Republican – Governor
Phone: (480) 437-1033
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Frank Riggs
Address: 37486 N 102nd St , Scottsdale, AZ 85262
Age: 63. (09/05/50, Louisville, KY).
Arizona since: 2002
Occupation: Small business owner, Duncan Development Consulting, LLC; President, Frank and Cathy Riggs, Inc.; CEO, Charter Schools Development Corporation, retired 2012; former police officer and deputy sheriff; U.S. Army veteran.
Education: B.A. (summa cum laude), administration of justice, Golden Gate University, 1980; attended, St. Mary’s College (Moraga, CA); University of Maryland, European Division (while serving in the U.S. Army).
Political experience: U.S. Congressman, California (R-CD1), 1991-93, 1995-99. My first political involvement was in Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns. I met President Reagan at the White House in 1982 and attended his second inaugural in 1984, and he inspired me to run for Congress. I was actively involved in Sen. John McCain’s first presidential campaign in 2000 and in the presidential campaign of my friend and former congressional colleague, Rick Santorum, in 2012, and headed Santorum’s campaign in Arizona.
Interests: My three children, their spouses, and my two grandchildren. I am a fitness enthusiast and work out regularly. I love hiking on Arizona’s many beautiful trails (especially Pinnacle Peak near my home) and playing golf on one of our many world-class golf courses. I will set a personal example of physical fitness to encourage my fellow Arizonans to practice healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, so that we can control and reduce health care costs.
GOV – Two biggest issues: Reviving and rebuilding our economy and addressing and proactively averting our looming state government fiscal crisis. We need a low-cost tax and regulatory structure that is conducive to starting or expanding a business. Ninety-five percent of Arizona businesses are small businesses, and I want to reduce both income and property taxes on businesses. I also want to eliminate all corporate welfare and special interest tax breaks in the state tax code. Tax policy should encourage savings and investment and tax consumption, and should create a level playing field that promotes fair competition and doesn’t favor one business or industry over another. We need to invest in K-20 education, especially vocational, technical and career-related education and training, and in our infrastructure. Employers and job creators look for states with a low cost of living and high quality of life, an educated workforce, and transportation infrastructure that supports commerce.
GOV – Budget priorities: My priorities are jobs, kids and public safety, a perfect alignment with my deep experience as a successful small businessman, an education leader in Congress and the charter school sector, and my service as a military policeman and military police investigator in the Army, and as a police officer and deputy sheriff. Taxes should be as low, flat and fair as possible, and tax policy should encourage savings and investment, and tax consumption. I favor a flat tax on income with an exemption for the first $12,000 of income. I would eliminate the sales tax or “Transaction Privilege Tax” in favor of a broad-based consumption tax with an exemption for prescription medicine and a low-income refundable tax credit. A consumption tax would rid the state tax code of the corporate welfare and special-interest loopholes, get at the “underground” economy, and make our out-of-state visitors and seasonal guests pay their fair share for government services and infrastructure.
GOV – Fiscal philosophy: I am a fiscal conservative as proven by my congressional voting record. The federal budget was balanced in 1998 when I left Congress to keep my term limits commitment. I share the tea party’s concern about the constant expansion of the size, reach and power of the federal government, especially under the Obama Administration, which has given us a $17 trillion-plus national debt. We’re headed down the same path as a state, selling off (and leasing back) state-owned properties, including the Capitol office buildings, and pledging future lottery revenues. Forty percent of the state budget is federal aid and much of Arizona’s land is under federal government’s dominion and control. I want to make our state less, not more, dependent on the federal government. Federal funds to Arizona for K-12 education and health care should be block grants with maximum flexibility, and the public lands held in trust by the federal government should be turned over to state government for multi-use management.
GOV – Job creation: Elect me governor! I will focus like a laser on creating jobs and raising incomes (the average wage of the jobs we’ve added since the Great Recession is $9.50 an hour). We will make strategic investments in education and workforce training. We will establish a state infrastructure investment bank to leverage affordable private sector investment in our state transportation infrastructure, and wastewater reclamation and treatment projects to augment our water supply. We will reduce college and health care costs. And I will personally lead the Arizona Commerce Authority to promote our state’s economic development and business recruitment efforts.
GOV – Common Core : Common Core is a “bright line” issue that divides people between those who favor more federalization of K-12 public education and the nationalization of standards and testing, and those who want to keep decisions regarding standards and testing, which dictate curriculum, at the state and local level. I’m opposed to Common Core because it’s a top-down mandate tied to federal education funding and regulations, imposed on state government by the federal government, and by state government on all schools. K-12 education is a primary responsibility of state government, consuming 41% of the state budget. Decisions about standards, curriculum and assessments should be made by Arizona policymakers with ample input from parents and the educators leading and teaching in our schools. I will ensure my State Board of Education appointees support local control over standards and assessments, parental rights, school choice, and charter school autonomy.
GOV – Medicaid expansion: I’m opposed to Obamacare and didn’t favor the expansion of Medicaid. Arizonans want choice and freedom, not mandates, when it comes to their health care. Taxpayer-funded benefits should be means-tested, and I believe Medicaid eligibility should be rolled back to 100% of the federal poverty level. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare will funnel $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage into Obamacare over the next decade, and $1 trillion, that otherwise would have been spent on Medicare, will have to be rerouted to fund Obamacare subsidies. As a member of Congress, I fought to reform and strengthen Medicare and am the only candidate for governor with a proven record of protecting Medicare. It should remain a retirement health insurance program and shouldn’t be raided to pay for Obamacare, including the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona.
GOV – Pro-life / Pro-choice: I believe in the dignity, worth and purpose of every life. Government has no greater responsibility than to protect the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death. I have the most extensive voting record on pro-life issues of any candidate for governor (some of the other candidates are “blank slates” who have never held legislative office or cast a single vote). As a three-term U.S. Congressman, I voted for the Hyde Amendment to ban federal funding for abortion on demand; to prohibit abortions at medical facilities on federal military installations; to ban the abhorrent practice of partial birth abortion; and for the Adoption Tax Credit and the Dependent Child Tax Credit. I also support the “conscience clause” allowing a business owner or medical provider to refuse to provide abortion-related services, as mandated by Obamacare, based on moral and religious beliefs.
ALL – Public policy advice: I seek broad policy advice from subject matter experts and advocacy organizations, as well as the general public through regular town hall meetings. I welcome a wide range of viewpoints and have sought advice from law enforcement associations, veterans’ organizations, local government officials, the Farm Bureau, organizations opposing Common Core like Arizonans Against Common Core and Patriots Against Common Core, and the Firearms and Shooting Trade Alliance. Statewide tea party groups and the Goldwater Institute have been very helpful in promoting the values of fiscal restraint and responsibility, and constitutionally limited government. In assembling my leadership team, I will look for excellent character and integrity; a strong work ethic; commitment to public service (“servant leadership”); demonstrated expertise and competence; and loyalty to me and the conservative principles I’ve articulated for moving our state forward.