Jason Krell

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018

U.S House, District 1: Tom O’Halleran cites competitive jobs and improved education as priorities

Name: Tom O’Halleran
Political party: Democrat
Position sought: U.S. House of Representatives, District 1
City of residence: Sedona
Current office: U.S. representative, 1st Congressional District

What is the greatest issue Arizona residents face? If elected, how would you address this issue?

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O’Halleran, 72, said his first priority is making sure Arizona families have jobs that give them a good quality of life.

O’Halleran plans to help address that issue in his district by fixing broadband internet problems and switching to fiber optic connections. The congressman said this will make the area more competitive, leading to better jobs.

O’Halleran also wants to improve education by focusing on teacher retention and increasing the ability to support special programs, which includes advanced placement courses and vocational training.

In terms of higher education, O’Halleran said the district can’t afford to let expensive tuition create an “uneducated workforce.”

“Our university system is doing pretty well, but we have to find a way to mitigate some of the issues with tuition for those students,” O’Halleran said.

What other issues are important to you and your campaign?

O’Halleran said he wants to make sure residents of his district have reliable and cost efficient health insurance. He also said it is important to protect coverage of pre-existing conditions and women’s health programs, which are “currently available, but under attack.”

O’Halleran’s campaign website also lists his views on veterans affairs , immigration and programs such as Social Security and Medicare .

What in your past work, political or volunteer experience makes you a better candidate to hold this office?

O’Halleran cited his background and experience.

He said his time as a homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department showed him some of the worst parts of society. O’Halleran said he wants to stop the crimes he saw during that time from happening in Arizona as much as possible.

O’Halleran served in the Arizona Legislature, in both the House of Representatives and Senate, from 2001 to 2009.

O’Halleran said his reputation among other legislators and business leaders was that of a person who “brings people together.” He added that because of the country’s current political environment, bipartisan leadership is a critical skill.

O’Halleran previously ran for office as both a Republican and an independent.

“I believe that unifying people is a much better way of addressing our country’s overall priorities than trying to address them from a political-only standpoint,” O’Halleran said.

What is a personal challenge you feel you need to overcome?

“I’d like to improve my ability to understand the complicated processes that our society is going through, and how we can improve both my perspective and the rest of society’s,” O’Halleran said.

Please share a quote or advice that guides you.

O’Halleran said he tries to remember that while it is easier to make enemies than friends, it is much better to have a cooperative environment.

What app on your phone could you not live without?

Because O’Halleran said travels so much, Yelp has become his most important app.

Campaign website for Tom O’Halleran.

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