Both Legislative District 11 seats in the Arizona House of Representatives are being vacated, and Oro Valley realtor Mark Finchem hopes to fill one of them. Finchem’s competition comes from Jo Grant and Vince Leach in the Republican primary. Two of the three will advance to the Nov. 4 general election, which will include Holly Lyon, who is running unopposed in the Democrat primary.
Candidate, House of Representatives
Education: AAS criminal justice, Certified Six Sigma
City of residence: Oro Valley
Arizona residence since: 1999
Hometown: Kalamazoo, Mich.
Prior elected office held: None
Community involvement: TAR Government Affairs Committee, Pima County Small Business Commission, Oro Valley Business Club
Hobbies: U.S. Constitution study, gardening, shooting sports, hiking
Why are you running? I’m running for the Arizona House of Representatives because we need representation that recognizes the fundamental human rights of personal freedom, economic freedom and a debt-free future. As we say goodbye to two very good LD-11 representatives, we need to fill their seats with individuals who will not give into big money interests that peddle their influence to those who will ignore the best interests of taxpayers. Voters like you and me want to be heard, and in turn we want our voices “re” presented to others who will guide our state out of the various predicaments we find ourselves in.
What differentiates you from your opponents? I am not backed by big-money special interests but by voters who have had enough of the undue and unacceptable influence has over government. I'm an Oath Keeper committed to the exercise of limited, constitutional governance. I stand against policies that expand the role of government in our lives which include Common Core, Medicaid expansion, extinguishment of long-standing water and land-use rights. I have offered up a solution for the funding of critical functions like education, infrastructure and public safety. My opponents (both Republican and Democrat) have not.
What qualifies you to serve in this capacity? I am a legal citizen of the United States. During my 38-plus years of employment, I have been blessed with unique life experiences, including 21 years in public service as a full-time firefighter and law enforcement officer, a rancher, a large business manager and small business owner. I have worked in both union and non-union jobs and have not only learned but applied sound business principles to empower people and build up value for stakeholders in everything I've done.
What will you do for Maricopa if elected? A big issue is the roadway/railway interchange. This project is necessary for public safety and economic growth of the city and surrounding area. I will support the needs of the project within the capability of the Office and the State, and help to find resources where the state falls short.
What do you like most about campaigning? Meeting people I did not know before I was competing for an office. Meeting with voters and hearing their ideas, concerns and aspirations is invigorating and provides me with solid insight about what they want.
What do you like least about campaigning? The high personal cost for everything from fuel to get about an extremely large district, to meals on the road. I don't like the "sleaze factor" that goes with politics. We should be engaged in an open debate about issues and how to solve problems.
What politician do you admire most, and why? Right now that would be Ted Cruz. Son of a legal immigrant, he's committed to the idea that if a man is not first governed by God, he is not capable of governing other men (an original George Washington statement). Cruz is not afraid to stand against massive powers to represent the interests of the people who elected him.
What is your favorite sports team? Michigan State Spartans