Elections-Candidate Opinions on Ranching issues

This page updated 10-7-2014

SACPA has not endorsed any candidates for office in the upcoming election, but provides the following information that is highly relevant to our membership.

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The links below will take you to the Arizona Redistricting Commission’s final statewide maps.

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A Big Thank You is due to the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation for conducting a candidate questionnaire that touched on several issues including Mexican wolves, Multiple Use of public lands, ranching as a use of public lands, and other candidate attitudes that directly affect Arizona’s ranching families.

Here’s a summary of  the responses to some–but not all–of the cattlemen’s issues that the AZ Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation group included in their questionnaire and  posted as of August 2, 2014. We have not tabulated responses to the entire questionnaire here. For the complete questionnaire and complete responses, click the appropriate links.

*defeated in primary

Question: On a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being most favorable) how do you feel about the use of public lands by [ranching]?

Gubernatorial Candidates:

*Barry Hess, 6
*John Lewis Mealer, did not answer that survey question

AZ House Candidates:

LD 4-Richard Hopkins, 10
LD11-Mark Finchem, 6
LD11-Vince Leach, 10
*LD18-David Pheanis, 9
LD 20-Paul Boyer, 10
LD21, Rick Gray, 10

LD22, David Livingston, 10
LD 22, Bonnie Boyce-Wilson, 10
*LD 23, Bob Littlefield, 10
LD 25, Russell “Rusty” Bowers, 10
LD 28, Shawnna Bolick, 10
LD 28, Kate Brophy McGee, gave no numeric rank but “supports”
LD 30, John Lyon, 10

AZ Senate Candidates:

LD 1, Steve Pierce, 10
LD 4, Lynne Pancrazi, 10
LD 4, Connie Uribe, 10
LD 5, Kelli Ward, 10
**LD 6, Chester Crandell, 10
LD 12, Scott Glover, 8
LD 17, Steve Yarbrough, no answer to that question
LD 20, Kimberly Yee, 10
LD 22, Judy Burges, 10
LD 23, John Kavanagh, 10

Candidates for U.S. Congress
District 3, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, 8  [candidates were asked to rank a number of uses, not just ranching.] *on each of these categories there has to be a balance and not all public lands are suitable for these categories either.
District 7, Joe Cobb, 10
*District 8, Clair Van Steenwyk, 10

AZ Secretary of State

*Justin Pierce, 10

AZ State Treasurer
*Randy Pullen, 10

Question: How do you feel about  [federal/state, federal/private, state/private] public land exchanges if intended to accomplish some greater public good?

AZ House Candidates:

LD 4-Richard Hopkins: Federal/state- Good idea. Federal/private or state/private-To a private party for public good only to benefit need, which gives Fed/State equal or better value.
LD11-Mark Finchem: [all types of land exchanges]-case by case.
LD11-Vince Leach: [all types of land exchanges]- yes
*LD18, David Pheanis: [all types of land exchanges] These are fine as long as there are reasonable justifications.
LD 20-Paul Boyer: Fed/State-I’d like to take back as much of our state land from the feds as possible. Fed/private-Yes, so long as the private party agrees to it and it is mutually beneficial.
LD21, Rick Gray: Federal/State: I support the transfer of federal lands to the state. Federal/private and State/private: support
LD22, David Livingston: Federal/State: Yes, I believe AZ would manage our land much better than the fed’s. Federal/private: Again, getting our land out of federal control, private is great. State/private: Yes, if it is a win-win for AZ & private parties.
LD 22, Bonnie Boyce-Wilson: Federal/state: Possibly consider if a fair and equitable exchange can be negotiated. Federal/private: No. State/private: No.
*LD 23, Bob Littlefield: 
For all of these types of exchanges I would apply the same criteria: would the exchange provide some public benefit, such as recreational opportunities for the public and/or economic activity, while protecting the environment and preserving resources for future generations

LD 25, Russell “Rusty” Bowers: [all types of exchanges] As long as it can be shown a win-win for resource stewardship with public access.

LD 28, Shawnna Bolick: [Between federal and state]: Neither entity is doing a very good job solely operating public lands. Some of these lands can be sold and others [illegible] by private management companies. [Between federal and private]: There needs to be more public/private partnerships. We have too much federally owned land in the West. [Between state and private]: There needs to be more public/private partnerships. I’d like to see more state parks opened up and managed by a private company.

LD 28, Kate Brophy McGee: [supports land exchanges between all types of parties]
LD 30, John Lyon: Fed/State-The federal government has no Constitutional authority to hold public lands. Fed/private- The federal government should relinquish its public lands to the states. State/private-The states should be free to exchange public lands in the long term public interest.

AZ Senate Candidates:
LD 1, Steve Pierce: Fed/State and Fed/private-Yes on all these just so it is equal value for equal value. State/private-This is a must with State lands.
LD 4, Lynne Pancrazi: Federal/state: No not without careful consideration. Federal/Private: No or if so only if vetted very carefully. State/private: Only with careful consideration and approval of those impacted.
LD 4, Connie Uribe:Federal/state: Land needs to be given back to the states. Federal/Private: The land deals should go through the states first. State/private: The state should have the option to sell its land holdings.
LD 5, Kelli Ward: [favors land exchanges between all possible parties]
**LD 6, Chester Crandell:Federal/state: Public land should remain public. Federal/private: None. State/private: This would be ok if it maintained public use.
LD 12, Scott Glover: [all types of exchanges] If it’s beneficial and makes sense for both entities & for public good. Slightly less confidence in our state [per state/private exchanges]
LD 17, Steve Yarbrough:[no response]
LD 20, Kimberly Yee:[all types of exchanges] If public access to hunting, fishing & other outdoor recreation becomes limited, then I oppose.

LD 22, Judy Burges:Federal/state: Under the current public lands status, this action would be fine. Federal/private: This could bring high paying jobs to our state’s citizens and certainly boost our economy. Of course, equal value of land in the exchange. State/private: If land of equal value were exchanged, I see no harm.
LD 23, John Kavanagh:[supports all types of land exchanges]

Candidates for U.S. Congress

District 3, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer: Fed/State-What greater public good? Cannot answer this question without having some specific examples. Fed/private and State/private- Same as above. Does this mean an equal exchange of land of private land, or eminent domain?
District 7, Joe Cobb: [all types of land exchanges]: OK
*District 8, Clair Van Steenwyk: Federal/State-All land must be restored to Arizona. Federal/private-Fed not to be landowners. State/private-Fine.

AZ Secretary of State
*Justin Pierce: Federal/State and Federal/private: The federal government should return all open lands they control, except for those operated by the military, to the states for local controlling agents to decide their best use. State/private: The State should lease and sell property in which  private parties can reasonably be better stewards of the land, while also taking into account the need to maintain open land for [all varieties of multiple use].

AZ State Treasurer

*Randy Pullen: Fed/State-Federal lands not used for military or the tribes should be given to the state. Fed/private-approve State/private-Should expand sale of lands to private sector.

Question: What is your opinion of the federally mandated Endangered Species Act?

Gubernatorial Candidates:

*Barry Hess: I think it’s handy to note, but federal overreach to enforce. Arizonans are completely competent to address such concerns.
*John Lewis Mealer: [no response]

AZ House Candidates
LD 4-Richard Hopkins: It is a good idea, but poorly managed.
LD 11-Mark Finchem: It should be replaced.
LD 11-Vince Leach: It is a huge barrier to free enterprise.
*LD 18-David Pheanis: The concept is noble, but the implementation often seems to lack common sense. We need to balance preservation of species with reasonable actions.
LD 20-Paul Boyer: I’d like to get rid of it altogether.
LD 21-Rick Gray: I believe they have gone too far.
LD 22- David Livingston: Overall, very bad, it’s being misused; feds intimidate our citizens; too much federal control.
LD 22, Bonnie Boyce-Wilson:I support the Act and its inent. There may be  problems with its administration.
*LD 23-Bob Littlefield: It is applied too narrowly, with too little consideration given to the effects on local economies of some of their decisions.

LD 25, Russell “Rusty” Bowers:Well intentioned but often abused by non-use, restricted use, or special agenda groups who want people generally restricted from access to property! Any property is fair game–no pun.

LD 28, Shawnna Bolick: I’m not the biggest fan of ESA, but I don’t want to see species going extinct. Right now the environmentalists care more about issues that is putting businesses in a tough place and wreaking havoc on proposals like the pipeline.
LD 28, Kate Brophy McGee: It is a tool of conservation that can be overused by environmental interests at the expense of other interests.
LD 30, John Lyon: There is no Constitutional authority for that Act. I have very little confidence in the federal government to administer that Act sensibly in the public interest.

AZ Senate Candidates:
LD 1, Steve Pierce: It’s wrong and being used where it shouldn’t be by environmentalists.
LD 4, Lynne Pancrazi: I think it’s very important and we need to manage our animal populations.
LD 4, Connie Uribe: What is endangered is our rights as Americans.
LD 5, Kelli Ward: I oppose ESA. I believe it is a ruse to allow federal government overreach that is unreasonable and unconstitutional.
**LD 6, Chester Crandell: This act should be repealed or at least amended to protect the human species.
LD 12, Scott Glover: I understand the need to preserve and protect species although some of the rules, decisions and costs can be aggravating and hard to understand.
LD 17, Steve Yarbrough:[no response]
LD 20, Kimberly Yee:While the law helps to preserve endangered species, the law is inflexible when it comes to removing species no longer in danger of extinction on the list. Individual states should manage the species.

LD 22, Judy Burges:The Endangered Species Act is being used to inappropriately intimidate our citizens and keep them from using public/private lands.
LD 23, John Kavanagh:It is a political tool designed by hyper-environmentalists to limit land use by others.

Candidates for U.S. Congress

District 3, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer: I believe government agencies and environmental activists and special interest groups are responsible for manipulating studies on proposed mining projects and many development projects, like housing, etc.
District 7, Joe Cobb: Repeal the Endangered Species Act.
*District 8, Clair Van Steenwyk: All these should be left to the states as jurisdiction is within state borders/sovereignty

AZ Secretary of State
*Justin Pierce: The ESA is a well-intentioned public policy mechanism gone wild. Enforcement has had some positive effects in certain jurisdictions, but has stymied sound land management in Arizona and other states. Environmental groups have used it, just as they have the Clean Air Act, to disrupt the economies of, primarily, rural counties. Law suits by the Sierra Club National Audubon Society, and others disable the well-managed practices of farmers, ranchers and outdoorsmen.

AZ State Treasurer
*Randy Pullen: Repeal.

Question: What is your opinion of how the Endangered Species Act is being applied and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

Gubernatorial Candidates:

*Barry Hess: I think they have gone too far in trying to establish control.
*John Lewis Mealer: [no response]

AZ House Candidates

LD 4-Richard Hopkins: Very poorly. Too much emphasis on inconsequential species at human cost.
LD11-Mark Finchem: Criminal misrepresentation and collusion with eco-terrorists is wrong. Criminal prosecution should result.
LD11-Vince Leach: It is a huge barrier to free enterprise.
*LD18, David Pheanis: I think the implementation sometimes goes overboard and lacks common sense.
LD 20-Paul Boyer: Very poorly.
LD21, Rick Gray: I think this should be a state control issue.
LD22, David Livingston: Again, AZ would take better care of our land compared to the fed’s; fed misusing their powers.
LD 22, Bonnie Boyce-Wilson:This agency is charged with multiple responsibilities, some managed better than others. The process for counting and deciding which species to include is laborious and slow.
*LD 23, Bob Littlefield:It is applied too narrowly, with too little consideration given to the effects on local economies of some of their decisions.
LD 25, Russell “Rusty” Bowers: I know there are well-intentioned people in government but government IS FORCE. (Jefferson) Too often those within it follow the agenda of the radical environmentalist persuasion and use the law to restrict, unnecessarily or excessively, proper human stewardship.
LD 28, Shawnna Bolick: I believe there is too much federal overreach and often times creating alarm while putting out businesses. There are far too many directives coming down from the federal government, harming our economy.
LD 28, Kate Brophy McGee: I think we would do a better job here in Arizona in making these decisions and administering  the outcome. We know our state best and we have a vested interest in good outcomes.
LD 30, John Lyon: I have little confidence in the federal government to do almost anything appropriately.

AZ Senate Candidates:

LD 1, Steve Pierce:” The worst…”
LD 4, Lynne Pancrazi: Although many believe a fish or owl should not prevent development, I think protection is very important.
LD 4, Connie Uribe: It’s my understanding that this organization has developed a “long arm” and extending it to imported goods that have nothing to do with U.S. endangered species.
LD 5, Kelli Ward: Overbearing & unreasonable.
**LD 6, Chester Crandell: The ESA is being used to promote the agenda of radical environmentalists. Therefore should be managed at the state level.
LD 12, Scott Glover: Overall it’s a good idea but not all decisions make logical sense.
LD 17, Steve Yarbrough:[no response]
LD 20, Kimberly Yee:I think the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s decision to delist the gray wolf allowed individual states to manage this species population and that was a good decision.Overall the federal agency should continue to deregulate and allow the states to take the lead in protecting endangered species.

LD 22, Judy Burges: What government does, they usually do poorly. They are another branch of government ignoring the people and exceeding their authority.
LD 23, John Kavanagh:It is being used as a tool by environmentalists to advance their selfish agenda.

Candidates for U.S. Congress

District 3, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer: Not very well!
District 7, Joe Cobb: Brutally and arbitrarily.
*District 8, Clair Van Steenwyk: Unconstitutional

AZ Secretary of State
*Justin Pierce: When a species is out of danger it must be “delisted” so that limited resources can be allocated to species in real trouble. The USF&WS at times seems to see the “light” on the negative consequences of keeping a species on the endangered list. It should be of great concern if our country’s leaders put extreme environmental and animal rights advocates in charge of the agency.

AZ State Treasurer
*Randy Pullen: It is used to deter the public use of lands.

Question: What is your opinion of the Mexican Wolf?

Gubernatorial Candidates

*Barry Hess: “I leave them alone, they leave me alone, so an opinion would be difficult to have…within reason, I will do what is necessary to protect our natural beauty, and wildlife.”
*John Lewis Mealer: Our ancestors killed them off for a reason. We need not revisit that part of history. Wolf on human & livestock attacks.

AZ House Candidates

LD 4-Richard Hopkins: It should be protected when necessary, but no need to introduce in areas it left.
LD11-Mark Finchem: It is a scam.
LD11-Vince Leach: Need more information.
*LD18, David Pheanis: I understand and support the program to put the wolf into the wild, but we need to allow ranchers to protect their stock.
LD 20-Paul Boyer: I voted for the Thorpe bill to reimburse losses due to the Mexican wolf recovery program. I supported the bill in its original form that would’ve ended the Endangered Species Act in AZ.
LD21, Rick Gray: I would place a higher priority on the citizens of Arizona.
LD22, David Livingston: Not in AZ!
LD 22, Bonnie Boyce-Wilson: Should be protected.
*LD 23, Bob Littlefield: 
While some wildlife species such as the coyote have managed to adapt to the increase in human population in the west, it looks like the wolf has not been so successful in adapting. I believe the increasing human population and resulting pressure on their habitat have made it impossible for the wolf to survive in the wild in Arizona.
LD 25, Russell “Rusty” Bowers: A great case in point. When the wolf is elevated to a higher status than mankind, with superior rights and privileges, to be used by special agendas to control human activity. I have enough anecdotal stories from friends in affected areas to know that it is about power, not about wolves.

LD 28, Shawnna Bolick: The Sierra Club is wrong and re-establishing the Mexican wolf in Arizona is in the hands of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The best solution is to bring together the stakeholders that this will affect and find common ground. Fortunately, I think I read the AZ Game and Fish realizes the importance of asking the landowners in these areas what they want.
LD 28, Kate Brophy McGee: I understand there are area where it has been successfully re-introduced, but the efforts underway in Arizona extend the boundaries beyond the wolf’s historical habitat and I believe harms the other interests.
LD 30, John Lyon: I feel the public has no interest in protecting it.

AZ Senate Candidates:

LD 1, Steve Pierce: Fine for zoos. There’s a reason it isn’t in the wild.
LD 4, Lynne Pancrazi: I voted against all legislation last session that would undermine their protection.
LD 4, Connie Uribe: They are new predators forced on us by the federal government and they need to be put back in the “endangered” category.
LD 5, Kelli Ward: AZ should fight to keep the Mexican wolf out of our state as well as keeping the federal government out.

**LD 6, Chester Crandell:I see no need for the protection of this predator. Prey wildlife is being managed through game hunting. If the wolf project continues it will upset the prey population.

LD 12, Scott Glover: I’m not convinced Arizona is the best place for this or that the cost is worthwhile.
LD 17, Steve Yarbrough:I voted for the legislation which was vetoed.
LD 20, Kimberly Yee: I voted in favor of SCR 1006 (Griffin) which transferred responsibility of the Mexican wolf from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Arizona and New Mexico’s state game and fish departments. That bill also opposed additional introductions of Mexican wolves.

LD 22, Judy Burges:Keep them out of our state. I testified against their re-introduction at Pinetop. The Center for Biological Diversity just filed a petition to introduce the Grizzly bear into Arizona. I do not believe that the Grizzly has ever been a native species to Arizona.
LD 23, John Kavanagh:Predator animals need to be controlled and limited in areas

Candidates for U.S. Congress

District 3, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer: The Mexican wolf has become a victim of urban sprawling or habitat infringement putting the animal in conflict with men.
District 7, Joe Cobb: Shoot them when they destroy property or endanger humans.
*District 8, Clair Van Steenwyk:Leave those within states with experience to decide. Must include hunter groups etc.

AZ Secretary of State
*Justin Pierce: Who doesn’t like this picture? The wolf is probably the most politicized species ever and one would think the wolf is the essential element of life here on the earth. The Mexican Wolf should enjoy its habitat in Mexico, not in Arizona or New Mexico.

AZ State Treasurer
*Randy Pullen: Should not be considered endangered.

Question: What is your opinion of changing the designation of public lands in Arizona to national monuments or national parks?

Gubernatorial Candidates

*Barry Hess: I oppose federal claims to Arizona land that has not been lawfully ceded to the federal government by the AZ legislature.
*John Lewis Mealer: Not going to happen under my watch. I will “foreclose” on BLM land due to improper management. Also, State lease of large tracts of state & BLM land (yes, I will seize it) to industry.

AZ House Candidates

LD 4-Richard Hopkins: When it will benefit all of us, ok. To stop use or curtail use, never.
LD11-Mark Finchem: Violation of trustee (us) for AZ lands.
LD11-Vince Leach: Against.
*LD18, David Pheanis: Where appropriate, creating national monuments or national parks is beneficial. We do, however, need to maintain a large amount of land as public land.
LD 20-Paul Boyer: Oppose. I want to keep as much land in State control as possible.
LD21, Rick Gray: I would oppose that effort.
LD22, David Livingston: Bad, lands should be in AZ control not fed’s.
LD 22, Bonnie Boyce-Wilson: Could possibly support.
*LD 23, Bob Littlefield: 
Clearly the federal government has relaxed the criteria for what constitutes a national monument or national park as a way to take more public lands out of circulation and make them ineligible for mixed use. I oppose this.

LD 25, Russell “Rusty” Bowers: There are any number of designations that are spun as preserving or honoring nature–but the end result is a higher degree of restriction on mankind accessing public lands, and being restricted on “his” personal property in association with these designations (inholdings, buffers, easements, etc.). I am satisfied with what we have now–in the sense of a need for more. I wouldn’t mind going back to more balance.

LD 28, Shawnna Bolick: I don’t have enough info to make an informed decision, but I think we have enough designated monuments and national parks. I like seeing partnerships between state lands and cities as they look for collaboration to keep these spaces open and maintained.
LD 28, Kate Brophy McGee: We have beautiful national monuments and parks, but I am concerned about losing our flexibility to manage public areas in Arizona’s best interests. This designation can be overused.
LD 30, John Lyon: Absolutely opposed. National monuments and parks in Arizona should be relinquished to the state.

AZ Senate Candidates:

LD 1, Steve Pierce: Shouldn’t happen. It’s more BS.
LD 4, Lynne Pancrazi: This would be fine as long as it didn’t prevent the multiple use of these lands. Need to allow recreation, ranching, hunting, fishing.
LD 4, Connie Uribe: This federal land grab must stop. That area around Gila Bend, to my knowledge, is the most recent victim and the government’s “engulf and devour” attitude is destructive.
LD 5, Kelli Ward: Arizona should decide, not the federal government.
**LD 6, Chester Crandell: Designating public lands to parks and monuments only protects one use of the land at the expense of all multiple use of public lands. Not a good idea.
LD 12, Scott Glover: I love and am grateful for our national parks. Changing the designation willy-nilly creates hardships for people who depend on public lands so it isn’t something that should be done without thought.
LD 17, Steve Yarbrough:Generally doubtful of these federal unilateral actions.
LD 20, Kimberly Yee:I would need to study this further.However, placing state lands and redesignating them into national causes me to take pause.

LD 22, Judy Burges: This is a direct means of keeping land under the control of our federal government. Our public lands were never intended to be held in perpetuity as the “Enabling Act Section 9 proclaims that the lands ceded in Section 3 ‘shall be sold’ which indicates that disposal was not only anticipated but demanded as a condition of agreement” (American Lands Council).
LD 23, John Kavanagh: I would oppose it. That is a tool by environmentalists to control our land for their narrow uses.

Candidates for U.S. Congress

District 3, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer: I believe that Arizona should protect its public lands from federal encroachment. The federal government has way too much control over AZ lands and its not supposed to be that way.
District 7, Joe Cobb: Oppose.
*District 8, Clair Van Steenwyk: State sovereignty.

AZ Secretary of State
*Justin Pierce: I am absolutely opposed.

AZ State Treasurer
*Randy Pullen: Oppose the designation where it is used to hinder public use.

Statement by Jim Holway, candidate for AZ Corporation Commission:

The issues addressed on your questionnaire, although important policy and land management issues for Arizona, do not apply to the Corporation Commission or the duties of a Commissioner. Throughout this campaign I am focusing on the issues that come before the AZ Corporation Commission and limiting my responses on questionnaires to only those issues the fall within the responsibility of the Corporation Commission. In general, I am running to represent the interests of the people throughout our state, and I believe government decision making should be open and transparent and should consider the perspectives and interests of all concerned parties.

I am running for the Corporation Commission because energy and water are essential to Arizona’s economy and quality of life. I have 35 years of experience on these issues. I will stand up to the utilities and special interests, keep your utilities affordable and reliable, and find the necessary common ground throughout our state for us build a bright future together. I will focus on jobs and building a strong economy by capitalizing on Arizona’s potential to lead on solar energy and water and energy management and technology

Thank you for your consideration of my campaign.