Guest Editorial



Why I’m running for Attorney General

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andrew thomasOne of the questions I’m asked most frequently while campaigning is the usual one asked of a candidate: “Why are you running?” It’s a great question and a common one because it goes right to the heart of the matter. It deserves a clear and concise answer.
Why am I running?

I believe that the main priority of government is to ensure the safety of law-abiding citizens from criminals. While government can do many fine things, if we are not safe in our homes and workplaces we will not be able to enjoy a high quality of life. As Maricopa County Attorney for the past five plus years, I have contributed significantly to the reduction in crime and illegal immigration through tough, no-nonsense policies.

Our crime rate is down 19 percent during that time, more than twice the rate of decline experienced in other jurisdictions. Working with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I’ve helped contribute to a decline in the illegal immigrant population of between 18 and 30 percent, depending on the analysis. As Attorney General I hope to continue this record of success and make our streets safer and our borders more secure statewide.

By serving as the state’s chief law-enforcement officer, I would bring new energy and vision to that office. Also, I would have the legal authority to combat illegal immigration that would extend to the Mexican border. I would continue to stand up to those powerful special interests that have opposed my successful crackdown on crime and illegal immigration.
Why vote for me?

Unlike my opponent in the Republican primary, I have the experience, record and values that Republican voters deserve in an Attorney General. I have been a prosecutor in the courtroom and, as Maricopa County Attorney I administered an office of close to 1000 employees and oversaw the prosecution of approximately 200,000 felony criminal cases. My opponent, Mr. Horne, has never prosecuted a single criminal case. We need a chief law-enforcement officer for Arizona who has experience in law enforcement. That is why law-enforcement leaders throughout Arizona have endorsed me. These include former Attorney General Bob Corbin, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh, Mohave County Attorney Matthew Smith, Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babou, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (representing 2700 Phoenix police officers), and the National Border Patrol Council local 2544.

I am a conservative, and not just in election years, Mr. Horne is a liberal who has proposed and supported an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants, opposes school choice, and supports taxpayer funding for abortion. While Mr. Horne has tried to reinvent himself as a conservative for this election, his record of support for liberal causes speaks for itself. That is why I have been saying that I am actually running against four Democrats: the three candidates in the Democratic primary and Mr. Horne, himself a former Democrat.

I am proud of my record as Maricopa County Attorney. I have taken the lead in reducing crime and illegal immigration through tough, innovative policies and new laws, such as Senate Bill 1070, which I helped to draft and strongly support. While leading one of the largest prosecutor’s offices in the United States, I took the lead in tackling issues such as identity theft, auto theft, cruelty to animals, pollution and environmental degradation, and other quality-of-life issues through original programs and task forces. I intend to bring that same innovative spirit to the Attorney General’s Office.

I am also proud to have stood up to public corruption and not shied away from rooting it out, despite attacks on my character by those who would protect their friends in high places. One thing the citizens of Arizona can be sure of is that, if I am honored to be elected Attorney General, I will not back away from the tough cases and I will not be intimidated by those who think they are above the law.

My wife, Ann, our four children and I have a personal investment in Arizona. This is a wonderful place to live and work. It is important that our public officials serve the people with courage, integrity and commitment. I pledge to do just that. I would be honored to have your support.