Mesa Mayor Scott Smith launched his bid for governor today by insisting that he is a true conservative despite positions he has taken on background checks for gun buyers, Medicaid expansion and publicly financed stadiums. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.
The Republican field is becoming increasingly crowded with a secretary of state, a treasurer, a state senator, a former county attorney and a former business executive, all saying they represent true Republican principles. But Smith said that’s making some assumptions of what Republicans do and do not want. Take, for example, Mesa borrowing money to finance a new spring-training stadium for the Chicago Cubs.
“Every precinct, even the most Republican of Republican precincts, supported that 60-40. Why? Because they looked at it as an investment that would benefit them, it would benefit the community, it would make life in Mesa better for them, economically, socially, things that communities come together to do,” Smith said.
Smith also has previously said he would support expanded background checks on gun buyers. But he is now saying it’s not that simple.
“The Second Amendment is not a suggestion,” he said. “It is a constitutional right. And in America we understand that sometimes supporting constitutional rights means sometimes the consequences aren’t pretty.”
And Smith said while he opposes Obamacare, it was right for the state to use the funds for its own Medicaid program.