Arizona Senate candidates address Kingman club today

KINGMAN - Two candidates for Sen. Ron Gould's seat will face off at the Republican Men's Club meeting Monday.

Dr. Kelli Ward and Sam Scarmardo are both running for the Arizona Senate and both are from Lake Havasu City. The meeting is at 11:30 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, 900 Gates Ave. There is a fee for lunch.

Ward currently practices medicine at both Kingman Regional Medical Center and Havasu Regional Medical Center. She is also the director of Graduate Medical Education at KRMC, which has seen drastic cuts in funding from the state. The hospital and several other rural facilities actually had to come up with the matching funds for a federal grant this year. She also hosts "Ask Dr. Kelli" on TV45.

Ward said she would bring a unique prospective to the Legislative budget process.

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona's version of Medicaid, takes up a large part of the state budget. As a physician, Ward believes she can help the Legislature make better decisions concerning health care in Arizona.

Scarmardo is the owner of Sam's Shooters Emporium in Lake Havasu City. He believes the Senate seat from Mohave County should stay firmly in the conservative column. He moved to Lake Havasu from Chicago several years ago.

Scarmardo said he would use his budget and financial skills to help balance the state budget without cutting more funding to local governments and without plunging the state further into debt.