BY ZACHARY STIEBER
Steve Ronnebeck, whose son was shot dead by an illegal immigrant, kicked off the race for an Arizona Congressional seat this week, about two weeks after announcing his run to The Epoch Times.
Grant Ronnebeck was 21 when he was killed by an illegal immigrant on Jan. 22, 2015, while working as a clerk at a QuikTrip.
After taking a moment of silence for the victims of the recent mass shootings, Steve Ronnebeck said at the Aug. 6 press conference called to announce his candidacy that he would focus on border security, jobs, and reaching across the aisle if elected.
“Our nation is in crisis. Our southern border is in crisis. And our constitution is in crisis,” he said.
The Republican said that the incumbent, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz) is the “cartel Congressman” and hasn’t done enough for his constituents, as the district struggles with poverty. The unemployment in the district, which includes Yuma, has been well-above the national average in recent years, hitting 34.5 percent in 2013 and hovering around 14 percent this year while the national rate is 3.7 percent.
“The Democrats in Washington, D.C. don’t care about us. They care about themselves, they care about their bank accounts, and they care about the walls and fences that they’ve built around their own houses to keep them safe,” Ronnebeck added, before calling Grijalva “the poster child of corruption and dysfunction” and “the prime example of that self-serving attitude.”
Ronnebeck said that Grijalva, a 71-year-old who has been in office for 18 years, has been in office for too long. “Like many Americans I believe in term limits, not lifetime career politicians. It’s time that we retire those career politicians and it’s time that we retire the cartel Congressman,” Ronnebeck said at the press conference Aug. 6.
He said he’d push for quality education, better and more jobs, and bring in new schools to help educate young adults, the unemployed, and the underemployed.
Ronnebeck later recounted how his son was slain by an illegal immigrant who shot his son as he counted change that the man had dumped on the counter. The man grew upset when 21-year-old Grant Ronnebeck was taking so long and shot him.
The man then grabbed more packs of cigarettes and walked out of the door.
Ronnebeck said Grijalva is doing nothing to combat the drug trafficking across the border nor the flood of illegal immigrants.
Ronnebeck noted that figures recently indicated that thousands of sexual assaults by illegal immigrants have happened in North Carolina, lamenting that figures aren’t available for the number of those crimes in Arizona.
Grijalva has not commented on Ronnebeck’s entry into the race for Arizona’s 3rd Congressional district seat. Like many Democrats, his recent statements are mostly focused on attacking President Donald Trump, a Republican. He has also recently called for gun control following the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio and called for action on climate change.
Ronnebeck told The Epoch Times previously that he doesn’t live in the district but plans to spend a lot of time there.
Grijalva won the 2018 election with about 114,650 votes, beating Republican challenger Nicolas Pierson, who garnered just under 65,000. Grijalva outraised Pierson $713,000 to $77,000.
Grijalva won the 2016 election virtually unopposed, garnering 98.6 percent of the vote.
In 2014, Grijalva won with 55.7 percent of the vote, facing tough opposition from Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, who garnered 44.2 percent of the vote.
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