2018 Congressional District 5 Candidates

The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the following candidate:

          CD5 – Andy Biggs

There is 1 seat available on the August primary and November general elections.  Each candidate was invited to provide bio information as well as answers to questions regarding their candidacy platform.  You’ll find an alphabetical listing of those candidates who responded to the questionnaire and below that information you will find all candidates’ answers to those questions.  A personal interview and candidate forum took place to determine the Chamber’s final endorsements.

Andy Biggs
*Endorsed by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce*

Community of Residence: Gilbert, Arizona    

Business: Free Man Press

Occupation: United States Congressman - Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District

Education Background: Brigham Young University B.A. of Asian Studies; Arizona State University M.A. of Political Science; University of Arizona J.D.

Brief summary of employment history: Attorney at Law; Arizona State Senate President; Arizona State House of Representatives

List of community organizations you belong to: N/A

How long have you lived in the Congressional District? 32 years

Select the position for which you are running: United States Congressman - Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District

Jose Torres

Community of Residence: Gilbert, Arizona   

Business: Semiconductors, Technology

Occupation: Engineering, Marketing

Education Background: BS Mechanical Engineering, BA Mathematics, MBA, Global Management

Brief summary of employment history: Motorola: 1995-2001, Intel 2001-2018, excluding Marvell 2006-2009 and Wind River Systems 2014-2015

List of community organizations you belong to:

How long have you lived in the Congressional District? Since I bought my first house in 1995, excluding a brief 9 month window as a new house was being built.

Select the position for which you are running: Congressional District 5

1. Give three (3) of your qualifications/skill sets that make you a leading candidate for Congressional District 5. Explain why these qualifications make you a better candidate than your opponents.

Andy Biggs: I have a strong voting record. While many candidates are in the business of making campaign promises they won’t keep, my voting record serves as a record of promises kept. Between my service in Congress and the State Legislature, the voters in our district know where I stand.

I believe that our representatives must be one of us to represent us. I have lived in Gilbert for over 30 years. I have worked here, raised my family here, and been active in our community throughout that time.

My experience in balancing Arizona’s budget is desperately needed in Washington, D.C.

Jose Torres: Details orientation – as an engineer and mathematician who works in technology sales and marketing, I am practiced and skilled at asking the right questions, checking the details, and still communicating to management in a simplified manner.

Cross-cultural leadership – I have worked with many different personality styles and built cross-functional teams to bring multiple perspectives together to efficiently address very difficult problems.

Win-Win – this is an attitude supported by the skill of multi-member negotiations to expand the middle ground and create value for the stakeholders and larger community

2. What are the top two (2) priorities you would push to accomplish during your term as a member of Congress and why do you believe these are important to accomplish?

Andy Biggs: We must reduce our deficits and balance the federal budget. As Admiral Michael Mullen said in 2010: “our national debt is our biggest national security threat.” That fact has also been reinforced by Secretary Mattis and we must heed their warnings.

Our Nation has no future if we do not get our spending under control.

We must also cut taxes and reduce regulations on families and businesses to bring back real prosperity and American industry. To this end, I am proud to have voted for the historic Tax Reform bill and against increased regulations during my first term in Congress.

Jose Torres: Improving Small Business Healthcare cost / availability – reduce/eliminate employee health cost burdens for small business while expanding their ability to compete for labor through (mutual) health insurance cooperatives – by covering more people, they will lower everyone’s healthcare costs, and by providing a national scale, small businesses can offer better insurance, better attract talent, and sustainably grow their business and the economy.

Migrant Labor Reform – A federal program to allow states to offer work permits to non-citizens with clear documentation, where businesses post jobs and hire only federally pre-documented workers.  Work authorization for all becomes streamlined.  These workers pay taxes and into social security but forfeit benefits until they apply/get greencard status after a decade (or more).  This will provide reliable labor to business and reduce anxiety about immigration, where jobs for undocumented workers should disappear.

3. What do you believe is the preferred way to accomplish funding for education (at all levels) and what should the role of the Federal government be in that funding? 

Andy Biggs: The preferred way to accomplish funding for education will be different from state to state as they each have different education needs, funding formulas, and budgetary constraints.

I remain consistent with the Constitution when I say that the Federal Government has no authority over our education systems. We must follow the law and ensure that the states are the ultimate governmental authority when it comes to education. As we pursue this course, the American People will have more say in the direction of their children’s education than they ever would by ceding that responsibility to the Federal Government.

Jose Torres: The current balance of federal, state, and local (override) funding is not ideal but does balance input from the people at all levels.  Education is critical for the future our society, and the focus should be on improving educational outcomes once the system is sustainably funded (and currently, it is not).  Furthermore students/children lack a reliable method to make informed decisions about their career path options, so that the right balance goes to universities, community colleges, vocational schools, and trade schools.  The Federal government’s role of minimum funding helps ensure that all states have at least a minimum level of educational resources, thus preventing any state from becoming a long term burden to its neighboring states.

4. What experience do you have with complex budgets? 

Andy Biggs: During my time as the Arizona Senate President, we achieved a structurally-balanced budget while also meeting the pressing needs of our state. Prior to that, I served as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee where I was involved in crafting our state’s complex budget.

In order to deal with a $3 billion deficit and pass structurally-balanced budgets that would be signed by the Governor, I had to work with members from both sides of the aisle to make the hard decisions and generate consensus. Because we successfully accomplished that, Arizona’s fiscal future was put on a more sustainable path.

Jose Torres: I have operated within many budgetary systems, including as chief of staff for a global sales team selling complex technology products with a $6billion annual sales quota, and sales design targets.  I have worked within many different budgets of many different departments within Intel and Motorola, some complex and some simple but each with varying missions, objectives, resources, and expectations – from test engineering (capital expenses on equipment) to sales (mostly on promotions and events for customers) to marketing for partners (promotion, publication) to labs (labor and tooling).

5. If elected to represent Congressional District 5, who would you consider to be your stakeholders and how would you propose to represent them?

Andy Biggs: My stakeholders are the constituents of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District.

My constituents elected me to ensure our national security, secure our Nation’s borders, cut taxes and regulation, shrink the size government, cut wasteful spending, reduce the deficit, balance the federal budget, repeal Obamacare and replace it with a free-market system, return education policy to the states, and restore accountability in Washington, D.C. My voting record is and will continue to be a record of promises kept to my constituents. Going forward, I will not stop fighting to ensure that they are heard in our Nation’s Capital.

Jose Torres: The voters – even ones that didn’t vote for me – are the primary stakeholders, along with school children, businesses in the district and ones that want to expand here, institutions, government departments (fire, police, schools, etc.).  Secondary stakeholders are all citizens of Arizona, and Arizona’s valued partners – both neighboring western states and our international trading partners.  My values are fairness, respect, and opportunity – and I will represent the stakeholders by showing and promoting respect (and constructive dialogue), increasing opportunity (more technology jobs & strong entrepreneurial scene, streamline government functions for businesses), and work to expand middle ground solutions for all.  In short, I will represent the stakeholders with integrity and respect.