- NameAnn Kirkpatrick
- Party Affiliationdemocrat
• Office: U.S. House of Representatives, District 1
• Age: 62
• Employer and position: Attorney, self-employed
• Education: B.A., University of Arizona; law degree, University of Arizona College of Law
• Political experience: Elected to Arizona House of Representatives (LD1) in 2004 and 2006; elected to U.S. House of Representatives (CD1) in 2008, serving one term
• Top priority: Balance the budget the right way and protect Medicare and Social Security from drastic cuts.
How would you use your position as an elected official to help businesses create jobs in Southern Arizona?
I will work toward a more diversified economy to help create the long-term stability we need. For too long, Arizona has relied on one or two industries, like construction, to support its overall economy. And we’ve learned the hard way during the great recession that this approach doesn’t work. In Congress, I made creating jobs for Arizona through federal action—not federal spending—a top priority. In Southern Arizona, for example, emerging industries like biotech and solar are taking shape, but we need leadership at the federal level to help ensure this momentum continues and the region reaches its potential.
Higher education is an important part of Southern Arizona’s economy, yet our state’s public higher-education system has suffered devastating cuts. I will be an advocate and will fight for increased and proper funding for our universities and colleges. In Congress, I will seek to link Arizona’s university system with federal funding and grant opportunities. We cannot afford to short-change our higher education system and our students. Without a top-tier public-education system, Arizona’s students will not be able to compete in a global economy.
Southern Arizona also has great potential for increased economic development along the transportation corridor of the I-10. I will work on efforts to bring the proper infrastructure and support for small-business development along that corridor to help it grow in a strong, sustainable way. My campaign was the first one in this race to open an Oro Valley headquarters, and we are working hard every day to talk with Southern Arizona voters and members of the business and civic communities about their ideas and concerns. If elected, I will focus on job-creation efforts that help Southern Arizona thrive and grow.
Should the qualifications for Medicaid or AHCCCS be broadened to make more people eligible?
I have a strong record of fiscal responsibility and budget cutting, but I also believe that my district’s working families and small businesses need a representative who can find solutions during difficult times. In 2009, during the worst of the recession, I voted for Medicaid to cover more unemployed workers because my district and our state had an increasingly high unemployment rate. This vote also cut $301 billion in taxes for individuals and businesses at the time they needed tax cuts most. I later voted to close tax loopholes for multinational corporations in order to raise about $10 billion in revenue for extending increased Medicaid assistance and education funding to struggling states like ours. This is the kind of balanced approach our state needs from its leaders.
If you were in a position to vote on SB1070, would you have voted for or against it?
Against, because SB1070 hasn't solved anything. What we need is a federal immigration strategy that secures our borders and cracks down on criminal cartels while offering fair and sensible reforms for those who are here working hard and playing by the rules. SB1070 did not get us any closer to either of those important goals. In Congress, I tried to focus on real solutions by cracking down on the criminal cartels and smugglers that are harming our communities. In addition to securing $600 million of border security funding, I succeeded in getting Navajo County included in a highly successful anti-drug trafficking program—and I proposed legislation that would include all Arizona counties in the same program.
In a world of finite resources, what if anything would you be willing to cut to better fund education?
I believe that a variety of appropriation bills could be cut and many tax loopholes in our system could be closed in order to better fund education. In 2010, for example, I voted for increased education funding to states, providing $10 billion in supplemental appropriations for education to assist in hiring and retaining teachers and other public school employees. Much of the education funding in this bill came from closing the use of the foreign tax credit by multinational corporations. Closing those loopholes was projected to raise approximately $10 billion in revenue.
In Congressional District 1, we’ve always done more with less. Congress needs to learn this too and must do the belt-tightening that will allow us to properly fund the things that matter most, like education. I’m fighting to bring that work ethic and fiscal discipline to Washington after more than a decade of neglect and irresponsibility by both parties. In 2010, I proposed that Congress take its first pay cut in 77 years, and my effort had bipartisan support. And as part of leading by example, I returned 5 percent of my paycheck every month to pay down the debt.
Should local government fight to keep the Rosemont Copper Mine out or encourage the company to stay?
I’ve been a strong advocate for the local mining economies of our district’s Copper Basin communities – in Congress, I was the original sponsor of the Copper Basin Jobs Project -- but the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine raises some red flags. I am concerned about how this massive open-pit mine would impact local businesses and tourism. And I am concerned about its potential effects on the water levels and water quality at the Green Valley aquifer. Water issues are critical in our state and particularly in our district, and we need to take a hard look at how this particular project may harm regional water resources, and in turn, regional growth opportunities. During my work on the Copper Basin Jobs Project, many difficult issues were addressed because we brought all the stakeholders to the table and sought common ground. This is the kind of leadership I will provide for Southern Arizona at the federal level.
What is the most important issue in your race?
Standing up for our middle-class and working families. This means 1) Creating good jobs in our district and across Arizona, especially in emerging technologies like biotech, wind and solar. I have a record of working across the aisle on job-creation efforts, including the Copper Basin Jobs Project, the Four Forests Restoration Initiative, or the closing of the black liquor tax loopholes; 2) Protecting Medicare and Social Security from drastic cuts by balancing the budget in a fiscally responsible way and asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. I will oppose any efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher system or privatize these important protections; and 3) Investing in education so our schools have modern classrooms, smaller class sizes and the most qualified teachers in the world.
|Race||District||Election Year||Election Level||Election Type||Win|
|CD 1 Democratic primary||Arizona 1st Congressional District||2012||National||Primary|
|CD 1||1st Congressional District||2012||National||General|