O'Halleran Proud of Work with Problem Solvers Caucus
CASA GRANDE — Tom O’Halleran loves serving the people of his congressional district.
The first-term Democrat from Sedona said he’s proud to serve rural Arizonans and says serving as the representative from Congressional District 1 is “one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.”
“I get to meet people and solve problems. It’s a great honor,” O’Halleran told PinalCentral during a sit-down interview.
O’Halleran is a moderate Democrat who has aligned himself with the Problem Solvers, a bi-partisan group of 48 House members — 24 members from each party — who try and find resolutions with one another.
“There’s no yelling, no cursing, no one telling you the way you need to think,” O’Halleran explained. “We express our views and find common ground.”
O’Halleran said the group plans to reform Congress from the inside out, saying the American people want to see change.
“There are 435 members in the House, but the decisions are made by small groups,” he said.
For example, he said, 80 percent of American people want Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) resolved.
“We have more than enough votes. Why are we sitting on it?” O’Halleran pondered.
A little closer to home, O’Halleran said he’s committed to working on issues that matter to rural-based Arizonans, including access to health care and ensuring seniors and veterans are taken care of.
O’Halleran, whose district stretches to the northern Arizona border and includes most of Pinal County, said he recently helped get a veteran’s house built in Flagstaff.
He said it’s one of his priorities to make sure Arizona vets have access to the care they need, particularly at the end of their lives.
O’Halleran said he’s also concerned with the environment and making sure Arizona is primed for renewable energy. In fact, he said, in 2003 while he was serving in the Arizona Legislature, he penned a letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission seeking more standards for utilities and their use of renewable energy.
“I like renewable energy. Eventually, we need to get to renewables,” O’Halleran said.
O’Halleran will face Republican challenger Wendy Rogers of Flagstaff in the general election.
Regarding his campaign, he said he believes his record will speak for itself with voters and said he wasn’t a fan of Rogers’ tactics in her campaigning.
But no matter which candidate citizens support, it’s important to exercise their right to vote.
“Our representative government is better when people vote,” O’Halleran said.