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Republican Arizona governor candidate Steve Gaynor talks border security in Yuma

Gaynor wall edit.jpg
Gaynor campaign
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Republican Arizona governor candidate Steve Gaynor, right, met with Yuma County residents at the border fence near Yuma on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

A Republican candidate for Arizona governor was in Yuma Tuesday where he focused on border security.

Steve Gaynor, a businessman from the Phoenix area, said he was on a fact-finding mission to the border.

Gaynor met with Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, San Luis Port Director John Schwamm and other local citizens and said he witnessed undocumented migrants being picked up and transported to temporary detention centers.

“We need to build the wall, we need to finish the wall, for sure, but that’s not something that happens overnight," Gaynor told KAWC. We have people and drugs flooding in here so the fastest way to deal with it is to staff up in law enforcement and make it tough on the cartels to do what they’re doing now.”

Gaynor said what is happening at the U.S-Mexico border is a crisis and that President Joe Biden's policies are to blame.

Gaynor also said agriculture is the heart and soul of Yuma and that he would focus on water issues as governor. He said the Biden administration has not earmarked any funding to desalination plants in California that would take the pressure off the Colorado River and preserve the local economy in Arizona.

While in Yuma County, Gaynor said he also visited the Yuma Community Food Bank and was scheduled to meet with supporters at a local restaurant.

Gaynor is one of six Republicans running for governor along with former TV news anchor Kari Lake, Matt Salmon, Karrin Taylor Robson and Frank Konarski. Mesa businessman Scott Neely announced his campaign Tuesday. State Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced last weekend she was withdrawing from the race to run for re-election as treasurer.

"The governor is like the Chief Executive Officer of the state so you want to hire someone who's done that," Gaynor said. "I have led in all of my business career."

There are three Democrats running for governor- Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez and former state Rep. Aaron Lieberman, who visited Yuma including Arizona Western College on Sept. 1.

Lieberman and Gaynor appear to be the only candidates who have announced Yuma campaign visits to local reporters so far.

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