Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which covers much of Pinal County along with a huge part of eastern and northern Arizona, has changed somewhat in redistricting. With a swing somewhat toward Democratic registration, Rep. Paul Gosar decided to switch to the new 4th District. Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick now is hoping to return to Congress after an absence of two years. With a large number of independents, however, the district is considered competitive.
Kirkpatrick’s opponents are Republican former legislator Jonathan Paton and Libertarian Kim Allen of Arizona City.
Kirkpatrick is a well-liked person who made contact with people around her district regularly. She was raised in McNary, was city attorney of Sedona and served in the state House before being elected to Congress in 2008.
Paton is an Army veteran of the Iraq War and supports secure borders. He is a constitutional conservative who believes in smaller government, a message that Washington desperately needs to hear more of.
In a candidate forum sponsored by the Dispatch on Thursday night, Paton pointed out that Kirkpatrick had voted for the unpopular Obamacare and also for the president’s stimulus package. He offered a vision of a growing economy and bringing federal spending under control with policies different from those favored by the president. We believe that is crucial for the country’s future. The Dispatch endorses Paton.
Flake for Senate
Congressman Jeff Flake, a veteran Republican who has represented the Valley, is seeking to become only Arizona’s 11th U.S. senator. After easily winning the primary, he is opposed by Dr. Richard Carmona, a former independent who served as U.S. surgeon general. Carmona also has experience in law enforcement and the military and is thought to be a serious opponent for Flake. The Libertarian candidate is Marc Victor.
Both major candidates appear to have much to offer. Carmona is considered to be a moderate and has a wide background that includes practicing medicine. Flake has a long-standing position of fiscal responsibility and other conservative and libertarian principles but also a reputation for seeking bipartisan solutions.
We see the overriding issue that trumps the race as this: The Democratic-controlled Senate has not been doing its job. Under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate has not passed a budget for more than three years as the government adds more than a trillion dollars of red ink every year. With the economy still weak, worse times are ahead if the government cannot begin to act responsibly. Adding a Democrat to the Senate now would not be in the interest of Arizona or the nation because the status quo is unacceptable.
Flake is a conscientious congressman who is dedicated to the nation’s future and best interest. He is our choice to succeed Jon Kyl and capable of filling the shoes of one of the best members of the Senate.
Good choice at CAC
The Central Arizona College board this week selected Doris Helmich as president to lead the institution. Actually, she has done that for almost a year as interim president.
The college was wise to do a national search, which was conducted capably by CAC’s vice president for human resources, Jim Kimsey. A long process eventually cut the field to two, and an exhausting series of meetings gave the public and CAC community a chance to interact with the candidates. After that, Helmich was chosen.
A CAC employee since 2001, she already has been working to improve communications in the system. Helmich is very capable of heading the countywide college, which is in excellent financial shape due to the leadership of her retired predecessor, Dennis Jenkins.
Helmich is an excellent choice for the job.