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LD1 House candidates push job creation

By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – Here's how incumbent and House Majority Whip Andy Tobin of Paulden describes his top priority in a radio ad.

"When more of us are able to work and support our families, our economy will come back. That's why I'm calling for the legislature to go back into session right away to create a business friendly environment."

Tobin has drafted a bill that would gradually eliminate the corporate income tax as a way to lure private firms to Arizona. His legislation would also provide cash rebates to companies that create jobs and revive the state's job training program.

"In order to make AZ more competitive, we've got to have a restructure of our tax code, right now not competitive in SW, it's no secret, folks are leaving, surrounding areas, more competitive than we are, we're not grabbing those, not holding on to those we need."

Tobin's bill would cost the state's general fund about 28 million dollars in the next fiscal year but it would cost a lot more when the corporate income tax is fully phased out in 20-20. While he supported Proposition 100, the temporary one cent hike in the state sales tax to help balance the state's budget, Tobin says he won't support any further tax increases.

"You cannot keep bleeding what's left of the private sector, biz sector, and support what we have now in government if you can start growing jobs today, we can make it."

Former Chino Valley Mayor and Prescott city council woman Karen Fann is also stressing jobs as her top priority.

"We can't balance that budget, we can't get everything back in order until people go back to work. The more people out of jobs right now, means less revenue coming to the state, and it means more money being shelled out every day for assistance programs."

Fann is making her first bid for the state legislature. She's supported by Tobin and by Lucy Mason, who's not running for re-election because of term limits. Fann believes in fewer taxes and less government. She doesn't offer many specific solutions, but rather says state legislators need to ask tough questions to balance the budget.

"Do we really need this, is this a need or a want, if it's just a want, maybe we can't afford it right now. The second thing is, as we look at needs, how do we do this as cost effectively as possible? Is there a better way to do this for less money?"

Noel Campbell is the third Republican running for one of the two house seats in Arizona district one. Like Tobin and Fann, he supports cutting business taxes, which he believes will encourage economic growth. Campbell worked for 27 years as a surveillance pilot with the US Customs Service along the US-Mexico border. Campbell didn't respond to requests for an interview, but in this web video he promises to protect Arizonans' second amendment rights.

"I will do everything in my power to protect your right to keep and bear arms. Let's not have any debate and pretense about this."

Campbell, who calls himself a Tea Party conservative, has won the endorsement of Governor Jan Brewer. He's running with about 20 thousand dollars in public, "clean elections" funding. Both Fann and Tobin have raised significantly more: Fann, 63 thousand dollars, Tobin, nearly 80 thousand. The top two vote-getters next Tuesday will square off against Democrat Lindsey Bell in the general election in November. But she'll face a tough fight. Republicans outnumber Democrats in District one by nearly to one.

For Arizona Public Radio, I'm Daniel Kraker in Flagstaff