by David Safier
Dr. Randall Friese, a surgeon at the UAMC Trauma Center and one of the doctors who treated victims of the January 8, 2011, shooting at Gabby Giffords' Congress on Your Corner event, has officially announced as a Democratic candidate for the AZ House in LD-9, which is one of Arizona's few split LDs, with Democratic Sen. Steve Farley and Rep. Victoria Steele holding two seats and Republican Rep. Ethan Orr holding the third.
I haven't had a chance to hear Friese speak or to talk with him personally, but he's got a terrific looking bio. Friese served four years in the navy as a surgeon and is currently associate medical director for the UAMC Trauma Center and associate professor of surgery. He's got a clever slogan, "Let's Put a Doctor in the House!" More important to me, he's putting education front and center in his campaign.
“Education is the great equalizer,” Friese said. “It levels the playing field, and it opens many closed doors.”
More when I know details of his stands on education issues.
I live in LD-9, and Orr has a "not too bad for a Republican" rep among Democrats here. That translates to someone who supports Brewer's agenda rather than being a card carrying member of the completely wacked-out right. When Brewer starts looking like a moderate voice of reason to Democrats, that's an indication of how wingnut the rest of the party has become (Orr may have a primary challenger from the right because of his Brewer-friendly votes). If Friese turns out to be the real deal, "Great to have a Democrat" will certainly trump "not too bad for a Republican."