Peoria voters will help narrow down a big field, as the Aug. 4 primary election has three Democrat candidates for the 8th Congressional District.
Rep. Debbie Lesko was the only Republican to file in District 8, which includes Peoria, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Waddell.
The three Democrats on the primary ballot for the 8th Congressional District: Michael Muscato of Peoria, Bob Musselwhite of Litchfield Park and Bob Olsen of Surprise. Kyle Martin of Glendale filed as a write-in candidate.
The Peoria Times emailed the candidates questions. Here is the second part of their answers:
What is your track record and style of responding to questions from the public?
Debbie Lesko: My No. 1 priority is helping my constituents. Constituents have told me that they are very pleased with my office’s outreach and responsiveness to their concerns and needs.
Michael Muscato: I believe that accountability and availability to constituents is the duty of being a representative. I was proud to host three public, in-person town halls prior to COVID-19 taking place, and I am regularly available via Zoom town halls and Facebook Live to answer unscreened questions on the spot.
Bob Musselwhite: As a city manager my first priority each day was to talk directly to the citizens who had the complaints. I asked that complaints be directed straight to me. That is the key to public service, and it is where the answers can be found as to the effectiveness of the effort the organization is making. Such an attitude is also a signal to all those employed that the citizen comes first. I was taught in public administration school that the press is the fourth pillar of the government; and I believe the public deserves to know what is being done, and that is best accomplished with honest answers. Our press is an institution of democracy and should be treated that way.
Bob Olsen: My style is to listen first to what the public is asking or demanding, and then respond in an open and honest way. If I don’t have the answer at the time of the question, I will research it and contact the person or organization with the best answer I can deliver. Most of my adult life has involved interacting with the public. As a police officer and firefighter, I was often asked about safety and the accountability of myself and my organization.
What current elected official do you most admire?
Bob Musselwhite: I admire elected officials that have courage to speak for the needs of the public without hesitation or regard for their own political life. Mayor Kate Gallego comes to mind here in Maricopa County. Sheriff Paul Penzone is an impressive public servant. Sen. Chuck Schumer is impressive to me, because he articulates well and he has not added up a personal fortune during his long time in the U.S. Senate.
Michael Muscato: At this point, I’ll take the side of any elected official who makes decisions based on guardianship, not partisanship. Time for new people in office.
Debbie Lesko: I most admire all elected officials that have served in our U.S. military to serve our country and are now continuing their service to our community and nation.
Bob Olsen: I admire U.S. Rep Adam Schiff because of his willingness to perform his duties, even in the face of aggressive attacks from the president and Republicans.
How do you define integrity?
Bob Musselwhite: The foundation of integrity is honesty. Based on that, your word is important to keep, and it is also important that an individual’s honesty and word can be counted on no matter what. What is fair and just also folds into the question of integrity and being counted on to always do what is fair and just.
Bob Olsen: For me integrity has always meant being honest in my work and when dealing with others. I have always been willing to acknowledge my mistakes, take responsibility for them, and accept the consequences for my actions.
Debbie Lesko: Honesty.
Michael Muscato: Being someone who lives by and stands up for the values, principles and standards they preach to others. We could use better character, values and morality in office right now.
Why should someone vote for you?
Michael Muscato: I believe the job of Congress is to represent the people of the district and not just a political party and its leadership. There is no candidate more suited to represent this district than me. I’m born and raised here. Everything I am and everything I will be is right here with my hometown. I believe that our hometowns and our country are always worth fighting for. Regardless of political party, each and every person here in CD8 can rest knowing I will be working as hard as I can to make our lives better for everyone.
Debbie Lesko: I believe people should vote for me because I am hardworking, honest, care for my constituents, have the experience, and I stand up for the principles and freedoms that have made our nation great.
Bob Musselwhite: I believe that I have a good education and rounded experience in public service and understand what it should be about. I also have experience in private business. I believe you can look at my record and find a lifetime of integrity and commonsense problem solving. I also will not be diverted from our American ideals by the call of personal aggrandizement. I believe that my age, 68, is pretty close to the age of many who reside in CD8, and so I believe I am a match for the people who live here. I understand what good government should be, and due to my experience here, I understand our people.
Bob Olsen: I have a lifetime of experience dealing with and resolving tough problems. As a veteran, first responder and attorney, I have developed a strong ethic of taking problems head-on and working hard towards a solution. In life this often requires well-thought-out and developed compromise, while staying true to your beliefs, in order to move organization or process forward. I have the skills, the experience and the desire to be the next U.S. representative for Congressional District 8. I will fight for the West Valley and for each and every one of you. Elect me and help me lead Arizona into the future.