Candidates for public office have diverse backgrounds that can influence their ideology and approaches to solving different types of problems. It is one of the reasons why a candidate’s biography is often worth paying attention to. One candidate whose biography certainly shaped his conservative viewpoints is Michael Carbone, who is running for the State House of Representatives in Arizona’s 25th legislative district. Carbone was born in Illinois, and if you are envisioning a stereotypical, tough, growing up on the mean streets type of biography, you are on the right track.
According to the biography on his website (ConservativesForCarbone.com) Michael Carbone was born to a mother struggling with her own demons. He never knew his biological father, and his mother’s subsequent marriages culminated in an abusive environment that Michael was rescued from by his grandparents. Like many kids who grew up in tough situations, he flirted with bad decisions, including a DUI when he was 19, and he knew he was missing out on the secure home life that a lot of other kids had. But his grandparents remained steadfast. According to Carbone, “As a result of my own upbringing, I’ve always placed special emphasis on family, faith, roots, and making sure that people in my own family know they matter to me.”
Carbone is a Christian, active in his community, and has been an active Republican for most of his life. The Chicago area was not an ideal place for a conservative Republican, and Carbone was often the target of attacks from the liberal machine as a result of his political activity, but he remained active in local school districts, where he cut spending and fought for lower tax rates.
Eventually though, it became clear that Chicago was a lost cause, and he and his wife packed their family and moved to Arizona where they could “breathe free air.” But Carbone soon recognized signs of the same liberalism that ruined states like Illinois starting to appear in his new home state. So he re-engaged and even served as GOP district chairman for what was then legislative district 13.
Now he is a candidate because, under the new district lines, one of his State Representatives is Joel John, the most liberal Republican in the entire legislature. Carbone has taken issues with John’s liberal record on everything from illegal immigration to education, to school choice, to taxes and spending, congressional term limits, and more. But his attempts to campaign on the issues has been challenging, because his biography is once again center stage, as John’s supporters have aggressively been pushing stories out about Carbone’s DUI, an assault/trespass charge when Carbone was the designated driver for a group and tangled with an aggressive bouncer, and even trying to raise suspicions about Carbone legally changing his last name to Carbone.
“The bouncer stuff was a nothing burger and got tossed because I wasn’t causing problems, I was there as the designated driver and I didn’t want to leave until I had all of my passengers out of the place. And the name change thing is funny because all I did was change my last name back to the name I was born with. It was my mother who changed my last name when I was just an infant, after she married for the second time. I had to be of a legal age to change it back myself, and these clowns are trying to make it seem like I was trying to hide my identity or something, just to try to make me look bad. I just wanted my real name back.” said Carbone, when we asked him about the Joel John campaign attacks.
“I can tell you from experience that liberals, whether they are Chicago liberals or Arizona liberals, both play dirty, both rely on personal attacks because they can’t win an ideological debate, and both go after your reputation and your family without hesitation. Liberalism is a disease that poisons the mind and rots the soul, no matter what state or city you are in.” said Carbone, adding that he wasn’t going to back down from the ugly tactics, “Every one of us needs to fight to make sure Arizona remains the same conservative state that my wife and I moved our family for.”
The Republican primary is August 2nd and in this newly-drawn and heavily Republican district, no Democrats are even running, which means a win in the primary is tantamount to election in November.