In an attempt to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, Delina DiSanto is seeking the Democratic nomination for a Congressional District 4 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The businessperson and former nurse, who previously ran two times, spoke with the Foothills Focus about her campaign goals; the inspiration behind her candidacy; and her previous experience, political or otherwise.
In your own words, why are you
running for this position?
I am running because the people of Congressional District 4 and Arizona deserve a better representative that is going to be able to work for them and not for their own self-interest. Paul Gosar has been paying more attention to white supremacists. He’s been palling with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. He even started it back in 2014 with Cliven Bundy when he was trying to get the insurrectionists there to go up against the government with guns. I think it is about time that Congressional District 4 has someone that is actually going to work for them and be able to help them find jobs, get jobs, have affordable health care and a better education. Our state is one of the lowest in public education. We’ve got to fight for that, and that is not what Paul Gosar is doing.
Why specifically did you choose
Congressional District 4 to run in?
I live in Congressional District 4. The subdivision in which my home was and will be is in Tonto Hills subdivision, which is right up against the Tonto National Forest, and that subdivision is in Congressional District 4. I was looking at which race I would like to run in, and I saw that Paul Gosar was one of our worst representatives and that we deserve better, and so that’s why I decided to run against him.
How many times have you run for a congressional position?
I have run against Paul Gosar in 2018, and I lost in the primary by less than 5%. I got into that race late, but I did lose by less than 5%. In 2020, I won the primary and went up against Paul Gosar and lost. So now, I think with all the attention that this race is bringing and the resources that I have a great chance of being able to beat Paul Gosar — and mainly because of the name recognition also.
What are some of the things that you learned from previous runs that will help you this time around?
Networking and reaching out to more people here in Arizona and across the nation. Being able to raise the resources that are so necessary for this race. To run a congressional race takes a lot of money, and it takes a lot of support. To be honest, we have to be able to raise that money and reach out to the voters to say what it is that I am going to do for them. That I am actually going to work for them and that we need to just raise these resources and bring the attention to the race that is so necessary to win this congressional seat.
What previous experience do you have within politics?
I used to work for former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell in Colorado. I used to go around the country and to Washington, D.C. and be able to bring back what legislation is going on and what is being passed and then do town halls all over Colorado for him, be able to bring the message of the work that is being done in D.C. for Colorado. I was able to reach out to people. I learned so much about the western states in regard to the water supply and the education for our children. It enlightened me to be able to say, you know what, we need to be able to have health care. Also, I was a finance director and I’m also a registered nurse, and I realized that we need to have affordable health care. I’m bringing all of these experiences into this race and into the position to be able to work for the people here in Congressional District 4.
What does the role of a district congressperson mean to you and mean to the community?
People want to have a quality of life that they know they feel safe; that they have a job; that they have security; that they are able to live their life and not live it in chaos, confusion and fear. I believe that is what I will bring to Congressional District 4 — that we need to not have all of this anger and hatred and fear being spewed by Paul Gosar, because it just makes for more anger and fear. People just want to go on about their lives, and we need to be able to do that. I will do that for the people of Congressional District 4. I am here to work for them. I am not here to be self-serving as Paul Gosar is. He wants to create this big lie, and he’s led the insurrection. He’s a traitor to our country, and that is not what our people in Congressional District 4 need. They need somebody that is stable and is going to be able to work for them and bring a quality of life to them that they need so that they can feel that they can move on, that they are not always in chaos — that has to stop.
Has the pandemic impacted your campaign?
Not necessarily, as we all have become more comfortable with Zoom meetings and telephone interviews. We have been able to reach out to people through Zoom town halls and through telephone calls and social media. It has impacted the fact that I am not face to face with many of my voters and supporters. But the Zoom meetings have been very efficient in regard to being able to reach out. Still, I do like being out on the road. I do like meeting up with people and just hearing them face to face on the issues that they would like to have me hear. I want to be able to get back to that, but the pandemic has actually been able for us to reach even more people because of Zoom meetings. They feel more comfortable at home getting on a Zoom meeting than sometimes going out to a town hall meeting.
Tell me more about your personal life.
I went and finished up my nursing degree at Arizona State University. I’m a registered nurse and have a Bachelor of Science in nursing. My husband (Dave) and I own a construction company (called DiSanto Builders). We have owned it for many, many years together — for over 30 years. We do construction work, remodeling and building homes. (I live with) my husband … and also I have a son (named David) and a daughter (named Dakota), and they both also graduated from Arizona State University (and live in Arizona). We also have a Jack Russell terrier, Archie, and a tabby named Simba.
Is there anything else you would like the community to know about you on why they should vote for you?
The main reason is because Paul Gosar has been pushing his own agenda of this sedition and not focusing on the needs of the people here in Congressional District 4 or Arizona. He hasn’t been focusing on his job, and his job is for the people. It’s not for white supremacists and traitors and seditionists. I want people to know that we must get rid of Paul Gosar to be able to move Arizona forward and get people back into jobs and feeling comfortable in their quality of life that they want to have. I plan on doing that, and I will fight for them. They are worth fighting for, and I will fight for them tooth and nail.
For more information about Delina DiSanto, go to delinadisanto.com or follow her on Twitter @delina4az.