Four GOP candidates vie for Senator Jon Kyl's seat

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Four GOP candidates vie for Senator Jon Kyl's seat

CREATED Aug. 23, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Republican Party knows it will be facing Democrat and former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona in the race to replace U.S. Senator Jon Kyl. Still uncertain though, who the GOP candidate will be. Four candidates with different backgrounds are vying for the seat.

Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, businessman Will Cardon, former Mayor Bryan Hackbarth and Christian talk show host Clair Van Steenwyk are duking it out for Arizonans votes. When it comes to the issues, there's not much that divides them. 9OYS grilled them for answers on the hot button issues voters care about like the President's deferred action plan for the children of illegal immigrants.

"I think we should have consulted Congress," Flake said. "What he did was a temporary fix and we need a permanent fix."

"He's taken the rule of law and completely destroyed it and said he doesn't care what the Supreme Court or Congress says," Cardon said. "He's going to make up his own laws as he goes, and I don't think that's right."

"It's like a kid who throws a tantrum and you give him a candy bar," Van Steenwyk said. "It's going to happen again. If you reward bad behavior, it'll happen again."

"This country was founded on the rule of law," Hackbarth said. "For all the immigrants that came before including my wife, it's a slap in their face to give it to them [illegal immigrants] free. It's just wrong."

When it comes to the President's health care law, one word sums it up for these candidates.

"Repeal it, repeal it now," Van Steenwyk said.

"We need to repeal and replace it," Flake said.

"Obamacare needs to be repealed," Cardon said.

They are all against drastic defense spending cuts, cautious about depleting the United States military. But they do agree, the federal government's spending is out of control.

As for gun laws, they say current laws are enough.

"We have systems in place to try and ensure that individuals with mental illness are not purchasing firearms and those laws need to be enforced," said Flake.

"I'm a strong proponent of the 2nd Amendment," Cardon said.

"It's not the gun, it's the person," Van Steenwyk said. "We got to focus on a person's character, that's the real problem."

What they don't agree on is which person's background is best for the job and creating jobs across the country. Congressman Flake points to his track record in the house.

"I see my role as a sitting Senator or Congressman to make the federal government as inconsequential as you would like it to be," said Flake.

Hackbarth says his values define him.

"We need to start electing leaders who have Christian values who will work for American people and not for themselves," Hackbarth said.

Van Steenwyk says it's time to reign in the federal government and its power.

"Our Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they knew who was serving us and how big and intrusive the federal government has gotten," Steenwyk said.

Cardon calls himself an outsider who can make a difference.

"It's a choice between business people and professional politicians," Cardon said.

Voters get the final word on Election Day set for next Tuesday. The winner earns a spot on the November ballot against Carmona.