Maybe is Arizona is turning blue, maybe it isn’t. It is showing some purple edges, though. And that is as it should be. We here in The Old Pueblo lived with extremism a bit longer than the rest of country this time through the full 360 of the political cycle.
MSNBC reported last night that the Arizona Senate Race for the seat being vacated by Jon Kyl, a lifetime politician, may not be a slam dunk for the career politician from the same party as Kyl, Jeff Flake. Flake is a nice enough guy personally. He came out and mingled with a group of political women visiting the Arizona Capitol when he was in the State Legislature. We had a respectful conversation.
There also is a non-career politician, patriot, trauma surgeon, deputy sheriff, SWAT team member, and full women’s equality advocate who is also running for the seat, Richard Carmona. I’ve met the man several times and I like him. I respect his reasons for running. He is what a Senator was supposed to be in the original vision of America. Oh, and did I mention he was the former Surgeon General of the United States? Seems Carmona is within a percentage point of Flake. As individuals find out about him and his amazing record of service to his country, and the communities of which he is a part, they tend to feel that he is the best Senatorial Candidate. He is not a particularly partisan person, though he obviously had to declare a party affiliation to run for the Senate. He has actually been an Independent most of his life. President G. W. Bush appointed him Surgeon General of the United States.
I like the idea of a Senator having had extensive experience in careers other than law and politics. I also believe that having life experiences that provide as many perspectives on various social issues as possible is also a good trait for someone who wants to be one of the small number of national legislators in the U.S.
I am thinking that I probably need to hit the streets and knock on doors to help get the word out about Carmona. As a Vietnam Vet who was highly decorated, he will take veterans issues seriously. As a SWAT team member, the person brought in to start the Trauma Unit at University Medical Center here in Tucson, the place that saved Gabrielle Giffords life, along with the many people who were seriously wounded along with her on that January day here in Tucson in 2011, he knows the full impact of violence of all sorts. As a man who grew up in challenging circumstances in NYC, who dropped out of school, went to Vietnam, and then found his calling as a healer in emergency and crisis situations, and went on to become a physician, he knows people at their most vulnerable times. When he speaks of his mother and her belief that if women were equally represented that the world would be a better and more peaceful place, well you know that he truly respects women. There are not many folks who are really worthy of such high office. Carmona is one of them. I hope that others from around the country who believe in a forward focused American agenda will help out Richard Carmona’s campaign however they can, so Carmona can counter the “Big Business” (remember that phrase from long ago?) money that is anonymously pouring in to the state from corporate coffers from all over the country, and perhaps globe. If you can, please donate to the campaign.