Video editing by Ann Simmons.

Rep. Randy Friese (D-LD9) actually got three bills passed into law in this year’s Republican-dominated legislative session. He attributed his success to his unique skills as a critical care physician. “When you take into account more viewpoints, your solution is more robust,” he said.

Dr. Randy Friese is a veteran, doctor, and educator who spoke at the July 19, 2021 meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson to discuss the recent legislative session and his bid to be elected to Congress in Tucson’s Congressional District 2 to replace retiring US Representative Ann Kirkpatrick.

 You can support Rep. Friese’s campaign by visiting DrFrieseForArizona.com. He can be reached at randy@drfrieseforarizona.com.

Republicans totally excluded Democrats from any meetings about state legislation. But Friese, who has been in the Arizona House for four terms, prevailed with three bills on testing legal marijuana for herbicides and metals, testing the labs and making unannounced inspections at dispensaries.

“I am open to listening to others,” he said. “We have a lack of that going on in Congress right now. There is a lot of distrust and partisanship.” 

Maricopa fraudit

On top of that there are “celebriticians” in Congress who got elected not to be servant leaders and solve problems, but to be celebrities and raise funds for PACs. (US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, (R-GA), a far-right conspiracy theorist, comes to mind.)

“I want to bring us back to solving problems for Americans,” he said. 

In contrast, state Senate Republican leader Karen Fann (R-LD1) personally pushed for the endless fraudit of the 2020 election by the bungling Cyber Ninjas. “Either they are being purposely misleading or they are incompetent in not understanding wheat they are doing,” Friese said. 

State senators never voted as a body to conduct the audit, Friese noted. “One senator could have made a motion to stop the audit and there would have been a roll-call vote,” he said. “But the motion was never made.”

Gun violence worsening

Dr. Friese has introduced legislation on gun safety for the last eight years, calling for systematic background checks for gun purchases. As gun violence is worsening, he persuaded the NRA and the gun lobby Arizona Citizens Defense League to be neutral about his bill to hold parents responsible for preventing a child from accessing a gun. But it never got a hearing because Republicans said they were “uncomfortable” to vote on it.

In Congress, Friese hopes to offer incentives for gun safety, as was done to require seat belt use. “If your state has background checks on gun safety, you’ll get 500 million in funds for public safety,” he said. In a similar fashion, he will support access to healthcare — Medicare for All and public option plans — and funds to fight climate change.

“I’m a clinical scientist and can help other people understands what it means to think logically and linearly,” he said.

The borders of CD2 will change after redistricting concludes in December. He said if the district expands to the west, it will pick up Santa Cruz County and become bluer. If it expands to the north into Pinal or Greelee County, the district will become redder.