Meet the Candidates - Darin Mitchell
Name: Darin Mitchell
Hometown: Litchfield Park
Office running for: Arizona House
Political experience: Never held elected office
Please describe your platform? I am a smaller government, lower taxes, less spending conservative who believes in the Constitution and the free market system.
If elected, what is your first priority? We need to get the Arizona economic engine running again so the free enterprise system can create jobs for our friends and neighbors who are out of work. To accomplish this, we need to continue to hold the line on state spending, lessen the tax and regulatory burden, and deal with the unsustainable entitlement programs that have created a dark cloud hanging over any potential economic recovery we may achieve.
What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? I am running as a team with my friend and fellow conservative Steve Montenegro. We believe in smaller government, balanced budgets, lower taxes, less regulations, protecting 2nd amendment rights, school choice and we are both pro-life and pro-family. The third candidate is Russ Jones, who has the most liberal voting record of any Republican in the Legislature. In his long legislative career, Mr. Jones has voted for excessive spending and bloated budgets under our former governor as well as voting against school choice and Second Amendment rights. His voting record is so liberal that his fellow Republican legislators are unhappy with him and that hurts his ability to be an effective advocate for our district. So I believe that Steve and I will work together to pursue policies that will better benefit our district and Arizona.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts? I should start by giving a lot of credit to Steve Montenegro, who wrote and passed Arizona's transparency bill so taxpayers can go online and see where our money comes from and how it is spent. More transparency is always a good idea.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans? I think the biggest challenge for Yumans is the same challenge we face everywhere in the state. The economy and jobs. It is an even greater crisis here in Yuma. I look forward to being an effective representative for Yuma and doing everything I can to bring us the help we need.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that? To a degree, some of what works everywhere also works here. Lower taxes, less regulation, keeping our budgets balanced, and making Arizona an attractive location for employers to relocate and grow. But not everything that works in Maricopa County or Pima County is always going to be sufficient in other counties. Our district extends from Yuma to Wickenburg, and we need to craft specialized solutions that respect our different locations and population densities. Can we create special economic zones and reward employers for expanding into areas with high unemployment? I think we can. We can also be vocal cheerleaders for Yuma to the people we interact with around the state and in other states can learn more about its special features and assets.
How would you rate how the current office holder is doing, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), and why? I rate Steve Montenegro a 5 and Russ Jones a 2. Steve was named Speaker Pro Tem (the #4 position in the House) after just his first term, and he has a solid record of conservative success. But when Steve votes “Yes,” all too often Mr Jones votes “No” – on balanced budget amendments, taxpayers' bill of rights, efforts to improve education etc. By electing the conservative team of Mitchell and Montenegro our district will be represented by two strong voices that complement each other rather than canceling out the others votes.
What is one of your strengths? Weaknesses? One of my strengths is my 24 years of experience in the private sector. I've signed checks on the front, not just the back. I know how government gets in the way of small businesses. One of my weaknesses is that while some may consider my never having held public office before a plus, I will be a freshman and will have some learning to do about the process. But I am confident that Steve will be helpful, and that by working with the Republican majority instead of against it, I can be an effective in representing our district.
What is one thing that you want voters to know? It is difficult to adequately express in words, but I am passionate about saving our country and helping Arizona to be the best it can be. Our country is a miracle and it needs to be cherished and nurtured, and we need to pass it on to future generations. I intend to safeguard our Constitutional rights, restore our liberties, and work with our conservative majority to keep Arizona a shining star and the best place to raise a family and grow old.