10:55 P.M (MST)
Tuesday night local Democrats and Republicans reacted to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
The Chairwoman of the Yuma County Democratic party, Maria Chavoya, says she appreciates that the President spoke on women receiving equal pay as men and proposed raising the federal minimum wage.
On immigration reform, Chavoya believes the President could have spoken at more length, but is glad he plans to take on reform.
One particular topic that hit close to home for both parties was long voting wait times.
In his address President Obama had as an example a 102-year-old woman who waited six hours to vote.
“What occurred this past election cannot happen again,” she says. People were waiting 3, 4, 5 hours to vote. That's ridiculous."
Republicans in the area believe that the issues of gun control, the national debt, and the possibility of higher taxes are the central problems the President must face.
Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar believes many of the nation’s issues stem from the debt problem.
“I think he has mischaracterized to some degree the debt crisis,” he said in a phone interview. We need to retool things, and the promises he made concerning Medicare and Social Security and those benefits? If we do nothing they won’t be there for everybody. In fact, they won’t be there for anybody.”
Jonathan Lines, head of the Yuma County Republican Party, believes that Americans should pay close attention to Obama’s stance on raising taxes, which he believes will not solve the nation’s debt crisis.
"We have never taxed ourselves into prosperity, no nation has ever been able to tax itself into prosperity; its impossible," he says. Here in Yuma, we've lost over 120 small businesses in the last four years. They've simply been forced to close their doors because of the economic downturn, and now there are more businesses facing tough decisions as taxes have gone up and are forced to make drastic decisions on whether to expand or let someone go."