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Candidates fight for Kyl’s U.S. Senate seat
Written by Christopher Fox Graham   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 00:00

While the delay in Arizona’s legislative and congressional redistricting has thrown a wrench of sorts into which state and federal candidates announce plans to run, the race for U.S. Senate is in full swing.

Late last year, U.S. Sen. and Republican Whip Jon Kyl announced his plans to retire at the end of his term in 2012. Challengers for his seat include at least two Democrats and four Republicans.

Democratic Candidates

Arizona has not had a Democratic senator since U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini — Kyl’s predecessor — left office in 1994 after three terms.

■ Don Bivens is an attorney and former chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party.

Former Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party Don BivensBivens graduated from Yale University and attended law school at the University of Texas before moving to Arizona as an attorney. Bivens served as president of the State Bar of Arizona and co-chairman of the Arizona Equal Justice Campaign.

Bivens’ goals include strengthening the state’s economy, energy independence from unsustainable sources, immigration reform and border security, fiscal responsibility and making college more accessible to working families. Bivens said he opposes efforts to privatize Social Security.

As of Sept. 30, the last date for quarterly finance reports, Bivens’ campaign had raised $344,503, all private donations and primarily from lawyers and law offices. The Dec. 31 financial records have not yet been published.

■ Richard Carmona was the 17th surgeon general of the United States. He is registered independent.

Former Surgeon General of the United States Richard CarmonaCarmona served in the U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and worked as a trauma surgeon. He moved to Arizona and became a deputy, surgeon, detective and SWAT team leader with the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.

Appointed surgeon general by President George W. Bush in 2002, Carmona focused on prevention, health disparities and emergency preparedness. He testified before a House committee criticizing the Bush administration’s efforts to prevent him from speaking out as surgeon general on stem cell research, emergency contraception, the dangers of second-hand smoke and global warming. Carmona did not have any financial records filed yet.

Republican Candidates

■ Wil Cardon is a business owner who attended Brigham Young University, graduated from Stanford University and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Businessman Wil CardonA social conservative, Cardon stated his top priorities are creating jobs, reducing taxes and regulation, securing the border, repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and reducing the size of government.

Cardon has raised $1.21 million, with $815,709 from his own pocket, according to his September fillings. Of the $402,387 in private contributions, the largest donors come from the financial and real estate industries.

Fomer 2012 senatorial candidate Doug McKee announced he was dropping out of the race and subsequently endorsed Cardon.

■ U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake has represented Arizona’s District 6 since 2010.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake [R-District 6]Flake wants to improve border security, impose choice and competition in health care, cut government spending, fund school vouchers, end energy regulations, and increase what the federal government pays Arizona in transportation taxes.

Flake has raised $1.51 million including $433,788 from the conservative Club for Growth political action committee.

■ Bryan Hackbarth is a business owner and former mayor of Youngtown, west of Phoenix.

Former Youngtown Mayor Bryan HackbarthHe said as a small business owner his top concern is jobs and holding Congress accountable.

“For Northern Arizona, I’m concerned about all the forest fires the last few years, the damage to business and personal property and the cost of all those losses,” Hackbarth said. “I will take a look at the policy of thinning our forest. We can’t continue to lose valuable property and business to overregulated policies.”

“I also understand the issues of federal grants and dollars to help smaller communities — currently our CDBG grants are on hold; that’s not good — I will work every day to make sure our communities have the resources they need to compete with our larger cities,” he said.

As of his most recent filing Oct. 15, only shortly after he entered the race, he reportedly had raised $4,985.

■ Clair Van Steenwyk is a conservative radio show host.

Conservative radio host Clair Van SteenwykHe said he wants to “restore our country to a republic, as I believe it’s now turned into a socialist democratic government as a result of a total disregard for the Constitution by those elected to protect and defend over the last century on both sides of the aisle.”

U.S. Sen. and Republican Whip Jon Kyl [R-Arizona] is retiring at the end of his term this year. His decision opens up Arizona's junior Senate seat.“As for the northern and rural areas of the state, when elected I believe by restoring the constitution and thereby once again having a republic the automatic benefit will be states’ rights, which will dramatically improve all regions of the state,” Van Steenwyk said. He has no financial records filed yet.

 

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