Dr Friese For House
Arizona Legislative District 9 House of Representatives in AZ http://DrFRIESEforHOUSE.com
PO Box 36402 Tucson, Arizona 85740
Primary Election Date: 2014-08-26 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
I am currently a trauma critical care surgeon at the University of Arizona Medical Center as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, Arizona.
I have always been driven toward community service. I was an emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter while I was in college in Maryland. I served in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant Commander after completing my surgical residency. And I have always seen my current job as trauma surgeon as providing a service to my community.
I was born and raised by a single mother in the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area. I was educated in the excellent public school system in Maryland and went to the University of Maryland College Park on a full scholarship that was both needs and merits based. I graduated with a BS in biochemistry and matriculated into the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I used low interest rate student loans to finance my medical education.
Once I completed medical school I went on to a surgical residency at the University of Colorado in Denver. I spent seven years as a resident in general surgery, five years in clinical training and two years doing a trauma research fellowship. Once my training was completed I entered the United States Navy. I had received financial support from the Navy during my surgical training through the Financial Assistance Program for physicians. I served in the military from 1997 through 2001. I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and San Diego, California. I was also assigned to additional duty on the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3) and the USS Eisenhower (CVN-69).
After my military service I entered a Trauma/Critical Care fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. After this fellowship I stayed on the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Surgery. I met my wife Susan in 2001 and we were married in 2007. In 2008, I joined the faculty at the University of Arizona faculty as an Associate Professor of Surgery.
I identify closely with the democratic values of equality, opportunity, (particularly equality in opportunity), justice, and diversity. I also strongly believe in unobstructed access to reproductive healthcare and contraception, marriage equality, legislation supporting responsible gun ownership as well as immigration reform. Lastly, I believe that the most important priority or obligation of a state government is to provide, support and maintain an excellent public education system.
Why am I running?
On January 8th, 2011 a tragic event occurred in Tucson. I was one of the trauma surgeons on call that morning. I cared for many of the shooting victims that day including Representative Gabrielle Giffords and Christina Taylor-Greene, the youngest victim. This tragic event was the first step in the process that led to my decision to run for public office.
After that terrible day, I began to pay closer attention to what was occurring in my state capital. I began to read and research the bills the legislature was considering. I was astounded, enthralled and at times appalled. I decided that I wanted to participate in the debate process in a direct way.
In order to explore the possibility of running for public office further, I applied for and was accepted into a candidate training program sponsored by Leading for Change Arizona. This was a three month program introducing participants to the principles of campaigning, fund raising, and team building. Following this program I entered an Emerging Leaders Fellowship program, also through Leading for Change Arizona, which offered a more in depth experience and allowed for the opportunity to meet and work with both local legislators and congressional representatives.
My decision to run for public office is reinforced by my belief that important debates will be occurring in upcoming legislative sessions; debates on marriage equality, immigration reform, healthcare delivery, and responsible gun ownership legislation. In fact, just this past week an important debate occurred regarding a bill disguised as a religious freedoms protection bill but was actually all about discriminating against the LGBT community. I regretted not being able to participate in those discussions. I was exceptionally disappointed with the outcome of those debates, as our legislature passed that horrible bill.
In summary, my decision to run for public office was actually more of a gradual realization that election to public office would be an extension of the community service that has been part of my life since I was a young man. I view this as a remarkable opportunity to serve my community on a larger scale. As my campaign progresses I become more confident that I have made the right decision. Although the election process can be at times discouraging, I realize that the opportunities that serving in the legislature allow will be worthwhile.
1. Restore adequate funding for Arizona public education system
I have already begun to work toward this goal by meeting with education experts,
activists, and non profit organizations in order to become more familiar with the
current system's successes and failures as well as become a more informed
advocate for public education.
2. Comprehensive background checks for gun ownership
In my role as a trauma surgeon I have already spoken publicly about the need for
responsible gun ownership legislation. Additionally, I have participated in and co-
authored several academic papers on the effects of lax gun laws in our country.
('Repeal of the concealed weapons law and its impact on gun-related injuries and
deaths.'J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Mar;76(3):569-75. doi:
10.1097/TA.0000000000000141. 'Children are safer in states with strict firearm
laws: a National Inpatient Sample study.'J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014
Jan;76(1):146-50; discussion 150-1. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182ab10fb.)
3. Social Issues
Arizona is currently getting national attention for its passage of discriminatory
legislation, suppression of access to reproductive healthcare, immigration issues,
and legislation aimed at voter suppression. I have supported Planned
Parenthood and written an opinion/editorial piece for the local Tucson
newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star.
My DFA Values
I have a strong commitment to the DFA core values of community, security and liberty.
As I have stated in the sections above, I am dedicated to supporting and rebuilding Arizona's public education system. Arizona, over the past several years has passed legislation which has eroded funding for the public education system both K-12 and post secondary education. As a product of an excellent public education system, I am dedicated to ensuring that these opportunities remain available to every child regardless of their family's financial resources.
I look forward fostering and strengthening our economic and cultural ties with Mexico. A stronger economic bond with Mexico is the first step toward furthering our mutual national security issues. Additionally, Arizona is well positioned to champion solar energy use and development. I will actively support and sponsor legislation that will make solar energy more accessible to every homeowner.
I am a strong supporter of liberty as well as diversity. I will work actively for equality in opportunity, marriage equality, and immigration reform. Every American deserves to live a life free from discrimination.
My Campaign is People Powered!
My campaign is focused on energizing the democratic base. We aim to involve the local activists early. My involvement in caring for the victims of the January 8th shootings has drawn a good amount of attention to my campaign. Recently we held a community based event where Captain Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords publically endorsed my campaign. This event was attended by approximately 150 active members of the Pima County Democratic Party. There was quite a lot of excitement expressed about my campaign at this event. Additionally, we hosted at my home a dinner meeting for the precinct committee persons of my legislative district (LD9). Over 30 precinct committee persons attended this dinner meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to get the precinct committee persons more familiar with me and my views so that they would be more comfortable representing me during the campaign. During the meeting we held a robust question and answer session and each precinct committee person was given a walking map for a portion of the district and given the opportunity to arrange a time to walk the district with me as the candidate. Also, we are initiating a small donor program called 'Randy's Rep's - I'm representing Randy now so he can represent me in 2015'. These donors will give small monthly donations ($10-$50/monthly)through November 2014.