Meet Arizona House District 6 candidate Bob Thorpe
Years in Arizona: 13
Occupation: State Legislator
Education: B.A. Degree plus two additional years of grad schools
Elective and advisory experience: Four years serving in the State House; House Chairman of the Government and Higher Education Committee
Verde Independent: How do you plan to apply the fundamental principles of your party to remedy Arizona's unresolved issues in quality of education, immigration policy and job growth?
Thorpe: Education: Arizona has some of the greatest freedom of choice in education for families within the nation, with Public, Charter and Private schools and ESA's. Three of the top 10 U.S. High Schools are in Arizona, and our student NAEP scores are improving where they remain flat in many other states. Voter-approved Prop 123 provides $350 million more funding to K-12 annually without increasing taxes.
Jobs: Arizona is seen as one of the top states for job creation and has taxing policies, low utility costs and infrastructure that make AZ very competitive. The Legislature will continue to promote job creation, business expansion and our AZ Commerce Authority is encouraging job creators to move here.
Immigration: AZ will continue to pressure Congress to enforce Federal immigration laws and harden our border. In AZ's 2017 state budget, we funded the DPS Border Strike Force and provided financial support to border law enforcement agencies.
Verde Independent: The Affordable Care Act has affected Arizona in both positive and negative ways, with increased medical coverage for the uninsured/underinsured yet increased rates and shrinking choices for others. With counties like Pinal experiencing a complete pullout of all insurers except one, what is your plan to ensure coverage for Arizonans?
Thorpe: The Democratic Party passed the Affordable Care Act, which has proven not to be affordable, with skyrocketing rates and huge individual annual deductibles. Obamacare promised to provide health insurance for tens of millions of uninsured individuals, however according to CDC and Census data, the uninsured rate is still about 9% and has only dropped about 6% since Obamacare passed. Arizona must continue to pressure Congress to repeal Obamacare and to allow the free-market to fix our healthcare problems.
Verde Independent: What skills have you acquired in your personal background and how will you apply those skills to making decisions in the legislature?
Thorpe: Personal background: I have a B.A degree and have worked at Price Waterhouse Accounting Firm, aerospace, software-high technology, K-12 and university teaching, AZ firefighter / EMT, residential construction and I was a Walt Disney Imagineer. My diverse job experience provides me with unique abilities to understand and address many different issues.