Ruben Gallego has an impressive resume.
A Combat Veteran who served in Iraq.
A House Representative currently serving his fifth term.
A champion for all Arizonans and a charismatic spokesperson who is a consistent presence on Cable News.
With the decision by Kyrsten Sinema, after making politically inept decisions (like the infamous picture of her voting against a minimum wage increase) that incurred the wrath of the Democratic Party, to switch to becoming an Independent, Representative Gallego declared his intention to run for the Senate in 2024.
He has already crisscrossed the State to introduce himself and present his case that he will be a Senator for everyone that wants to build a better society for all Arizonans and leave it a better place for children like his son.
Representative Gallego graciously took the time to respond to questions regarding his candidacy for the United States Senate and how he would address the major issues facing Arizona and the Nation.
The questions and the Representative’s responses are below.
1) Please tell the readers at least three reasons you would like to run for the United States Senate.
“Every Arizonan deserves a chance at the American Dream. I’m the child of poor immigrants who was raised by a single mom. I worked myself through high school, then Harvard. I served our country as a Marine Corps Infantryman in Iraq. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but I always felt like I had an opportunity – I always knew my country was supporting me.
For too many Arizonans, that’s no longer the case. Their American Dream is slipping further and further from reach, and to make matters worse, they don’t see someone fighting for it in the Senate. In fact, they see the opposite: someone who’s betrayed them. We elected Senator Sinema on a promise that she would fight for our working families. Instead, she has fought for Big Pharma and ultra-wealthy private equity, leaving her constituents behind.
Arizonans deserve so much better. That’s why I’m running for Senate: to give Arizonans true representation in the Senate, to fight for servicemembers and veterans, and above all, to win back the American Dream for young children like me, who want to lift themselves out of poverty and build a better life for their families.
Our communities – working-class families, Latinos, Native Americans, and Veterans – have been forgotten and left behind for far too long. It’s time we fight for our American Dream.”
2) In your opinion, what are the three most important issues facing Arizonans and the American People over the next six years? Please explain.
“The most pressing issues of our time are supporting working families, our water crisis, and protecting democracy.
First, the economy: Right now, Wall Street is making a killing on the backs of hardworking Arizonans. They’re driving up our costs – food, housing, gas – and making record profits, while everyday Arizonans work longer hours for less money. Arizona families are struggling to survive – let alone achieve their American Dream. That has to change.
Second, our state’s water crisis: Arizona is getting hotter and drier, and contributing to rampant water insecurity. As our megadrought continues, foreign corporations are taking water straight out of our faucets by over-drilling our wells. To ensure a safe and healthy future for Arizona families, we must address the existential threat of climate change, protect our environment, and shore up our water supply.
Third, the state of our democracy: Every day in Arizona extremist GOP legislators are actively undermining democracy and attempting to overturn the results of free and fair elections. Our right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy, foundational and sacred. We must fortify it once and for all, and defeat election denialism across the country.”
3) Please explain your views on border security and immigration reform.
“We need to secure the border but we must remember the thousands of families who are already here.
In Congress, I’ve voted again and again for comprehensive immigration reform that keeps our border secure. But these bills have failed in the Senate because of the filibuster.
At the end of the day, Arizonans in places like Yuma, Douglas, and Nogales can’t continue to bear the brunt of our immigration crisis. We need the federal government to step in and provide relief, and those are just the solutions I’ve been pushing for. If we have a secure border and a commonsense immigration program, we can continue to grow Arizona’s economy with increased trade and keep it an economic hub for the region and the country.”
4) Please explain your views on cyber security.
“As the highest-ranking Latino on the House Armed Services Committee and one of the only enlisted Members of Congress, I bring a unique voice to national security conversations.
More and more, I’m seeing our adversaries going after Americans in cyberspace, as a way to hurt us without escalating to an all-out physical confrontation. Make no mistake though, their actions also hurt Arizona families.
The importance of cyber security will continue to grow as both state and non-state actors invest in, and increasingly draw on, cyber tools to advance their interests. With China and Russia, especially, we see both countries integrating their cyber capabilities within their wider militaries, strengthening their abilities to operate in the gray zone of conflict, between war and peace.
I want to better position our own forces to meet these threats. I believe we need to invest in technical skills and focus on recruiting, training, and retaining personnel with expertise in cyber security. We also need to protect households and companies from scams, hacking threats, and disinformation campaigns, including Spanish-language disinformation.
In the Senate, I’ll continue to push for investments that protect Arizonans.”
5) Please explain your views on law enforcement and weapons reform.
“As a combat veteran, it pains me when local police forces are militarized to the point that officers act as if they are soldiers in our own communities, using weapons and vehicles of war. That is why I was proud to support the Justice in Policing Act, which limits the transfer of military-grade equipment from our Armed Forces to state and local law enforcement. Our states should not be flooded with billions of dollars worth of military equipment – including armored personnel carriers designed to withstand land mines and roadside bombs, weapons that shoot bullets the size of your hand, and even grenade launchers. Police departments must be well-resourced and supported, but that does not include weapons and vehicles of war. Police officers have a responsibility to protect and uphold the rights of the community they serve. They must be seen as interwoven into the fabric of our communities.”
6) Please explain your views on addressing water security for Arizona.
“All Arizonans are concerned about our water future and anyone running for office who is not talking about water as a top priority should not be considered a serious candidate. As our state gets hotter and drier with each passing year, I’m leading efforts to combat excess urban heat and find solutions to ensure our state has enough water.
To that end, I have introduced federal legislation to keep foreign corporations and governments like Saudi Arabia from using excess water in drought-stricken states like Arizona. In 2022, I also introduced the Excess Urban Heat Mitigation Bill, which directs funds to environmental justice and climate resiliency in major cities. Twenty-First Century water problems require Twenty-First Century solutions, which is why I introduced a bill to support and fund emerging water conservation technologies.
To protect our public lands and water, I co-authored the 30×30 Initiative, a comprehensive plan to conserve 30% of our global lands and oceans by the year 2030, which was later adopted by the Biden Administration. And I also successfully advocated for permanent authorization and funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a cornerstone public land program that protects critical drinking water sources across the country.
A safe and healthy future for our families depends on sustainable water access. I’ll fight for that access as Arizona’s Senator.”
7) Please explain your views on the following social justice issues: the child tax credit, the minimum wage, and universal pre-k, home, and childcare.
“Our society isn’t defined by how we treat our richest and most powerful citizens. It’s defined by how we treat our most vulnerable – our children, our working families, and our elderly. So the child tax credit, the minimum wage, universal pre-k, home, and childcare are fundamental issues that speak to the state of our society, and who our economy should be working for.
The expanded child tax credit cut child poverty in half and lifted millions of working families out of poverty. It was a bold and transformative policy that prioritized families like the one I grew up in – families that Washington often forgets. I was incredibly proud to support it in Congress and equally devastated when Congress let it expire. In the Senate, I will continue my fight to renew the expanded child tax credit.
Having worked minimum wage and working-class jobs throughout my life, I strongly support raising the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15/hour – a common-sense policy that is both widely supported by Arizonans and absolutely necessary to keep up with the rising cost of living.
I’ve seen the transformative power of education in my own life, and today, as the father of a young son. Universal access to high-quality early childhood education is the foundation for future academic success and helps reduce achievement gaps before they begin – it’s why I’m proud to support universal preschool for all Arizonans. And I am leading the fight for the Universal Full Day Kindergarten Act – which would improve academic outcomes, aid in kids’ social and emotional development, and enhance student active engagement, independent learning, and stress levels.
Finally, I believe that childcare and home care for the elderly or sick are imperative. In Congress, I’ve been a fighter for expanded Child Care Development Block Grant funding, to win low-income families stronger access to child care. I’ve also been a champion of increased access to health care and Medicare expansion – because health care is a fundamental, undeniable human right. And as we provide better care for those who need it, we also need to provide better jobs for caregivers of all kinds. Better pay, and stronger workplace protections; our caregivers deserve these basic dignities and so much more as they raise our children, heal the sick, and comfort the aging.
On every level, we ought to fight for a society with opportunity for all. The kind of country I’m proud to have been raised in – the kind of society I hope to pass on to my son.”
8) Please explain to Independent and moderate Republican/Democratic voters why they should vote for you over Senator Sinema or any Republican opponent. As a follow-up, how would you respond to voters who feel Senator Sinema has delivered for them in terms of infrastructure, drought relief, and the CHIPS Act? Please explain.
“I’m a Democrat, but I’m not running to be Senator for Democrats alone. I’m running to be a Senator for every Arizonan.
I think in politics, partisanship is often overblown. I’ve met with Arizonans all across the state, and it is clear that whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, we all want the same thing: a better life for ourselves and a better future for our kids. A shot at the American Dream. That’s what I’m running to provide.
Senator Sinema removed billions in funding for Arizona families from Build Back Better, let the expanded child tax credit expire, refused to scrap the filibuster to pass the PRO Act, voted against raising the minimum wage, and blocked legislation protecting voting rights.
But what did she stand up for? Keeping tax loopholes that only benefit billionaires and Wall Street hedge fund managers in the Inflation Reduction Act, and negotiating on behalf of pharma to limit efforts to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
It’s not about the party. It’s not about punditry. It’s about being a Senator with decency and integrity, who understands what it’s like to choose between groceries and utilities and never forgets where they came from. It’s about making life easier for every Arizonan, no matter what box they check on election day.”
9) Is there anything not covered in the first eight questions you would like the readers to know about your candidacy for the United States Senate? Please explain.
“I’ll use this opportunity to reiterate: I’m running for every Arizonan in every community – from Tucson to Phoenix and Flagstaff to Arizona’s 22 Tribal Nations – so that we all can do better for ourselves and our families. So that every Arizonan has a fair shot at their American Dream.”
Please click on the below site to find out more about Representative Gallego and his candidate for the United States Senate.