Prescott, AZ – Arizona 1st Congressional District candidate Sandra Livingstone is emphasizing her childhood growing up in Prescott, Arizona, and her stance on immigration. The Republican candidate was born and raised in the 1st District.
Inside her campaign headquarters, Livingstone said that local connection is exactly why she's running for Congress.
"It's because it's this district. If it was anywhere else in the country, I wouldn't. It's because this is home. It matters to me, this district, a lot.," Livingstone said.
Livingstone's ties to the district goes back to 1732, when her ancestors held land in this part of the Spanish empire. Her family also includes pioneers who established the town of Pine in 1870, and they were the first Europeans to explore the Mogollon Rim. She even claims to be part Native American.
Livingstone says those deep roots give her a unique perspective on the district's challenges, like renewable energy, trade imbalances and, especially, the border.
"I have seen the terrorist threat against this country, and it is deeply worrying. I want that border shut down. I want it shut down with a fence where you can. I would like to see geophysical equipment used underground, above ground, seismic equipment. I'd like to see more personnel down there that can do their job," Livingstone said.
Livingstone also proposes an overhaul of the immigration system that would give America's estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants the chance to come forward and apply for permanent resident alienship - a status that would be more inclusive than President Bush's failed guest worker plan.
Livingstone says she is deeply disappointed in the failures of both the presidential administration and Congress.
"We don't have enough brains and solutions in Congress. I'm very disappointed in the gridlock and the lack of a decent budget. I feel that we are not solving problems out there and the common person is suffering because of it.," Livingstone said.
Livingstone's campaign has picked up a few key endorsements, including the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and former Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett, who is also from Prescott.
Her campaign also got a boost last month when fellow Republican candidate Preston Korn dropped out. He says their stances on the issues are so similar that they could have split the vote, and that would have kept a candidate like Livingstone from winning.
"With the combination of her expertise, her experiences, and my work out there the last eight months, I believe we can get a primary win, and even a general win out of this. if I had not done this, it would have been much more difficult.," Korn said.
Livingstone's expertise is primarily in law. She has a doctorate in international law from Cambridge University in England, and has helped formulate policy on human rights at the state department.
She bristles at the notion that there are already enough lawyers in Congress.
"If you think about it, you are a legislator. You are there to make law, amend law. If you're not a lawyer, you're totally dependent on staff to do that. I think it's a real plus coming in as a lawyer and understanding where these laws go, how they're made and how they could impact people.," Livingstone said.
Livingstone doesn't try to hide her educational accomplishments. In fact, she combines her name and her doctoral title in a famous turn of phrase for her website address. It is www.drlivingstoneipresume.com.