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Why I'm Running For Congress

During extraordinary times, people are often called to uncommon things and these are certainly extraordinary times.

My name is Karl Gentles and I am running for Congress in 2020 to serve Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. I’ve lived in Arizona for 34 years, this district has been my home for more than 18 years.

I’m running for Congress because I care about my district and community deeply and I have always been about giving back. I am vested here in this district. This district is my home.

Now, I want to do even more.

My focus is on getting things done AND making a difference for Arizona in education, job creation and economic development.

Arizona is ready for a candidate who reflects our district’s changing demographics and that’s why I am the right person at the right time to represent this District. 

Many of you know me, but for my new friends, please let me share some background and, with your help, I will accomplish for the sixth Congressional district and the people of Arizona.

As Executive Director of nonprofit Back to School Clothing Drive, I’ve made a difference in the lives of 250,000 Title I public elementary school students supporting their educational advancement and success. In this role, I’ve worked with over 263 schools and 30 school districts across Maricopa County including elementary schools and districts in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, and more. Civic partners that know our work and volunteer with us every year include National Charities League, Boys Team Charities, Jack and Jill of Phoenix, and others. Corporate and foundation partners include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Grand Canyon University, Discover Financial, Fiesta Bowl, BHHS Legacy Foundation, and many others.

First with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, then with USAA as a member of each executive leadership team, we completed largest job creation project in the past two decades. The USAA project created more than 3,000 direct and multiple indirect jobs and continues to be a driving economic engine for the northwest section of our district. I am proud of the work we accomplished and the impact we have made on families in Arizona and specifically our district. We worked closely with the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona along the way leading to building relationships that last over time.

At Bank One (now JP Morgan Chase here in Phoenix) I ran the community and economic development division traveling the state and the Bank’s western region to create economic opportunity for low-and-moderate income communities. This work included delivering banking and financial services to Native American communities throughout the state.

And I had the honor and privilege of serving in the office of Senator John McCain. There I learned the power of duty, honor, principals, decency and placing country above party, core values I’ve retained to this day. I learned that governing and the work gets done in between the lines and not at the extreme and partisan edges of the parties. I learned that doing what is right is more important than political ideology even though its more difficult. 

I grew up as an Air Force brat, my father served in the USAF for 33-years retiring as a Chief Master Seargent. I’m married to a 29-year retired Army reservist. As a kid, we moved around a lot – uprooted every 4-5 years. I learned to make fast friends and cultivated the ability to understand, relate, and truly hear people from different backgrounds.

We need more of that from political leaders who have the ability to listen, hear, understand and make decisions from that wiser more informed place. 

And doing what’s right – sadly, is a lost art in Washington, D.C. So, when you send me to Congress, we will replace inaction with action and we will do it with a big dose of Arizona common sense.

My campaign is focused on building and advancing our district’s high quality of life. That means:

  • PROTECTING WORKING FAMILIES, who are one lost paycheck away from losing a home, one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy.
  • JOBS, creating new, effective pathways for people to participate fully in our economy.
  • ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND DEVELOPMENT, and business success for the big guys and the little guys.
  • TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER, including veterans, seniors and our own parents and kids.
  • And SAYING “NO” TO SPECIAL INTERESTS to those who try to convince us to compromise our values.

These priorities are straight forward but not easy. But they are all achievable when YOU get involved.

This is OUR time to stop talking and do something!

In extraordinary times, people are called to do uncommon things.

We are in uncommon times and we need something extraordinary to change this country.

It’s a big job and yes it will be hard, but it’s okay. As our Phoenix Suns’ coach Monty Williams put it: “Before success there is hard.”

I am running for Congress because, TOGETHER, we can do what’s hard. We can do the uncommon, the extraordinary. I say ‘we’ because I cannot do this alone. I ask for your support and your vote. 

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