Arizona Rep. Noel Campbell of Prescott has decided to seek a second term in the 2016 election, especially since both Legislative District One representatives would be newbies without him in the mix.
His fellow LD1 Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott announced in April that she is running for the LD1 Senate seat, since Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott cannot run again because of the term limits Arizona voters approved in 1992. A person can hold a House or Senate seat for a maximum of four consecutive terms. They can still move to the other house, or wait two years and run again.
"If I'm not there, the county gets two rookies going in," Campbell said. Being a freshman legislator himself, he knows how hard it is to learn the ropes.
Right now Campbell is the only person who has registered a 2016 campaign committee with the Secretary of State to seek one of the two LD1 House seats. And Fann is the only one who has created an LD1 Senate campaign committee.
Campbell is a retired U.S. Customs Service agent who also served stints as a Vietnam War helicopter pilot and wildland firefighting air attack pilot. So he's not down in Phoenix to make a name for himself or gain political contacts, he noted.
"I really want to serve and bring good judgment to the Legislature," he said.
In next year's session, he plans to again sponsor legislation to regulate companies that provide lodging for people getting drug rehabilitation services. He is among numerous Prescottonians who believe Prescott has too many group recovery homes making money off clients' insurance without helping addicts, and he wants the state to license them.
"I made a couple chinks in the wall, and I'm going to go after it again next year," Campbell said.
He said he's thankful that Senate and House leaders agreed to create an ad-hoc committee to study the group home issue. It should start meeting in July, conduct hearings and make recommendations for legislation, he said.
Campbell also has a strong interest in expected 2016 legislation to resolve solvency issues relating to the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System. He's been attending meetings and talking to people on all sides of the issue, and he supports a special session.
"There's going to be sacrifice on everyone's part," he said. Police and firefighters will have to retire later and contribute more to their pensions, he predicted.
Having been a law enforcement officer himself, Campbell believes body-worn cameras can protect police as well as citizens. So he also wants to be involved in that issue. He anticipates that Sen. John Kavanagh will again introduce legislation to put statewide policies in place.
Also, Campbell supports Gov. Doug Ducey's plan to use more money from the State Land trust fund for schools. Teachers are leaving this region because of poor salaries, he said, adding that he wants to do what he can to help Prescott develop its airport into a center of economic activity.