

Burges, whose seat Lovas filled in the House, was appointed to the State Senate in January.  She is a well-known conservative who said Lovas has done a great job representing the district.

“Phil has one of the most conservative voting records in the House and represents the views of our conservative district.  I look forward to working with him in the years to come to cut government spending and push back against federal government mandates.”

Harper, a four-term former State Senator and one-term House member from Surprise, said he supports Lovas as well.

“Phil has proven to be a consistent conservative who will support second amendment rights and help to grow our economy. “

Burges and Harper become the latest elected officials to endorse Lovas.  Previous endorsements include Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, U.S. Congressman Ben Quayle, Peoria City Council member Cathy Carlat and Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

Lovas is a businessman from Peoria.  He has over a decade of experience in hotel development throughout the western U.S.  He advocates greater economic opportunity in Arizona, cutting the size of government and protecting and promoting conservative values.

Once redistricting is completed, Legislative District 4 will become the new Legislative District 22 covering north Peoria, north Glendale, Sun City West and Surprise.

Lovas and his wife Corinne live in Peoria with their three children.

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Sun City West Repubican Candidates Forum – Feb 18th

Three vying for vacant LD4 Senate seat

by Dustin Gardiner – Jan. 16, 2012 09:49 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com

Republican Party leaders in the northwest Valley voted Monday night to nominate three potential replacements for Read more »

Congressman Ben Quayle endorses Arizona House candidate, Phil Lovas

January 12, 2012 By

 

PEORIA – Phil Lovas, candidate for the Legislative District 4 House seat, was endorsed today by Congressman Ben Quayle.

Quayle, who stated he would not take a Congressional pension and work to reform the system, applauded Lovas’ stance not to take a pension as a member of the Arizona legislature.
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Paid for by Lovas For Arizona