Rep Jonathan Paton on Lou Dobbs Tonight

I spoke with Representative Paton this morning about his upcoming deployment. Following up on my last post, several stories have run on Jonathan’s upcoming deployment. Tonight, he was featured on Lou Dobbs in a brief expose on his service. Look for additional stories to appear including one in the New York Times.

It’s no secret of my personal endorsement of Jonathan in his bid for re-election. I think he has done a great job and stands out as someone who approaches his work and service very seriously and with principled conviction. This is clear in his comittment to fighting terrorism. My prayers will be with him both in his pursuit for re-election and his pursuit to bring Democracy to Iraq.

Here is the transcript from the Lou Dobbs show that aired tonight:

Well, tonight, we bring you the story of Arizona State Representative Jonathan Paton. He’s a strong advocate of U.S. border security and national security, but he’s putting his politics on hold to serve our country in Iraq. Bill Tucker reports.(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jonathan Paton grew up in Arizona, in the district he now represents in the state legislature. He’s just finishing up his first term and running for reelection. But if he wants to vote in that election, he will have to use an absentee ballot.

State Representative Jonathan Paton is about to depart on a tour of active duty in Iraq. Paton is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserves. He’s been a reservist for the past seven years. He volunteered for active duty last year.

JONATHAN PATON, ARIZONA STATE HOUSE: Citizen soldiers do this every day. They juggle their careers and they juggle service to their country. And it’s not easy, especially because more of the reserve force is being used today than ever before. But I really felt a debt of gratitude for the country because of everything I’ve been given as a citizen.

TUCKER: Part of that juggling means leaving his future as a politician in the hands of his campaign workers.

PATON: I’ll miss the last 12 days of the primary, and I’ll be missing the general, but I think I’m running on my record and I’ve got a good record to run on. And I think it really fits the values that my district has.

TUCKER: A record which includes a recently enacted state law on illegal alien smuggling, which gives Arizona law enforcement the power to crack down on those who smuggle aliens across the border into the United States. His sponsorship of the legislation was driven by the realities in his district, which includes counties that run along the U.S./Mexico border.

Paton is scheduled to be on active duty for six months.


TUCKER: Jonathan Paton supports the war in Iraq, and he says he’s simply backing that support with personal action. Paton is the only politician currently serving to pull active duty in Iraq, Kitty.

PILGRIM: How does he feel about going?

TUCKER: Well, it’s very funny. We asked him that question. And he said he’s more afraid of going and embarrassing himself and not doing a good job than he is about being shot at, actually.

PILGRIM: When is he leaving?

TUCKER: He leaves this month. He didn’t give us a date, but he deploys in the fall.

PILGRIM: He has our best wishes with him. Thanks very much, Bill Tucker.

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