Republican gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil made a second stop in Payson in less than a month on Wednesday afternoon. This time he brought his eight children.
Munsil entered the race to unseat Gov. Janet Napolitano in January, joining a slate of Republican candidates including Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, and 25-year-old Scottsdale resident Teresa Ottesen.
Jerry and Nancy Green hosted the intimate gathering of about 25 people at their home in South Payson.
After introducing his eight children and his wife, Tracy, Munsil touched on a number of topics.
He said he has been in the governor's race far less time than anyone else, and yet has fulfilled and received all of the Clean Elections donations, which puts candidates on an even playing field in relation to the amount of money that can be spent when campaigning.
"The most significant thing we could do is qualify quickly," he said.
Munsil said when people press him on how he differs from the other Republican candidates, he tells them that he has been in the arena of supporting conservative principles for quite some time.
He said he is a third generation Arizonan, who grew up in the state, mentioning that the current governor came from a different part of the country with different beliefs.
The Republican candidate said four of the eight Arizona Congressmen are supporting him over Goldwater. Munsil also said 30 state legislators are supporting him, while six Arizona lawmakers are supporting Goldwater.
"They trust my ability to lead," he said. "This arena is not new to me."
Munsil said Arizona is No. 1 in the nation in crime rates, and wonders why Napolitano is ignoring the problem.
The candidate also talked about illegal immigration and the border.
He said solving the problem can only be done with support of border security.
Munsil said Lt. Al Tomlinson of the Cochise County Sheriff's Office walked him through the border and showed him some of the problems there. Tomlinson works mostly in the border communities of Bisbee and Palominos.
He said if elected governor his No. 1 priority would be securing the border, adding that five years after Sept. 11, 2001, the Arizona/Mexico border is still not secure.
"Deter them from crossing in the first place so they do not become our responsibility," he said.
Munsil said he would station more authorities along the border to accomplish this goal.
Munsil also criticized Napolitano's views in regards to budget surplus.
The current governor thinks when seeing a budget surplus means "we have more money to spend," he said. Instead, he believes those funds should be given back to the taxpayer.
The Republican candidate said there would have been no surplus if legislators had not vetoed some of her proposed laws.
"She is happy to take credit for something that happened that she had nothing to do with," he said.
Munsil, when talking about education, said there is one question that needs to be asked.
"The right question to ask is how do we educate our kids well?" He said. "Discipline in the classroom is a huge element now."
He said it will take a grassroots effort in order for him to be elected the next governor of Arizona.
"I expect to win," he said. He added that he would not have quit his job as the head of the Center for Arizona Policy if he thought he was not going to be Arizona's next governor.
"We have a long way to go in a lot of areas," he said. "What (Napolitano) is doing is not working."