US CONGRESS, DISTRICT 3

Grijalva, Guerra, Saucedo Mercer, at odds on most issues

Challengers call for change as incumbent touts voting record
2012-10-14T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:18:02Z Grijalva, Guerra, Saucedo Mercer, at odds on most issuesBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 14, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Rep. Raúl Grijalva and his two opponents don't agree on much of anything.

Grijalva is running for his sixth term in Congress, touting his consistent voting record and his understanding of complex political issues.

Conservative activist Gabriela Saucedo Mercer is his main competition. She says the district hasn't had proper representation for 10 years and voters don't want a career politician representing them in Congress.

Libertarian Blanca Guerra says she's running because she's tired of Congress' failures. She said she wants to represent the people, not a party.

The winner will represent a large part of Southern Arizona where most voters are registered as Democrats or independents. In the newly redrawn Congressional District 3, 44 percent of voters live in Pima County, 30 percent live in Maricopa County and the rest live in Yuma, Santa Cruz and Pinal counties.

Here's where the candidates stand on some key issues.

ON JOBS

Grijalva supports Obama's American Jobs Act and more spending on infrastructure and transportation projects.

His own jobs bill, the Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act, would add 500 jobs to Arizona's ports of entry, create a federal contracting preference for local businesses and establish a U.S.-Mexico economic development commission.

Saucedo Mercer and Guerra support cutting regulations and trade barriers as a way to stimulate business and job growth.

Guerra said Congress should "revisit any job proposals that were held up by regulatory bureaucracy."

ON HEALTH CARE

Saucedo Mercer says repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is her top priority.

Grijalva says continuing health-care reform is among his top priorities, and Republicans are wasting time with repeal efforts when they should be focused on jobs bills and other legislation. He would support adding a public insurance option to the plan.

Guerra, who doesn't have health insurance and would have to pay fines under the new rules, supports a repeal. She favors state-level medical plans and sliding-scale plans along with better funding for mental health care.

ON SOCIAL SECURITY

Grijalva pledged to protect Social Security "as it is now" and ensure the program lasts for future generations.

Saucedo Mercer said keeping Social Security as is will "result in bankruptcy." People should have more choices, she said, including a private option for retirement savings.

Guerra favors making the system optional, with those who opt out getting education on managing their own savings.

ON TAXES

Saucedo Mercer supports cutting individual and corporate tax rates. She said it's unfair that "47 percent of the people in this country do not pay taxes."

Grijalva wants to put tax rates back at Clinton-era levels for people earning $250,000 or more and holding tax rates steady for everyone else.

Guerra said there are too many exemptions for the top 2 percent of wage earners, but she also favors cutting the corporate tax rate. "I would support a plan where everyone pays a fair share," she said.

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