With Ann Kirkpatrick announcing her retirement from Congress after the 2022 elections, Democratic candidates from the Tucson area and Arizona State Legislature have emerged to succeed her.
One of these Democratic Candidates is Dr. Randy Friese.
A member of the Arizona House of Representatives since 2015, Dr. Friese has served Legislative District Nine in Tucson. He is currently a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the House Health Committee. He has also been a member of the House Judiciary, and Government and Higher Education Committees.
A trauma surgeon who was one of the physicians that treated former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others after the tragic shooting at a Tucson supermarket in 2011, Dr. Friese has been a consistent supporter of:
- Voting and ballot initiative rights.
- Gun violence prevention.
- Childcare services.
- LGBTQ rights.
- Increased funding for public schools.
- Affordable housing.
- A living minimum wage.
- A woman’s access to safe and legal abortion.
- Economic growth and recovery from the pandemic Recession.
Dr. Friese discussed his candidacy for the House of Representatives. The questions and his responses are below.
1) Please tell the readers two reasons you would like to become the next House Representative from Arizona House Congressional District Two.
- “Throughout my life, I have been committed to serving. I’ve served my community as a surgeon, I’ve served my country as a Naval medical officer, I’ve served my students as a teacher, and I’ve served my constituents as a legislator. There are many grave challenges facing our state and nation, such as the COVID pandemic, expanding access to high-quality affordable healthcare, ensuring Arizonans achieve a world-class education through our public schools, and supporting economic recovery. I am ready to bring my experiences, my critical thinking, and my problem-solving skills to serve the people of Southern Arizonans in Congress.
- “As a doctor, I have seen first-hand the devastation that gun violence inflicts on American families. I have treated countless victims. I have told parents and spouses their loved ones have died. As a trauma surgeon, I have a unique opportunity to use my experiences to ensure other members of Congress understand the urgent need to address this issue. After years of accomplishing next to nothing, I aim to engage members of Congress on this issue and finally move the needle on addressing the epidemic of gun violence in America. We can and need to take steps to address gun violence at the federal level. It will be a long process involving establishing trust and creating meaningful incremental change to keep America’s diverse communities safe.”
2) Please tell the readers what are at least two qualifications you have to serve in the House of Representatives.
- “In my day job as a trauma surgeon, I work within a team of critical thinkers to solve problems based on facts, evidence, and data.”
- “Through four terms as a state legislator, I have demonstrated the ability and the willingness to speak out for what is right and build coalitions to find meaningful solutions to complex problems. I’m very proud that I have been able to expand children’s healthcare, increase teacher pay, and get a gun safety measure to the floor of the House, even while serving in the minority. In the legislature, I have developed the skills to enact meaningful change, and that’s what I would do in Congress.”
3) In your opinion, what are the three most important issues facing Arizonans and the American People? Please explain.
- “First and foremost, we need to address the public health crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic, then get our economy back on track. That means trusting experts and doctors, acting to mitigate spread with social distancing and masking, and getting vaccinated when it’s our turn. As a doctor and legislator, I have seen firsthand the pain and suffering of individuals, families, and small business owners. Federal, state, and local governments should continue to ensure the health and safety of the public as we move toward the end of this pandemic. Simultaneously, the federal government needs to minimize the economic pain from the pandemic by getting money in people’s pockets and investing in the future in a way that puts people to work.”
- “We must ensure that every person in this country has access to high quality, affordable healthcare, and I will support any legislation that moves us in that direction. As a doctor, I should be able to care for every person that needs my help. However, significant change in our healthcare delivery system requires coalition building as well as the consideration of multiple points of view. As we move to achieve a long-term solution, we should recognize the benefits of reaching that goal through a broadly accepted process, including a public option. The bottom line is that I support ensuring access to quality healthcare for every American.”
- “The federal government must address the epidemic of gun violence in America. While I have been in the operating room doing my best to save the lives of gun-shot victims, Congress has refused to take any meaningful action. Deaths from gun violence continue to plague this country. I have had enough and am determined to put solutions into law.”
- “We need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. That includes fully funding our system of public education as well as heavily investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow, including roads, bridges, broadband, green energy, and more, and putting Americans to work in the process.”
4) Please explain your views on border security and immigration reform.
“The immigration issue is, at its core, a complicated refugee and humanitarian crisis. People in Northern Triangle Central American countries are victims of a humanitarian crisis caused by corruption, climate change, and poor economic conditions. Parents face such grave challenges that they are willing to take their children on a dangerous, several thousand-mile trip in pursuit of a better life. Unfortunately, Trump and his administration demonized them, slashed critical foreign aid, and slowed down the legal process of seeking asylum exacerbating the issues at the border. In the long term, we must work to improve the quality of life for people across the world. In the meantime, we need to enact humane and effective enforcement of our borders, expedite the asylum process, and reform the issuance of working visas.”
5) Please explain your views on funding the police and law enforcement reform.
“Every person in America is entitled to equal protection under the law, and every community must have an engaged and trusted police department. Unfortunately, too many have suffered because of unequal and unjust law enforcement. That’s why I support police reform and accountability. That means improved training, especially with respect to community policing and de-escalation techniques, shifting funding to create resources and programs allowing mental health professionals to respond to nonviolent emergencies, and increased transparency.”
6) Is there anything not covered in the first five questions that you would like the readers to know? Please explain.
“I have a strong work ethic and a desire to learn. I enjoy being exposed to new things and ideas. Most importantly, I thrive as part of a team and enjoy working with others to create solutions to complex problems. One of the most important insights I have gathered from my four terms in the state legislature is that when solutions are created by a diverse team of people, ideas are either improved or become more broadly accepted as different points of view are incorporated into the solution. That is how the legislative process was originally designed and is supposed to work. Unfortunately, the legislative process in DC hasn’t worked that way in a while, and I want to help fix it.”
Dr. Friese has already received several endorsements supporting his House candidacy including former Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez.
For more information on Dr. Friese and his candidacy, please click on the following social media sites: