Race for Congressional District 1: Republican candidates
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Three Republicans hope to win over voters in Congressional District 1.
Congressional District 1 covers several small cities and towns in the state. The district stretches up to the Utah border and as far south as Pinal County.
Republicans Patrick Gatti, Gaither Martin and Jonathan Paton are running against each other in the primary.
We contacted the three candidates to speak with them one-on-one. They all told 9OYS that job growth is their top priority and they all have very similar ideas as how to create jobs.
Retired businessman, Patrick Gatti, spoke with 9OYS from his home in Show Low via Skype.
“Job creation is setting up the economy,” stated Gatti. “Setting up the regulations that we have, right now, have got to be removed we have federal regulations on top of state regulations.”
Gaither Martin, an international business consultant, and CD-1 native says job growth needs to start with small businesses.
“We remove the government and the impediments that the government is placing for our small businesses,” said Martin. “That's going to help them have more courage and more confidence and be willing to invest in higher and move forward.”
Former State Senator Jonathan Paton, who’s also a Southern Arizona native and U of A graduate, agrees government taxes are hindering job creation and believes the health care reform law is also hurting job growth.
“The biggest of all is Obama Care, because of the effect it has had on the economy and I think it makes it really uncertain for businesses to start up with new jobs,” Paton said.
When it comes to immigration reform, Paton said since he has represented three border counties he knows a lot on the hot-button issue.
“I was the author of the human smuggling bill in the state of Arizona,” stated Paton, “I voted for senate bill 10-70, so I have a strong record on immigration.”
Martin tells 9OYS he supports securing the border in a way that won’t hamper the economy.
“That's why I support a worker VISA program,” he said. “Once we have that border secure, we need to have an avenue for those who'd like to come to this country, [who] would like to participate in the economic benefits, that there's a legal avenue for people to participate.”
Gatti believes we need to protect our border better.
“It’s got to start with locking down the border,” said Gatti. “We have to set up a double fence, whatever is necessary, from California all the way across Texas.”
9OYS asked each candidate what sets them apart from the pack.
“Why I'm running,” said Martin, “I'm running to make a change. I'm running, because I was born and raised in this district and there needs to be changes and we need representation in CD-1 that is from CD-1.”
“I have business experience,” said Gatti, “I understand what it means to have a budget. I understand what it means to review that budget and to have something to work against.”
“I think the biggest difference is the fact that I actually have experience,” said Paton, “I served southern Arizona in the state legislature and I actually know these issues really well, because I've had experience.”
Republican Doug Wade withdrew from the race, but not early enough to get his name off the ballot.
The Republican winner will move on to face the Democratic nominee. Ann Kirkpatrick and Wenona Benally Baldenegro are the Democratic candidates.