THATCHER — Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne opened the night talking about his election two years ago, and how he won by the slimmest margin in state history. And how the largest percentage of his votes per capita came from Graham County.
“I know where my friends are,” he said.
Horne was the featured speaker at the Graham/Greenlee Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, held at the Aravaipa Room, at Eastern Arizona College, Monday.
Horne discussed his office’s challenge to recent rulings by the federal Environmental Protection Agency regarding coal-fired power emissions and how he himself would be before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 18, to argue in favor of Arizona’s law requiring proof of U.S. citizenship in order to vote.
It will be the second time in less than a year that Horne has personally argued a case before the Supreme Court. In October, he won a unanimous ruling overturning the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, terminating an indefinite stay of execution of a man convicted of stabbing to death a homeowner during a burglary.
“I’ve argued cases in state Superior Court, the state Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, U.S. Circuit Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Some say I shouldn’t be going into court; I should be in my office acting like a manager,” Horne said. “But the first word in my title is ‘attorney.’
“So I want to try and set an example,” he continued. “To show people that my office is happy to go to court to protect the citizens of Arizona.”
Prior to the dinner, Horne talked about work he is doing with Rep. David Stevens, R-Dist. 14, who represents Graham and Greenlee Counties.
Stevens is running a bill that would allow school districts to have an armed employee, providing the employee pass a state training program. Horne said the program would be a minimum of 24 hours.
“This would be strictly voluntary,” Horne said. "If we allow any teacher to have a gun in the classroom, we have the possibility of accidents. If we have no one, we risk a tragedy. This seems like a common sense middle ground.”
Under the terms of the bill, each school could have one designated employee — the employee does not have to be a teacher — be armed and the firearm would be in a secured location.
Horne closed the evening by entertaining the crowd by playing the piano.