Steve Smith
Randy Metcalf/Tucson Local Media

As an incumbent state lawmaker, Steve Smith refers back to his four years at the Capitol as proof that he does what he says.

Smith is currently in the House of Representatives for District 11 and was a senator in the former LD23. He is now running for LD11’s Senate seat.

 “When I ran for the Senate I was very clear on what I was running on and I said, I’m a Ronald Regan-type conservative, and I’m going to fight for border security, I’m going to fight for our economy and jobs, and I’m going to fight certainly for our education system,” he said.

The Maricopa Republican points to bills he’s worked on in those three priority areas – a manufacturing jobs bill, legislation to finish building a border fence, and a teacher performance-pay model – to show that he takes on his platforms.

Smith said he’s pleased with Arizona’s economic recovery, but that there’s room for more improvement. And that’s something the private sector should ultimately control.

“Government never should take credit for things like this. I believe it’s the role of the government to provide the most conducive atmosphere for business to expand and the economy to grow and then frankly, move out of the way. Let the people who know how to run a business take over from there,” he said. “So in other words, get rid of a lot of the regulation and red tape and over-taxation, all the things that just cripple job growth.”

Smith said that if returned to the Capitol, he would continue work on a technology jobs bill and maintain his focus on the Arizona-Mexico border.

“It’s as bad as it’s ever been, even though our elected officials in Washington say it’s safer than it’s ever been,” he said of the border. “Look no further than the situations we’re in now.”

Smith said he’s pleased with the direction of the economy and education funding, and that the state has balanced its budget – although he said the state is dipping more into its rainy day fund that he wants to, so he’s cautious. Two areas where he wasn’t so proud: the state’s Medicaid expansion and its adoption of Common Core educational standards (he voted against both).

Smith’s early endorsements include the Arizona Police Association, Arizona Right to Life, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the National Rifle Association, the Arizona Association of Realtors, and the Arizona Citizens Defense League, along with nods from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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