Jeff Smith announced this week that he will run for the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s 6th congressional district in 2010, opposing 10-year incumbent Jeff Flake. Smith, who is active in the East Valley and Greater Phoenix Tea Party movement, articulated the principles and values that will be the foundation of his candidacy:
“I believe the Constitution is a divinely inspired document that has come under assault from those who would continuously expand the size and scope of the federal government at the expense of our individual liberties and states’ rights. I am committed to defending the Constitution, stopping the march toward socialism and redistribution of wealth, and to returning the federal government to the limits of its constitutional authority, as envisioned by the founders.”
Smith also identified certain issues where he differs from Jeff Flake, and feels Flake no longer represents the values of the voters in the district. “Illegal immigration continues to be an issue of grave concern for Arizonans. For too long the federal government has failed to secure the border and enforce existing immigration laws. This lack of enforcement amounts to a massive subsidy to certain businesses and industries, at tremendous expense to our legal citizens and immigrants, the economy, and society at large. This picking of winners and losers on the part of the government is tantamount to socialism. I support vigorous enforcement of our immigration laws across all levels of law enforcement, and am opposed to amnesty in any form for those whose first act on American soil was to violate our laws.”
Smith, 44, is married to wife Camille and has three children ages 10, 13, and 15. He graduated in 1989 from Brigham Young University with a degree in Economics and worked in the Banking Industry for a few years before returning to school, earning an MBA from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University. After graduating, he worked for eight years in the Telecommunications industry, then left to found a financial advisory firm in Arizona, which he sold two years ago.
Smith said he looks forward to a vigorous debate about the critical issues facing Arizona and the nation.
“I am gratified by the response we have been getting to our message so far,” he said. ” There is clearly an appetite for a return to constitutional principles and conservative values upon which this country was founded.” While he admires Jeff Flake and is grateful for his service to the district, he feels that Flake has lost touch with his constituents, drifting leftward on some of the crucial issues of our day. Flake also ran on a promise not to stay more than three terms and if he runs again, this will be his sixth.
Arizona’s 6th congressional district encompasses parts of Maricopa and Pinal counties. In Maricopa County it includes most of Mesa and Chandler, as well as Gilbert and Queen Creek. In Pinal County it includes Apache Junction and Gold Canyon. It is an area known for cultural conservatism and, as such, is one of the nation’s most conservative Republican districts.