Thomas promises toughness as AZ attorney general

SUZANNE ADAMS/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas speaks before the Republican Men’s Club Monday at the Elks Lodge. Thomas is running for attorney general.

SUZANNE ADAMS/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas speaks before the Republican Men’s Club Monday at the Elks Lodge. Thomas is running for attorney general.

KINGMAN - The state and especially the Attorney General's Office should be doing more to secure the border with Mexico, according to former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Thomas resigned from his position more than a month ago in order to run for the Arizona Attorney General's Office this year. He spoke Monday before the members of the Republican Men's Club at the Elks Lodge on Gates Avenue.

"We need people in office who are willing to take the tough positions. (Current Attorney General Terry) Goddard has not taken the tough position," Thomas said.

"We need an attorney general who will address the border crisis," he said.

Arizona is being treated as a pariah for Senate Bill 1070, he said. "If we don't deal with the problem, no one will."

Thomas said he and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have had tremendous success in dealing with illegal immigration because they have forced their representatives in government to deal with the issue.

As a county attorney, he watched as Latin American violence from gangs and drug lords started to seep over the border into the state, he said.

He pledged, if elected attorney general, that he would deputize some of his assistant attorney generals to help counties process human smuggling rings and illegal immigration cases.

"A society like ours does not collapse overnight. This is the canary in the coal mine," he said referring to the recent increase in border violence. "We have to have a commitment to additional resources along the border before it starts to happen here. We need leadership and someone with a will to do what needs to be done."

He also pledged to fight the encroachment of the federal government on state's rights and protect the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens.

"You won't have to go around me to join a healthcare lawsuit against the federal government," Thomas said, referring to Goddard's refusal to join a lawsuit filed by several state attorneys general against the federal government challenging the new healthcare reform bill.

Also speaking before the Republican Men's Club was U.S. Senate candidate Jim Deakin. Deakin is running as a Tea Party candidate for Sen. John McCain's seat.

Deakin blasted McCain and the other Arizona congressional delegates about their inability to secure the border with Mexico.

"Why is he waiting? Why can't we get this done today?" Deakin asked. "We need people with the intestinal fortitude to get this done."

He suggested filibustering President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan until the border fence is finished.

Deakin vowed to stop the socialist tendencies of the Obama administration in its tracks.

The Republican Men's Club will host U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth at 1 p.m. Saturday at the First Assembly of God Church, 1850 Gates Ave.