Meet the Candidates: U.S. House of Representatives District 3 GOP race
The Yuma Sun is spotlighting the candidates for each contested political office ahead of the Aug. 28 primary election. Gabriela Saucedo Mercer and Jaime Vasquez are Republican candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives District 3.
Name: Gabriela Saucedo Mercer
Office running for: U.S. House of Representatives District 3
Political experience: Not a career politician, elected precinct committeeman and former member of the Pima County Republican Party Executive Board, member at large
Family: Husband Ted, daughter Juliana Mercer, sons Christopher and Stephen Mercer
Please describe your platform: I am running on a platform of restoring our federal government so that it functions “for and by” the people, not over and against the people. We hear much about “reforming” our government and laws, but what really needs to take place is restoring our nation by restoring personal responsibility, the limitations on the power of the federal government, not the expansion of it, and restoring our economy by lowering taxes and regulations. By returning to the principles presented in our founding documents, we will begin to restore the balance of power, our desperate communities and our ailing economy. Will our problems be solved quickly? No, but we can begin that path of restoration now in order to see improvement along the way to our better days ahead.
If elected, what is your first priority? My first priority is to release the hardship imposed on our small businesses. I will do so by calling for de-regulation and lowering taxes. We hear much about increasing taxes on particular segments of the population; why not have lowered tax rates to avoid increasing taxes on anyone? In order to truly tackle the challenges facing small business, we MUST completely repeal Obamacare as it imposes the largest tax increase and expansion of the federal government in our history. It will strangle businesses, not just the health community, but for all employers who have to decide on offering health insurance or eliminating it for their employees.
What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? As for the qualities that set me apart from my primary opponent: I am not in favor of the Dream Act, and I support a fence, double-layer fence if needed and any supporting technology to secure our borders. I understand there is new technology that can be used in certain areas which the terrain makes it almost impossible to erect a fence. As for how I am set apart from the incumbent in CD-3: We have stark differences on issues concerning the economy, job creation (he supports funding the public sector with our tax dollars; I support lowering taxes and decreasing the burden of regulations on the private sector) border and immigration issues, education, defense, the Second Amendment, abortion, etc. I grew up in Mexico and understand the hardship people face when living in a depressed area. A person is often confined to a life of difficult living conditions if that is what they are born into. I had the benefit of visiting the United States of America as a child and fell in love with what this country stood for. I wanted to have a life where freedom and opportunities existed. The words of President Ronald Reagan resonate with me. I knew if I wanted to truly participate in American life, I wanted to do so legally. A person cannot search for a better life if they are not going to respect the laws of this nation. That is a key element of where the incumbent and I have major difference: The incumbent has gone to great lengths to encourage young people of Hispanic descent and those here illegally to challenge the laws of this sovereign nation and also put themselves in dangerous situations; I joined with those who wanted to call American “home” by learning the laws, language, history and culture so we can actually achieve the American Dream and have that better life we long for. I love my Mexican heritage and I am proud of it. I am also living proof along with millions of others who came to this melting pot, that being American has nothing to do with birthplace or race; it has to do with profound ideas rooted in faith and freedom, items that go hand in hand.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts? I can only be accountable to my constituents and make myself available through town hall meetings and constant flowing of information regarding the issues facing the district the state and the nation. I believe that We the People need to hold our elected officials accountable and pressure them about transparency at all levels of government. We cannot trust the government to be transparent and open if we do not hold their feet to the fire.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans? Speaking to the many voters and supporters in Yuma I understand that the biggest challenge in Yuma is unemployment.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that? I will campaign with the Arizona delegation to help me fight for Arizona and bring more jobs to our state and I will be calling for de-regulation on those industries that are affected by heavily imposed regulations while trying to create jobs. I will fight to let the free markets flow and make it attractive for job creators to come and do business with us.
How would you rate how the current office holder is doing, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), and why? I give the incumbent a 1 because he has failed to represent the people in the district, he called for a national economic boycott of our state when families were losing their homes and were not able to provide for their children. The incumbent fights to bring grants for the constituents which sadly those grants only benefit a small segment of the constituents while the rest of us are left out.
What is one of your strengths? Weaknesses? One of my strengths is, I am a very hard worker, if I tell you that you can count on me for something you have asked for, you can be assured that I will work hard to help, if I cannot make it happen, I will gather some help and make it happen.
Weaknesses? I am too honest, I like to be transparent and sometimes people take that as a weakness.
What is one thing that you want voters to know? I want voters to know that, as a citizen legislator, I will represent the interest of all the people, specially the people who are interested in getting involved in the process by encouraging them to offer their ideas, to help me craft legislation they would like to see pass and or repealed. I hope to earn their vote and their trust.
Name: Jaime Vasquez
Office running for: Congressional District #3
Political experience: (No answer)
Family: Jacob age 37, Chantel 27, two grandchildren.
Please describe your platform: Jobs, Economy and Immigration. Build a nuclear power plant in Tucson and Yuma. Build a water desalinization plant in Yuma. The system will pull ocean water for local agriculture, industry and replenishment of ground water. A water system like this can supply Southern Arizona and possibly states that suffer from drought. When it comes to immigration, I believe in the rule of law. People that follow the law earn the right to be an American. It's long a hard road.
If elected, what is your first priority? My first priority, if elected, will be to work hard on my jobs plan.
What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? I am a business owner. I have the experience that it will take to restart our economy
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts? We have to elect credible people to office, this is the way to achieve transparency. I can only speak for myself, I believe the voters should know what's happening every step of the way.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans? The biggest challenge for all Americans is the jobs and the economy. America is hurting for skilled labor. We have to start training our young people and our veterans to meet all the challenges coming up in the near future.
How would you rate how the current office holder is doing, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), and why? In my opinion, the current office holder has not participated in anything substantive to this date.
What is one of your strengths? Weaknesses? My strength is in my Lord Jesus Christ, without him I am nothing. My weakness is Mexican food.
What is one thing that you want voters to know? I want the voters to know that I will go to Congress to serve my fellow Americans not just be another face in the crowd, I will be there to work.