US Senate Candidate Daniel McCarthy along with state and local candidates returned to the campaign trail on Saturday at two political events in Chino Valley. Local organizations and social clubs were forced to suspend meetings following Governor Ducey’s March 30th stay at home order requiring social distancing and forbidding meetings of 10 or more people. With the lifting of those orders on May 15th, political meetings have returned to Yavapai County.
The Conservatives for a Constitutional Republic (ConCR), is the first Yavapai County political club to hold a live meeting since social distancing requirements were imposed. Their customary meeting place at the VFW in Prescott Valley has not yet reopened. Saturday’s meeting, which included a complimentary lunch, was held at the Bible Baptist Church in Chino Valley. An audience of around 30-35 people, a few still practicing social distancing, gathered to hear conservative favorites. Among those invited to speak were Daniel McCarthy, running for the US Senate, Wendy Rogers, running for the State Senate for LD6, Quang Nguyen, running for State Representative for LD1, and Prescott attorney David Stringer, running for County Attorney.
Daniel McCarthy, a relative newcomer to Arizona politics, is mounting a spirited challenge to Martha McSally for the US Senate. McCarthy is something of a business prodigy, having founded two successful companies before he was thirty, an Arizona based real estate firm with national reach and a global cosmetics firm. A staunch conservative, McCarthy has been active in Republican politics as a precinct committeeman and financial donor.
With McSally trailing in fundraising and polls consistently showing her losing to Democrat Mark Kelly, McCarthy argues that now is the time for Arizona conservatives to take back the party and return to the principles of Goldwater and Reagan that kept Arizona a red state for decades. McCarthy says that without a candidate who energizes conservatives, Republicans will lose a second senate seat to Democrats.
Wendy Rogers is also mounting a challenge to incumbent Sylvia Allen for the LD6 state senate seat. A sliver of northeast Yavapai County is represented by LD6. Ms. Rogers gained a national following among conservatives for her 2018 Republican primary challenge in CD1, a seat now held by Democrat Tom O’Halleran. In her remarks she touted a network of grassroots conservatives that is giving her a financial base for her campaign. Her strong conservative positions on gun rights, free speech and parental choice in education hit a responsive chord with the audience.
Quang Nguyen, another newcomer to elective office, is well known to local conservatives for his speaking engagements at patriotic events across the state.
He has a compelling personal story, emigrating to the United States from South Vietnam as a 12 year old who spoke no English. He says, “I was a refugee, but my family did it the right way. We came in the front door. We didn’t try to sneak in and violate the immigration laws of the United States.” As a refugee from a communist country, he fell in love with the freedom and human rights that America represents and he embraced assimilation. He describes himself as a “right to life Catholic” and “freedom loving American”.
After completing his education in California, he settled in Prescott where he raised his family and became active in the Patriot Movement and other conservative causes. He is a strong supporter of US Veterans, and the Second Amendment. He says he is proof that the American Dream is alive and well. Both of his children won scholarships to college, with his daughter Sara winning an appointment to the Naval Academy. At the conclusion of his talk, Mr. Nguyen was given the endorsement of the Arizona Citizens Defense League PAC and a $1000 campaign donation, by the ACDL PAC’s treasurer, Rose Sperry.
Prescott attorney and former State Representative David Stringer spoke on his campaign for Yavapai County Attorney. He is challenging 20 year incumbent Sheila Polk, who he says has been in office long enough. Stringer says it’s unhealthy for elected officials to stay in office that long. They become servants of their own interests. They start putting the interests of government first and forget their job is to serve justice and protect the people from the government.
In Polk’s case, Stringer says she has been overzealous in prosecuting the small fry, filling the county jail with low level offenders, stigmatizing youthful offenders with felony records, while protecting the powerful and influential and turning a blind eye to public corruption.
He cited the proposal to build a 70 million dollar jail in Prescott as a particular problem. “It costs $40,000 a year to house an inmate in the county jail”, Stringer said. “That comes to $110 a day per inmate”. He stated, “A new jail will drive up debt and taxes in Yavapai County at a time when government officials should be looking for ways to cut taxes.” To strong applause from the audience, Stringer promised that as county attorney he would try to stop the construction of a new jail within walking distance “of families and residential areas of Prescott.”
Following the ConCR meeting, McCarthy and Stringer made their way to another meeting of Republican activists at a private home in Chino Valley where they joined former state senator Judy Burges, now running for LD1 State Representative. Burges told the assembled crowd, that in her years in the state senate she earned the reputation of being one of the Arizona’s most conservative legislators. She spoke on border control, protecting gun rights, educational freedom for families and protecting private wells and water rights from government regulation, a major issue for homeowners in Chino Valley.
Stringer capped the afternoon’s remarks with the promise to support conservative candidates “up and down the ticket” in the August 4th primary. He acknowledged that the COVID 19 shutdown has delayed door to door canvassing. But he said a strong effort in support of President Trump and county conservatives was organized before the shutdown hit. He promised the receptive audience,“We’re staffed. We’re funded. We’re ready to go.”