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Phoenix, Arizona– Americans for Prosperity-Arizona (AFP-AZ) today announced the first round of candidate endorsements for the Arizona State Legislature: Justin Wilmeth (LD-02), Ben Toma (LD-27), Kevin Payne (LD-27), Steve Kaiser (LD-02), Rusty Bowers (LD-10), and J.D. Mesnard (LD-13).
The candidates received AFP-AZ’s endorsement because they supported policies promoting a strong economy and removing government barriers preventing Arizonans from achieving their full potential.
AFP-AZ will leverage its grassroots strength, among other tactics, to connect with voters to support these candidates.
AFP-AZ State Director Stephen Shadegg issued the following statement:
“Government policies can improve wellbeing, create conditions that allow individual success, and create an environment that promotes economic growth. But too often, policies and regulations are misguided or unnecessary, serving as barriers to success that must be removed.
“AFP-endorsed candidates promote good policies that promote success and break down those that stand as barriers. Their service in the state legislature will help ensure that Arizona’s future is one of success and opportunity for years to come. AFP is proud to work to help them achieve victory in November.”
State Rep. Justin Wilmeth (LD-02)
Rep. Justin Welmeth demonstrated during his first term in office his ability to break down barriers to success. He sponsored and passed legislation to expand the scope of practice for dental hygienists and cosponsored legislation that reduced occupational licensing barriers for the formerly incarcerated to help ensure successful reintegration into their communities.
State Rep. Ben Toma (LD-27)
Rep. Ben Toma helped lead the way for large-scale state income tax reform and passage of the flat tax. He is a vocal opponent of efforts to increase the state sales tax and is a strong advocate for policies that promote education freedom, including the passage of the most expansive universal education savings program in the country.
State Rep. Kevin Payne (LD-27)
Rep. Kevin Payne understands that reforming aspects of our criminal justice system provides second chances for deserving individuals and helps formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into their communities. He has supported efforts to break down barriers to work through occupational licensing regulation reform and other work-related reforms. Rep. Payne has demonstrated respect for Arizona taxpayers through efforts to reduce excessive spending.
Rep. Steve Kaiser (LD-02)
Rep. Steve Kaiser’s efforts within the State House to build a coalition of first-term members supporting income tax reform were critical to the legislation’s success. His strong support for tax reduction efforts will continue in the State Senate. He understands that government regulations often serve as barriers to success and opportunity. He will work to eliminate burdensome and unnecessary regulations that limit economic growth and job creation.
House Speaker Rusty Bowers (LD-10)
House Speaker Bowers’ leadership was critical to passing and enacting the state flat tax. He is a strong voice for free speech, having supported legislation to protect the privacy of nonprofit donors and to protect speech on college campuses. Speaker Bowers voted for legislation to expand health care access by expanding telehealth and allowing health care ministries to operate.
State Sen. J.D. Mesnard (LD-13)
Sen. J.D. Mesnard has consistently advocated for tax reform and lower taxes. He played a crucial role in driving the enactment of the flat tax and has championed fiscally responsible spending by sponsoring legislation to set spending caps and enact badly needed state pension fund reforms. Sen. Mesnard supports Arizona families and children through his support of policies that expand educational freedom.