Name: Russ Jones
Hometown: Was Calexico, now it's Yuma
Office running for: State representative
In district: 24
Political experience: Four years, State House of Representatives
Family: Married to Janet, 42 years; two children, four grandchildren
Please describe your platform:
To help the Arizona economy recover as quickly as possible by expanding job opportunities, along with the necessary education and training, by targeting the needs of small business and making Arizona attractive to investors.
If elected, what is your first priority?
Balance the state budget, largely through regulatory reform and stimulating business growth.
Who do you think is your biggest challenger and why?
Balancing the state budget. Due to past initiatives and federal mandates, 75 percent of state revenues are currently earmarked and due to Props 108 and 105, we have very limited tools available to deal with this problem.
What do you think sets you apart from your opponent(s)?
I have a broad business and economic development background and experience, with a local and statewide reputation for getting things done.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts?
Just about everything we do at the legislature is recorded and available to viewing. We have a robust web-based system that permits active participation by the public. What we don't do is publicize well how to access and use the system.
Public notices are regarded as one important way for the public to find out what is really happening in government. Newspapers currently not only print public notices but also operate a free, consolidated, online, searchable database. Some people advocate that public notices should be available only on government websites. Do you agree that the Legislature should change the current law to mandate that public notices be available only on government websites?
No. We should and can do both. I've been appointed by the speaker to chair a legislative special committee to work with stakeholders to accomplish this.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans, and Arizonans?
Getting our state and local economy moving again without depending too much on construction to do so.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that?
Move forward with the “Jobs Bill” we introduced last session to incentivize investment in Arizona by both small and large business here and out of state.
What is one of your strengths? Weaknesses (something you'd like to improve upon)?
I work well with others I don't necessarily see eye to eye with. My biggest weakness is probably that, as an incurable optimist, I try to take on too much at a time.
What is one thing that you want voters to know?
That I'm truly there for them and do so at their pleasure through the ballot box. I'm listed in the phone book so the public can find me. I also enjoy their e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Only that our vote is a precious and sacred act, to be respected and cast thoughtfully and humbly.