Neal Carter is running as a Republican for one of two Arizona House seats up for election in District 8 --- which includes San Tan, Florence, Casa Grande, Globe.
The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 4 primary election is July 6. If needed, a general election will be Nov. 3. Register to vote at Servicearizona.com or request a form from Maricopa County at 602-506-1511 (maricopa.gov) or Pinal County at 520-866-7100 (pinalcountyaz.gov).
Name: Neal Carter
Career and Education: Lawyer, J.D. and B.A. in English and French literature.
Political experience: None; not a politician.
Years as an Arizona resident: 13.
What makes you to the best candidate to represent your party in the November General Election?: I am the only San Tan Valley candidate, the largest community in the district. I have first-hand experience with our problems. I am also the only candidate who is a working professional. Our community needs better transit infrastructure so we can get to work, assured water for our communities to grow, and competent leadership at the state level dedicated to conservative principles of limited government.
What are the three most important issues you will tackle if elected?: Transit infrastructure, superior education, water infrastructure.
What is one commendation and one point of improvement you can work on regarding public safety in the next term?: One commendation: I am endorsed by AZCOPS. One point of improvement regarding public safety: assuring that adequate pay for those involved in public safety is ensured. Some of the prison workers, for example, haven’t seen a raise in over 15 years.
In response to COVID-19 budget deficits, how can the state adopt long-term structural changes to its budget in the foreseeable future?: Spending within one’s means is sound personal finance and the State is no different. A disciplined approach to budgeting means keeping spending within the state’s revenue. If the people of the state have to make cuts, the state should, too.
What can you do to help improve the economy and business community?: The government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does. What the government can do to improve the economy is provide the conditions precedent for economic growth, like superior transit infrastructure, superior education for the workforce, and assured water infrastructure.
What should the state’s involvement be in the public education system, especially since most of its funding comes from the state budget, and the way education will be delivered is likely to change because of the pandemic?: The pandemic should be a one-time, temporary change, which has concluded by the start of the next academic year. As for budget, the No. 1 indicator of student success is quality teaching, and teacher pay directly affects attraction and retention of teachers. The state has heretofore been block-funding districts which may or may not use those monies for increased teacher pay. My recommendation would be to specify that increases to education funding be used to increase teacher pay.
What are your plans to improve the transportation infrastructure throughout Arizona, keeping in mind that the way we get around in the future will be affected by how the pandemic plays out?: Widen I-10. Complete the North-South corridor freeway from Gold Canyon to Eloy, serving the communities of San Tan Valley, Florence and Coolidge on the way, and relieving I-10 traffic. Widen Hunt Highway south of Copper Basin. Look at rail transit options between Phoenix and Tucson.