Legislative District 14: Senate: Both candidates have experience, say economy is a main priority

2012-10-14T00:00:00Z 2014-05-28T15:59:07Z Legislative District 14: Senate: Both candidates have experience, say economy is a main priorityArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 14, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The two women vying for state Senate seat in Legislative District 14 are both hoping to return to the Legislature after serving terms in one of the old districts.

Democrat Pat Fleming is a member of the state House in the old LD25, and Republican Gail Griffin was a member of the state Senate in the old LD25.

But only one of them will remain in office after voters choose on Nov. 6. The newly drawn LD14 includes all of Cochise County and parts of Graham, Greenlee and Pima counties. In Pima, it covers Vail, Corona de Tucson and Rita Ranch.

Fleming identifies the economy and the state's budget as her top priorities. One of her goals is to get people back to work, specifically public school teachers who lost their jobs due to budget cuts.

"First, let's take care of the ones who have lost their jobs because of the cuts imposed by the Legisla-ture," said Fleming, a resident of Sierra Vista who retired in 2005 after 24 years working for the Army as a civilian budget and manpower allocations analyst.

She said she would take the anticipated $800 million state surplus to restore some of the services cut, such as in public education. She said it's important to help support small businesses to create more private-sector jobs, but that government jobs should not be taken out of the equation.

On border security, she said Border Patrol agents should be closer to the border and the U.S. needs to address the demand for drugs that fuel the market.

Griffin said jobs and the economy, balancing the budget, getting more money into class-rooms and increasing border security are her top priorities.

"We need the Border Patrol on the border instead of 20-30 miles off the border," said Griffin, who lives in the border region in Hereford. "There is a free zone, and people live in fear."

Griffin is known as a border hawk. As an example, in 2011 she was among those who voted for an omnibus immigration bill that would have denied citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants and barred admission to state universities and community colleges to anyone who could not prove citizenship or legal residency. The bill was voted down by state senators who said it went too far.

On jobs, she said she will continue the process already started by her and other members of the Legislature to make Arizona more business-friendly.

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