Havasu GOP women’s group host supervisor candidate debate
Lake Havasu Republican Women hosted a debate Tuesday that featured Mohave County Supervisor Lois Wakimoto and former state senator and city councilmember Ron Gould. Each is vying for the District 5 Mohave County Board of Supervisors seat.
In September, Wakimoto was appointed to the seat to fill the remainder of Supervisor Steve Moss term following his departure from county government to accept a position as a Mohave County Superior Court judge.
Wakimoto touted her accomplishments in her short time on the board, helping to bring the first youth crisis shelter in the United States to Mohave County and her continued fight to keep Colorado River water from being diverted to central Arizona.
As a county supervisor, she said, she was able to help prevent a $34 million proposed land purchase that would transfer more than 5,500 acre-feet of Colorado River water annually from Mohave Valley to towns in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties.
“When I first started and people said the water was gone, it’s just gone … but as we found out water is the lifeblood of every community … and for economic development of all of the state,” Wakimoto said. “For us to lose any part of our water, at any time, we won’t get it back.”
Although their time was brief, with a four-minute introduction and an opportunity to answer three questions, both candidates tried to impress the GOP women with their knowledge of the issues.
During his time as state senator, from 2004 to 2012, Gould said he was rated the top conservative in the Legislature by the Goldwater Institute for seven of the eight years he served. He was rated the top conservative by Americans for Prosperity Arizona five of seven times, he said.
When Gould entered the Legislature he promised not to raise taxes, a promise he said he kept.
“I actually went to battle with Gov. Jan Brewer on her 1-cent sales tax increase … locking that up for nine months,” Gould said. “My point was we didn’t need that tax money. When it ended up being implemented and over the time the tax ran the Legislature ended up with the same amount of the tax.”
Immigration was also a hot-button topic in 2004 as it is now, Gould said.
“We passed several bills, we passed employer sanctions and we eliminated sanctuary cities in the state of Arizona,” Gould added. “My first goal is to protect Arizona.”
Along with being a strong supporter of gun rights and pro-life, Gould stumped on his record as chairman the state’s transportation committee, chairman of the judiciary committee and chairman of the retirement committee.
“If you look at these committees and the issues we have in the county today they all fit,” Gould said. “These are the things we have problems with and I know those things.”