Ron Barber

Ron  Barber


  • NameRon Barber
  • Party Affiliationdemocrat


Office sought: Congressional District 2

Party: Democrat

Age: 66

Employer and position: U.S. Representative; former district director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 2007-2012.

Education: Bachelor of arts in political science, University of Arizona.
Political experience: None.

Top priority: Bipartisan problem-solving for Southern Arizona; creating jobs, protecting veterans and military families; protecting Medicare and Social Security.

How would you use your position as an elected official to help businesses create jobs in Southern Arizona?

I believe that no one political party has a monopoly on the ideas it will take to create broad prosperity and opportunity today and for our children.

I will base my work to grow our economy on four principles:
First, our middle class is the primary driver of prosperity for all Americans. This means we need policies that support a thriving middle class. Policies that let a billionaire’s secretary pay a higher tax rate than her boss are just not right. Everyone should pay their fair share. Policies that promote lower taxes and maximum opportunity for middle class Americans keep more money in more pockets, businesses growing, and Arizonans working.

Second, government policies should encourage job creation, not get in its way. We should eliminate unneeded regulations on renewable energy, transportation and other projects, and streamline permit approvals so economic growth is never held up by red tape. We must also invest in education to prepare our children for 21st Century jobs and provide appropriate training for job seekers, including veterans.

Third, we must focus on small businesses. Small businesses create the lion’s share of the new jobs in America. My wife and I owned and operated a small business for 22 years, so we know what it takes for local businesses to succeed and create good jobs. I will push to expand the solar, bioscience and high tech industries, which will create high paying jobs in our community. We must also understand that one of the keys to improving our Southern Arizona economy is strengthening home values and reducing the number of foreclosures. That means more home construction, more real estate transactions and more retail sales – all of the businesses that are the lifeblood of Southern Arizona’s economy.

Last, my priority will be how we can maintain and grow the Arizona economy. This includes national defense, because our region’s military installations are integral to our regional economic success. I have worked to protect the missions at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, and the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard, and will continue to do so.  Arizona can also be the capital of a national solar industry by expanding solar energy generation, research and development, commercialization, financing, and manufacturing. We’ve created thousands of jobs in our state through one of our most plentiful resources: the sun. Tens of thousands additional jobs are possible if we stay focused on building this developing industry. The University of Arizona plays a critical role in our regional economy, and it can be the engine for the next generation of prosperity for Arizona. From transitioning veterans off the battlefield and into rewarding careers, to developing the technologies that will keep our borders secure and country safe, to developing innovations that will maximize our potential in solar energy, bioscience, and high tech industries, the University of Arizona is key to our future. I will work closely with the University of Arizona to fast-track innovative research projects into commercial applications in local businesses.

Should the qualifications for Medicaid or AHCCCS be broadened to make more people eligible?

Yes, we must take full advantage of the new opportunity to bring our Federal tax dollars back to Arizona for the well-being and good health of Arizonans. We must do everything in our power to improve the access to affordable and quality health care for children and adults. This is right for the citizens of our state and for our economy; it will help attract businesses thinking about relocating to Arizona.

If you were in a position to vote on SB1070, would you have voted for or against it?

SB1070 was a flawed response to a very serious problem.  Governor Brewer has admitted that the law does nothing to secure our border.  The US Supreme Court has struck down much of the law. We need serious action to fix our broken immigration system and secure our border, and this law accomplishes neither of these goals.
In a world of finite resources, what if anything would you be willing to cut to better fund education?

I would be willing to cut subsidies for Big Oil and tax cuts for the rich. Education is our future and is the foundation of our economy—we must make education a top priority.  

Should local government fight to keep the Rosemont Copper Mine out or encourage the company to stay?

Local government should take the necessary steps to safeguard our prosperity while protecting the environment in Southern Arizona.  These steps include protecting air quality and water supply while we foster economic growth. In the case of the proposed Rosemont mine, many serious concerns have been raised by thousands of Southern Arizonans, including myself. Of particular importance are the questions about the impact the mine would have on our water supply.  Federal and local governments should continue to do their due diligence in examining the actual impact of this proposal. We should not be encouraging any project that would have a detrimental impact on our region’s long term water supply.  

What is the most important issue in your race?

Growing our economy and creating jobs are the most important issues.  We must build on our economic foundation and promote good drivers that will put people back to work. This will rebuild the middle class, provide revenues to support education, increase the solvency of Medicare and Social Security, and fund the services our veterans need. When we have a strong economy, all sectors of society benefit.


Race District Election Year Election Level Election Type Win
CD 8 Special Election Arizona 8th Congressional District 2012 National Special
CD 2 Democratic primary Arizona 2nd Congressional District 2012 National Primary
CD 2 2nd Congressional District 2012 National General
Congressional District 2 Democratic primary 2 2014 National Primary

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