Saying Legislative District 13 is a conservative district, it needs a conservative State Senate candidate. Brent Backus believes he is the right person for the job.
KAWC's Kim Johnson spoke with Backus about his candidacy.
Kim Johnson: Backus calls himself a Reagan Conservative, and he says he has been involved in Republican politics since 1980. He is married and owns a Management System Consulting business. Backus says he is affiliated with a number of conservative organizations, including the NRA, Judicial Watch and the Heritage Foundation-to name a few.
Backus has lived in Waddell, Arizona for the past four years. I asked the former Pennsylvania resident why he moved to Arizona, "was it your job or was it something else that brought you to Arizona?"
Brent Backus: Well what brought me to Arizona to be honest with you Kim is that Arizona is a red state, I prefer the ah, strong conservative state that believes in God and Country, and that's why I came to Arizona. And as the aging process takes over Kim, ah, my arthritis will get worse and I need to be in the dry climate.
Johnson: Well you picked a good state then for that, that's for sure. Tell me a little bit about some of the key themes of your campaign.
Backus: Water, Water and Water. I worked for the the Pennsylvania Department of Water Resources back in the early 80's, so I think I know something about water, cause Arizona needs water. And I've been saying this for the last few months. We have to get all the players to the table. Our future water resources are gonna be how we transfer water from other water basins to feed the Colorado River Basin watershed. And that's our water. Lake Mead is gonna be in drastic condition come next year and guess who it's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt Yuma as well as the urban areas.
But there's other issues on the table too. Public education is still an issue here in Arizona. We need to adequately fund public education. Another issue that conservative constituents brought to my attention is we got to get a better grasp of illegal immigration. According to the FAIR Federation, Federation for American Immigration Reform. According to their research, illegal immigration costs the Arizona taxpayer two point seven billion dollars per year, and that was at 2009 levels. So I think Arizona needs to be serious about how we deal with illegal immigration.
Johnson: As a side issue with regard to immigration, what are your feelings on immigrant children being housed at facilities here in the state of Arizona?
Backus: They're breaking the law Kim. Now they need to be housed, I feel bad for them, yeah, but you know what. We have to have disincentives for people illegally coming through our country. I think it's terrible that parents are going to put their kids in that situation. I think yeah, let's provide them housing let's let's get them through the process, but we still have to tighten up our immigration laws. The taxpayers that I talk to are upset about how much money we're wasting at the state level and the national level giving hand outs to illegals, as well as refugees, and that has to stop.
Johnson: Let's talk just a little bit about Don Shooter. Are you surprised considering what happened in the legislature a few months ago and his expulsion from it?
Backus: What was the expulsion vote? If I remember the score was 53 to 6. I don't recognize Don, the voters don't recognize Don, he's persona non grata in the voters eyes. The voters will be the final arbitrator and judge to vote Don out.
Johnson: That'll be determined August 28th in the Republican primary. Backus faces Don Shooter and incumbent Sine Kerr, appointed earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Steve Montenegro. The winner takes on Democrat Michele Harris in the November General Election. I'm Kim Johnson KAWC News.