Meet the Candidate: Jeff Flake - U.S. Senate
The Yuma Sun is spotlighting the candidates ahead of the Nov. 6 general election. Jeff Flake and Robert Carmona are the two candidates facing off for the U.S. Senate seat.
Name: Jeff Flake
Office running for: U.S. Senate
Family: Wife Cheryl and five children
Education: B.A. and M.A. from Brigham Young University
Employment: U.S. House of Representatives, 2001-present
To what organizations do you belong?
I've been active in Boy Scouts, Little League, and various church and civic organizations over the years.
What in your past experiences helps qualify you for this seat?
I have a record of reform in the House of Representatives. I took on my own political party when they were on the wrong path, even though I was punished for it. Because of my persistence, we were able to eliminate spending earmarks, the wasteful pork projects that Congress slips into bills.
If elected, what is the one issue on which you would focus to improve Yuma's quality of life? How?
There is no issue as urgent or important than jobs and economic growth, and to achieve economic growth we've got to address our national debt. The debt affects every aspect of government, from the economy to the military to issues with immigration. It's imperative that Congress begin to take this problem seriously by reducing discretionary spending and making reforms to programs like Social Security and Medicare. If Congress acts now, these reforms can be implemented without affecting those currently receiving benefits or nearing retirement. We've seen in Europe what can happen when these issues are ignored for too long. If elected to the United States Senate, reducing the national debt and passing balanced budgets will be my priority.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans, and how would you change it?
Yuma currently has the highest unemployment rate in the country. There's no question that the lack of job creation is the biggest challenge facing Yumans right now. The federal government needs to create a tax and regulatory environment that allows the private sector to grow the economy and create jobs. The U.S. needs a tax code that gives American businesses certainty and allows them to compete globally. It's difficult for businesses to grow and expand and create jobs when the federal government is weighing down the private sector with onerous regulations.
What would you do to make government more accessible?
Americans need a federal government that's more accessible. But more importantly they need one that a federal government that is less consequential. The federal government should have less of a role in determining whether or not Americans have happy or successful lives.
Who is your personal hero, and why?
My father, Dean Flake, is my personal hero. He is blessed with a strong work ethic, a kind and fair heart, and a deep sense of civic duty. My brothers and sisters couldn't have had a better role model growing up.