by Jim Nintzel
Democrat Richard Carmona, who wants to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl next year, landed a bipartisan endorsement from all six members of the Tucson City Council.
Carmona is expected to face Don Bivens in next year's Democratic primary. If he wins that, he'll likely square off against Republican Jeff Flake, the Maricopa County congressman who is the likely GOP nominee.
Here's the press release from Team Carmona:
Today all six members of Tucson's City Council endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona, a combat-decorated Army Special Forces veteran and the former Surgeon General of the United States, citing his lifetime of service to our country and community. Shirley Scott, Richard Fimbres, Karen Uhlich, Steve Kozachik, Regina Romero and Paul Cunningham each offered their enthusiastic endorsement of Dr. Carmona.
"Rich Carmona has overcome significant obstacles in order to achieve success in our country," said Regina Romero, who represents Ward 1. "He is an example to our children who demonstrates that hard work, education and a commitment to community can transform your life. As a councilwoman, a former youth organizer and a mother, I am proud to endorse Rich Carmona, and look forward to calling him my Senator."
"I know the pride that comes with having served in the US Army Reserve as a medic, so I have deep respect for the courage and bravery shown by Rich Carmona," said Councilman Paul Cunningham, who represents Ward 2. "He earned two purple hearts and two Bronze Stars risking his life for his fellow soldiers, and his commitment to doing the right thing is second to none."
"Dr. Carmona's commitment to public health tells us all we need to know about his integrity," said Karin Uhlich, who represents Ward 3. "He stood up to political pressure when he released a groundbreaking report on the health risks of second-hand smoke, prioritizing our nation's health over partisan politics. His commitment to public health informs his belief that government should not interfere with the private medical decisions between a woman and her doctor."
"I ran a successful Arizona small business for years, so I am looking for very specific qualities in a US Senator, " said Councilwoman Shirley Scott, who represents Ward 4. "Those include discipline, an understanding of our economy, and a commitment to the well being of all families, not just those who have achieved financial security. I find those qualities in Dr. Richard Carmona."
"Richard Carmona has the ability to make change. I watched him do it in Pima County, Arizona and nationally," said Councilmember Richard Fimbres, who represents Ward 5. "In the fields of law enforcement, public health and highway safety, Richard Carmona has showed his commitment, knowledge and expertise in providing solutions for our community. I am excited that Richard Carmona is running for the U.S. Senate."
“I've worked for the University of Arizona Athletics department since 1988,” said Steve Kozachik, who represents Ward 6. “It was through that employment that I met Dr. Carmona. His personal story is absolutely compelling and speaks to a man of great character — a self-made success story who has been deeply invested in our community since earning his Masters in Public Health from the University of Arizona the year I began work for Athletics.
“Prior to being named Surgeon General, ‘Doc’ worked as a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona. I got to know him at that time through his work with our student athletes.
“Consider his parents coming from Puerto Rico and moving to New York City, where he dropped out of high school, earned a GED through his service in the U.S. Army, served in Special Forces, and then beginning his career in medicine, ultimately reaching the pinnacle of that field when selected to serve as the United States Surgeon General under President George Bush in 2002.
“I know Dr. Carmona as a man of integrity, a high achiever, a man of compassion for the underserved and a man who has been giving back to the Tucson and Pima County for decades. Since he is running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, from a political standpoint, I don't have a dog in that fight.
“And yet, from the standpoint of wanting to see a person emerge from that primary who I believe would best represent us with a set of values that very much mirror my own, I most certainly have a dog in that fight. Dr. Carmona is Southern Arizona's own local hero. I'm honored to be associated with a person of his caliber.”
"I am deeply grateful for the unanimous support of my hometown city council, and even more grateful that they're working hard to help me win this election," said Dr. Carmona. "Arizona is my home, and the support of bipartisan leaders like these means a lot."
Dr. Richard Carmona confirmed his plan to run for the U.S. Senate a few weeks ago. A formal announcement is planned for after the holiday season. More background information on Dr. Carmona can be found below.