The 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Tolleson and Glendale, had just three candidates file for the Aug. 4 primary: Incumbent Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, and Republicans Joshua Barnett of Phoenix and Nina Becker of Sun City; Becker has withdrawn from the race.
The Glendale Star emailed questions to the candidates. Gallego did not respond.
Please briefly describe your background, including any relevant education and work history.
I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After high school, I attended Purdue University with plans to attain a degree in political science. I now own Metroflex Gym in Phoenix and co-own Metroflex Oceanside (California).
What are the three biggest issues of this local election?
One of the greatest challenges facing America is the elitist behavior within our government. This leads to corruption and crony capitalism to the highest proportion. Politicians on both sides of the aisle fail to work for the people, because they are working on their own self- interest and the interest of their political party. This occurs with limited to no consequence. We need politicians that work for the people.
Having an election during a pandemic highlights a huge area of concern. People are fearful of their economic security and job security or the ability to find a job. I support legislation that will bring manufacturing and outsourced employment back to the U.S. This will create thousands of U.S. jobs.
Health care has also become a real concern for Americans. Skyrocketing premiums have made access to health care for the middle class a choice between insurance or food on the table. Competition and free market is the easiest way to reduce costs while increasing value. I support legislation that will break down the monopoly created in our health care system and allow insurance companies to compete for business.
What experience do you have with managing spending?
My experience as a business owner and manager has helped me to understand what it takes to balance a budget, make tough decisions and increase value while reducing cost.
What new ideas do you have?
I would like to ensure the safety of our children. U.S. families are being broken down by the very system that is designed to help them. Thousands of children are removed from loving but less-than-perfect homes and placed into social services at the hands of a single agency and a single judge. I plan to introduce legislation that will restore due process through a jury of their peers when parental rights are at stake. Ninety percent of sex-trafficked children were taken from social services.
Can you name a current elected official you most admire?
If I have to pick one, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes. I appreciate his fire and energy. I admire that he is willing to stand up for what he believes is right, even when it is not popular.
What historic elected official do you most admire?
Picking a historical elected official is even more difficult. If we go all the way back to the beginning, I would have to say Thomas Jefferson. However, I can’t answer this question without adding how much I admire JFK.
How do you define integrity?
Doing what is right regardless of the consequence or potential price.
Why should someone vote for you?
I am committed to serving all people in my district, not just the ones that agree with me. I will not be bought by either political party or special-interest groups. I will bring compassion and common sense to D.C. and always put people over politics.