tv 116th Congress Freshmen Profile Interviews Part 4 CSPAN January 10, 2019 11:38pm-12:08am EST
you are going to be representing the third district in that state. explain the district. >> the district runs through the central part of the state all the way from the eastern side of the state to the western side of the state and encompasses 24 counties by including the city of jackson. it's partially in the third congressional district and encompasses one of the major universities, mississippi state university. we have a major military installations. it's a very diverse district and has some very urban and very
rural areas there are common problems that exist throughout the district and then there's also some that are specific to certain areas and that is one of the things throughout the campaign we were able to visit each county in the district many times and beat with community leaders and elected officials and what we hope to do is be able to surf the district in the entirety that not just the third district for the entire state of mississippi. we feel like while we are represented from a third district is good for one district in mississippi is good for the entire state so i look forward to working with the entire congressional district, the entire congressional delegation for the state of mississippi and we can accomplish things on behalf of people of the state. >> your prosecutor for 24 years before running for office. what about that experience do you think will help you here in washington? >> as a prosecutor, both
assistant prosecutor and newly elected now for the last 11 years, they've had the opportunity to work with the men and women of law enforcement and our judicial officials to see the communities remain great places to live and raise a family. as a prosecutor, you have to be the best prepared person in the courtroom when you walk in each and every day and you have to be able to work with other individuals and you have to be able to stand up and do what is right and fight on behalf of the people of your state and i think those lessons have prepared me to represent the people of mississippi well and i think i will be able to come in like many prosecutors in mississippi the first congressional district, south carolina, former federal prosecutor i believe that there is a history of states sending prosecutors to congress and those prosecutors quickly adapting to their rule
in the legislative side and being effective members of congress. >> with sort of cases did you prosecutor during your time? >> we would prosecute anything from very small cases such as shoplifting, people who wrote bad checks all the way up to sexual assault, capital murder, manslaughter, armed robbery. we prosecuted a wide variety. in prosecuting such a wide variety of cases it gives the a good aspect of many different fields an and so again i believe that will also help you to become an effective congressman very quickly. >> were you born in mississippi? >> i spend my life there but my father was in the service assigned to a military installation in new jersey. roughly about a year in age my family moved back to central mississippcentralmississippi ane for several years. my elementary years and the city of jackson and then seventh
grade my family moved to one of the suburbs of the capital city and that's where i've remained. after going to college i returned home, married a girl from a hometown and that's where we've establish our roots and are raising our children. >> what influence did your father have on you? >> i was blessed to have two outstanding parents, a mother and father that loved us, loved myself, my sister, they cared for us, they brought this up in church and so because of that my relationship not only with my earthly father but my heavenly father, those are the guiding things i will use one-time sworn into congress to help the make decisions on behalf of the people in my district. >> you teach sunday school? >> i do. i am a member of our church. my wife and i both teach sunday school. i teach junior high boys and she teaches junior high girls and
server as a beacon in the church. so again, my relationship with my heavenly father is a very important part of my foundation fois a relationship with my family, my parents that you spoke of, my wife of soon-to-be 21 years and my two children who are 18 and soon to be 15. my family is important to me. they have been a vital part of this campaign and they've worked extremely hard. while it would be difficult being away from my family, i hope that we will grow stronger through this experience. >> would have the kids in sunday school taught you? >> we began teaching when our children progress through the youth department. we felt called that is our children were going to be in that particular part of our church they needed people that would be willing to step up and
volunteer their time. what these children have taught me are what i would like to call these young men, they don't like to be referred to as children can't elect the referred to as young men. it's amazing to me how presented they are and you think of children or young men who are in sixth and seventh, eighth grade, the type of classes we would teach it would be difficult to get them to focus, difficult to get them to maintain their attention, but they are very caring, they are very giving and receptive and so it has been as much a blessing to me to be able to teach them and probably more so than the fact that i had the ability to serve them. so again, i am placed and honored that theplus standhonore that faith in me and people would interest me with their children for one hour each sunday select try to end throu.
>> your background, career and personal life, what is on the to do list for the congress? >> there's four or five very important issues that could be addressed in the next congress and i believe one of those issues will be transportation infrastructure. mississippi just like several parts of the nation has an aging infrastructure so it's important that we began to see that the federal government can be part of that solution into tha that e be a funding mechanism that can be put in place so you can have the federal government with your local and state government healthcare we would like to look at interesting to see what we can do to avert the cost to make insurance more accessible. my district it's important that
we find hospitals. we have in some of our counties you have a county hospital that services the entire county and it's important that we keep them open for emergency care and critical care than they are transported to another facility where they can receive more specified care. we look at things such as border security and immigration reform. those are important issues that are going to be addressed by this congress. as a prosecutor and a border security is important to me not only from the immigration side more so what can we do to stop the flow of illegal drugs from the southwest border. i believe a major key for us to be able to hopefully turn would
be able to secure the borders. i would like to look at expanding programs are modernizing programs where we allow people to come into the country and temporarily or seasonal type of situation to work and fueled agriculture which is very important so those are some of the issues i think the next congress will address. mississippi has been well served for the last decade. having the integrity having sent someone to congress to follow in
the footsteps could build on the foundation that when greg announced he was going to return we no longer seek reelection and it's something i had been thinking about for some time because my relationship with greg i felt like it was the right decision for myself and my family i served as the mayor for almost seven years before that and i served many years in the e city council as well as couple of years as deputy attorney general of arizona its an
opportunity to support not only my district to make sure we get our fair share of resources but also the opportunity to set up policies for all of america so it is a great book. it is awesome to be in a congress that represents the community and be part of history a little bit. i'm excited to be here and i was turned down as me. i wanted to see in public service. they left the seat to run for the senate and won that seat in arizona. in my hometown now they have to
come back and forth to washington to serve a. a. it'a. of five and neighborhood leaders, business leaders. i have the right temperament and experience to be a leader in washington. >> what did your wife say? >> i am here. [laughter] as she's always been a supporter after many cycles, always been very supportive and you can't be successful unless you have a supportive family environment. >> will your family join you here in washington, d.c.? >> i have two young children. my son is 11 and my daughter is 8-years-old. they are in the school right now and they will stay in our home community and i will be back and forth. by the way, we will be doing a lot of work back home, so we are going to be here in washington generally four days a week and i will be home working at least
two days a week other than that as well so we are going to be incredibly busy, but the work we do back home is even more important than the work we do here in washington. >> explain to those who don't know the logistics of getting from arizona to washington, d.c. twice a. >> you get on an airplane, you get here, work your tail off and get home as soon as possible. >> how many hours? >> about a five-hour flight, a little bit longer on the way home. a great opportunity to study up on public policy when you have that much time on the plane you better take advantage of it and be prepared as possible to do good work in washington. >> what will be your legislative priority is? i'm a legislative mayor and we e had a lot of success in transportation and infrastructure investment.
it was up to the same ballot i want the infrastructure investment plan to increase the investment in buses so they come on the major routes and services to provide mobility independence for those that need it, make the city more b more likable and wae and fix the streets. we went vague. i want it passed and we have infrastructure in phoenix. with that experience is a lot to offer in washington. from the perspective of a local city leader as to the fact that washington hasn't been a good partner to local government when it comes to infrastructure investments in our country is falling further behin behind the nation and we need to get back to being a leader that is an important issue. as a representative of the southwestern border state, i believe that competence of immigration reform is really
important. no community in the countr couny would better benefit economically from comprehensive immigration reform, bipartisan getting reform done them in our region plus when the president did pull us out of the paris accord cities like mine that said we are going to keep our commitment. the people of the country will look to the mayors for leadership and now that i'm in washington, the democrats are the majority and they will see a lot of positive action on the issue of climate change. in fact you will see a marriage between infrastructure investment and claim it's smart investment. those are the exact same thing. to be smart on climate, in bestt in green infrastructure and like so many others we are here to protect health care and those.
we are going to deliver that. >> before i was elected i was a state senator and there's only 40 in florida i was representing all of sarasota county and a portion of charlotte county. i am a lawyer by trade. when i'm not in session i am a lawyer by trade. what are some of the issues that you worked on? >> retitled irecycled a lot of t pills during my time in the legislature i was the chairman that worked the last two years
in the senate i chaired the judiciary committee so anything related to the judiciary i was involved in that anything from illegal immigration to life i worked on a myriad of different issues and something that's been very popular in the country has been the daylight savings time bill bypassed that the bill also if congress acts that allows them to opt in. >> describe your district. >> my district is excellent and it is diverse geographically. you have the western portion, southwest portion, southwest sarasota by the coastline then you start from okeechobee and desoto counties and it's a very rural number one citrus producing in the nation to think of citrus trees that is the predominance of this
congressional district. >> did you grow up their? >> for generations my great grandfather retired and our family has been in and around the area for generations. my father was the former sheriff of manatee county not in the desert with right next to that. my father was a deputy and my mother was a schoolteacher in that area. went to the university of florida after graduation and then went on to the military after that. >> you are taking the seat of francis rooney will be retiring. who will be retiring. have you spoken to him about what this is like and any advice that he's given to you? >> he didn't want to get involved but after committee has been very accessible trying to be helpful and the biggest thing we have to watch for is to hire staff. some of the staff he has been
helpful in that sense to try to transition but it's a lot of stuff to put together in a short period of time. the challenging part is to get your staff in place before january 3. >> have you spoken to any of your other colleagues from florida and what have they told you about the job? >> there's three freshmen republicans. we've spent a lot of time together in orientation. before he got elected we served in the house together and in the senate we did some bills together. i just met walt purvis process that you already have a close knit bond so i'm looking forward to working with him as we move through the process. >> how do you find the balance of logistics in florida and your family life? >> that is the second biggest challenge ichallenges trying to. my wife works is she going to move up, work from home, i think right now we are just going to
take it day by day and see how things work and how often we will be here. the schedule isn't out yet so once that comes out we'll see how often. we will see how often. we haven't decided what we are doing so that is a part of the challenge florida to washington isn't an easy commute so that is some of the challenge we will have to figure out. >> i wasn't planning on getting into politics. i was running an organization in california and a and that worksa lot of policy issues n-november, 201november,2016 we hope to devs a historic bond initiative in the city of los angeles, $1.2 billion to address homelessness. we pass it and we've been working on it for years. but instead of being able to
celebrate, the next day donald trump was president and we had a republican house and the senate and it was very concerning as to whether how that would affect the work and the servic the sert were so critical to the people that we serve. so, i decided i need to do something about it and wanted to get involved in the race. figured out that my race was one of the key ones in my district where i spent my whole life so taking back the house and one thinhouse and onething led to ai am. .. . >> are those different
constituencies where did you come from and where do you turn that's a phrase that you hear a lot. but yes there is a little bit of both but as people got to know me and was very clear to matter how old you are you can do the job how has your work impacted you crack. >> in so many ways. homelessness is the intersection of countless failures as a society and a government so working on health care on the medicaid expansion in california and housing policy and poverty and foster care and then you see how all of these fit together.
and this is the worst possible outcome and that will inform policymaking. and then with that mean existence with somebody on the armed services committee and was that representative before for the district in particular and what we are focusing on and with climate change it is what we are facing and so many people recognize that structure.
and health care is another key in the campaign for those who don't agree like prescription drugs or figuring out ways to immediately come up with those solutions and then of course, affordability throughout california but especially with my background i feel like i have something to add to the conversation. >> who or what motivated you to go into public office crack. >> every generation of my family has served in the military back to the revolutionary war. my grandfather passed away from alzheimer's but was a
professor at ucla and my mom is a nurse. so some type of public service or community service is all i know growing up. and then that is so similar for the right reasons and then people that do that for ego or power so there are so many people who didn't want to get into public office but then we did not recognize our political climate anymore and had to do something about it. >> what your parents think
about you coming out to washington crack. >> they are very excited my father has never voted for a democrat that voted for me. we always debate politics growing up but since the trump election and other facets, we have figured out there is so many things in common so i think that will be interesting to watch but my mom is worried about my well-being and going back and forth but i think that's what a mom does. [laughter]