Election Victories – With Gus Booth & Juan Ciscomani: Most of the time, local elections don’t make national headlines. However, there’s some good news from the recent elections coming out of Minnesota. Also, a Patriot Academy Alum just won a seat in the U.S. Congress! Tune in to hear some surprisingly stories you may have missed!

Air Date: 11/29/2022

Guest: Gus Booth & Juan Ciscomani

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders, we’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Thanks so much for being a part of that. Check it out at wallbuilderslive.com. 

That’s the place where you can donate once or monthly. You can share programs. There’s lots of ways you can come alongside us, lock shields with us, help us get the truth out there. 

The more people that get a hold of these truths, the more likely we save this country, the more likely we restore this constitutional republic and you can be a part of all of that by visiting our websites today. wallbuilders.com and wallbuilderslive.com.

We’ve got a couple of guests that are going to be on the program today, specifically these are celebrating election victories. And I know is a mixed bag on Election Day, I know we didn’t get the red tsunami and all that good stuff, but there were a lot of good people that won. A lot of people that ran all over this country for city council, school board, state legislature, Congress, I mean, you name it. 

And we’re going to do one interview with a local race, a pastor that won a school board race and then we’re going to do a winner of a congressional race, Juan Ciscomani in Arizona, who’s actually a Patriot Academy grad and someone we’re super proud of, and he’ll be a new freshman in the new Congress when it’s sworn in January.

And so we’re going to do this because it’s a good reminder to us that every vote counts and every election counts and that we stay involved no matter what. I mean, one thing that’s so important to recognize is even if you don’t get a red tsunami or not, you’re still electing good people, you’re still making gains, you’re still building the foundation. 

We are far better off than we were a few weeks back. And we have to recognize that. These victories, even if they weren’t as many as what everybody wanted them to be, we don’t get it all at once, right, it’s incrementalism. We should celebrate these victories.

And also, I think both of our interviews today are just going to be great examples of what we’re looking for, what we want to see more of as we begin to encourage people to run for office in the next cycle. So I think you’re going to enjoy both these interview. Stay with us, folks, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders.

A Moment from AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. America is a special and unique nation. The average length for a Constitution in other countries is only 17 years. But we’ve had ours for over two centuries. And our 4% of the world’s population produces 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. And every year, we produce more inventions and technology than the other 96% of the world combined.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville of France came to America, traveled the country, and in his famous book, “Democracy in America” reported, “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. This is the origin of the phrase ‘American Exceptionalism’ and affirms that America is unique because of the distinctive ideas on which we had been based, including inalienable rights, individualism, limited government, and the importance of religion and morality.”

For more information about American Exceptionalism, go to wallbuilders.com.

Welcome Juan Ciscomani

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us man. I am so excited to have Congressman elect, Juan Ciscomani with us. Juan is a Patriot Academy grad, was Governor of Patriot Academy, served on the board of Patriot Academy. He and Laura, both Patriot Academy grads love their kids, love their family. And this is one of those seats that flipped from D to R. He was a big part of making it possible for the Republicans to take over in the House. So wJuan Ciscomani, thrilled to have you with us, man.

Juan:

Rick, thank you so much. Thanks for having me on and thanks for all the support throughout the years. I appreciate it.

Rick: Well, you’re a champ of the principles of liberty, biblical worldview, God fearing man, biblical a student, studied WallBuilders forever. So, I mean, you’re the kind of guy we want to see more of in elected office at every level. And to have you now in Congress is just huge. I mean, this is a big, big deal. And I know big change for the Ciscomani family, and I know you’re excited and going to be going into your first session. But you were also one of the closest races in the country and didn’t even know for what, a week after the election?

Juan:

Yeah, six days. The race is finally called Monday night, and that night on Tuesday was a rough night for us, things didn’t look great for our camp. But by morning on Wednesday, we were up. Never lost a lead, but it got really close and at the end we ended up winning by a point and a half. So, wow, really every vote matters.

Rick:

No doubt, man. No doubt. And for you, as a freshman going in, what does it look like? I mean, you’ve been in and around politics for years, a big part of Doug Ducey’s team as governor there in Arizona, did some amazing things there. You guys got really the best school choice plan passed in the country, really in our nation’s history and hopefully the model for other states as well. So you’ve already had a lot of experience in this arena. 

How different is to go from state to federal and frankly to have to go all the way from Tucson, Arizona to the swamp in Washington, D.C. We want our listeners just bathing you guys in prayer and covering you in prayer and your whole family. But tell us a little bit about how you see that shift from state to federal and just kind of what you expect in your first term.

A Great Victory

Juan:

Well, I’ll start with the last point that you made. Absolutely, the prayer is really is what has gotten us through this campaign, it got us through that long, long six days that week that we had in between Election Day when the race was called. And it’s going to be what sustains us. Honestly, that’s I’m a big believer in that. And for all your listeners I appreciate it and prayers they can send our way.

As you know, we have six kids and yeah, oldest, 13 and youngest is 3 and so they notice what’s going on. And this was a journey for them as well and also a great victory. And in terms of the change, obviously, there are big differences between the role of the state and the role of the federal government, and another change is also going from the staff perspective, as much as that with senior staff, with the governor for almost eight years switching over to being the elected is a transition the way obviously you view things. And as close as I was to the governor this whole time, you never really understand what it is to be the elected until you’re in that position.

But however, it really comes down to understanding the role of government; and whether it’s federal or state, you got to realize that most things the government should really just protect their liberties and let the private sector take care of the things they need to take care of. 

So I’ve always said that when bills come to my desk, what were the first question we have to ask is this the proper role of government? Can the private sector solve this? Why does it need government intervention?

The more bills you pass, the more government you create. So you got to always remember that. Is it even the federal role, or maybe it’s a state right issue more than if it is the role of government, you’ve got to look at if it’s a state or federal. Also, what does it mean for the district, obviously? And then also who’s going to pay for it? 

That’s a question I don’t think gets asked, in government overall, where is the money going to come from? So in a lot of ways, obviously, it’s different. But the philosophy of the proper role of government that applies to state and federal as well.

Rick:

So good, man. There’s so few people in any level of government ask those key questions that you’re asking. I love hearing that. You mentioned, but let’s go back to those six days, because this was a roller coaster for you and Lauren, the whole family, it’s so close, could have gone either way. You had to actually go to D.C. for orientation, not knowing if you had won. Walk us through that part, kind of how you and the family got through this highly emotional time.

An Emotional Time

Juan:

It was an emotional time because you expect that Election Day to go a certain way. And when it doesn’t, it’s like the old Mike Tyson quote, you know, everybody has a plan and so you get hit in the mouth and then you got to kind of regroup and say, okay, where do we come from? What do we do? And what do we make out of it? And what lessons should we learn? And I got to tell you, in those six days, I grew a lot spiritually and also mentally and with the family as well. 

Those were some long six days. We never lost our lead, but it got really, really close. And in that time, you have to really take steps of faith the whole time, even going to Washington, because you get invited to go as a member elect, but the race hasn’t been called. So both candidates or both members elect at that point get invited to go and when the race gets called, one of them sent back home.

Rick:

Wait, so you’re both there? You and your opponent are both in D.C. as the new members of Congress for this seat, not knowing which one’s going to actually be the new member of Congress in just a few days?

Juan:

Not knowing. I mean, they got to keep rolling with orientation: so you got to be there, we got to pay attention, you got to assume and have faith that you’re going to be the one. But it doesn’t work…

Rick:

Are like sitting next to each other? Are you across the room from each other?

Juan:

You know, they do have some sessions with both Democrats and Republicans, but then the Republicans and Democrats break out and they do their own thing as well. But in this case, I didn’t see her. So I don’t think she actually went that she took the invite. I don’t know. I never confirmed.

But I never saw her.

Rick:

That would have been so weird if you were like sitting next to each other.

Juan:

Everything goes through your mind, right, how are you going to act and everything?

Rick:

Yeah. But you knew at any minute you could get sent home, that they could call it the other way and basically say, okay, it was nice having you here for half an orientation, you’re out of here?

Nervous

Juan:

And it’s happened before, I mean, any time. It’s happened last session, it happened to someone that got sent home, I think, towards the end of the week. So it’s a journey. It’s a step of faith that you have to take. 

But as I told my kids, I said, this is what pushes you through. This is what do you do. And I got to admit, when you’re in that situation, you get a certain level of being nervous. 

Throughout the whole election, no big debates or commercials or polls that you’re seeing or obviously Election Day, and I took my kids, all six of them, and I said, well, listen, guys, we’re going to find out the final result when we’re not together because I’ll be in D.C. and you guys will be here and we have to be ready to take the news which whichever way. 

But we have to know that however you feel right now is not nervous or whatever it is. And I do as well. It’s not if we feel that way that we do things, that’s really what we do when we feel that way because we all feel a certain level of being nervous or even a little anxious about things in life.

So this was a big lesson for our family of saying, hey, we feel a certain way, but we got to push through it by faith and also by conviction, and that we did the right thing in this campaign and we finished strong. So that’s what we did. My God, I mean, the result came down in our favor there that Monday night, and I was able to focus a lot better Tuesday through Friday, I’ll tell you that.

Rick:

Well, what a great lesson, though, for your kids and for you, obviously, but I mean, for the kids. and just recognizing you don’t make your decision based on how you’re feeling, that you do it based on faith and the facts and the analysis and using your brain and not just your feelings. I mean, I just think that’s a great lesson for you guys. What was it temperature like in D.C.? 

I mean, new majority Republicans, I guess at some point during that week the Republican Party knew that they were going to take the majority, so I’m assuming that was kind of a given and probably exciting, I would think there was a good energy there for that?

The Main Things

Juan:

Yeah, a lot of good energy. A lot of good energy. There’s a lot of optimism, a lot of the plans that we’ve been making and set out by leadership, they’re really on the horizon to be executed. So that was all good for us when the majority was really the start of taking our country back. And it started with the House, we were hoping for the Senate as well, didn’t get it on this round, but we feel still very optimistic about Georgia going well and also taking back the Senate and the White House in 2024.

But a lot of it is going to have to do with how we do in the House, how do we perform. Do we fulfill the commitments? And I know that we’re determined and convicted that we are going to do that. So we’re going to set the example and want to hold this administration as accountable as the House can through oversight of the agencies and also having the power of the purse. 

Those are the main two things. And we’re going to deliver what we promised and the American people are going to see that. And we’re hoping to go back and finish the job with the Senate and the White House in 24.

Rick:

Love it. Love it, man. Well, excited for you. I know it’s been a long, what do you been at it, a year and a half, two years, when did you start campaigning?

Juan:

We launched in early August, and obviously before then, you know this, you start prepping, making phone calls. So really, it’s been almost about 18, 20 month journey with this thing. And of course, the closer we got, the more intense it got and the more time commitment. But it’s been a wonderful opportunity only here in this country.

Rick, I got to tell you, you know that I was born in Mexico. So with this election, we became the first immigrant in the history of Arizona to win a congressional seat. And it’s by, I honestly, only in this country we’ve always said only here could an immigrant come here, my dad has been a bus driver his whole life and he told me, where else in the world could we have our story? He’s like, we come to the country, immerse in the culture, learn English, we become U.S. citizens. 

He said, I drive a bus my whole life and now my son has a shot of becoming a member of the United States Congress. This is on the campaign. And he said, where else in the world? And I’m like, no where. And now what happens? 

Now I am a member elect and I’ll be the first immigrant member in Arizona’s history to be a member here in Arizona for the U.S. Congress. And only this country would allow that, and only God can do that as well. So I’m humbled and I’m ready to go to work.

Rick:

I love it. I love it. I saw one of your posts. I can’t remember what where I was looking, but it was basically say and started, but I can’t remember delivering or I can’t hear what you said you were doing. I worked in a restaurant or something. It was like, you learned how to have work ethic and humble beginnings. 

And you’ve applied that throughout your whole life to everything you did, whether it was your education or the things that you did prior to going into the government realm. It’s just a great story, and like you said, only in America.

And these are the kind of stories that I think we need to be elevating because people they’ve lost faith in a lot of our institutions because of the corruption, the people that take advantage of it and all of that. And so having people like you, like I was talking to about Lauren Boebert story the other day in her book starting, you know, McDonald’s at the drive thru and just learning that work ethic and all of those things. I think that’s the kind of people we need in Congress and need in Washington. So you’re an inspiration, man, to so many of us, and I think it’s going to give hope to a lot of our listeners.

Juan:

Well, thanks, man. I appreciate that. And my story is just happen to be highlighted in this cycle, but there are so great stories out there. The way you’re referring to that, my dad and I used to wash cars in the foothills area in Tucson, which is in that area, and now my office sits just a couple of blocks away from where I used to watch cars with my dad when I was a young kid. And again, I worked at Wendy’s, so we say from Wendy’s to Washington. Everybody has a car wash story per se or a Wendy’s story or a McDonald’s story, a story that you started somewhere and you went out.

And, I mean, look at your own story. The thing is that we just don’t highlighted enough. We have this notion of we’re going down the drain and everything so bad and there are definitely things to fix. But I’ll tell you, I would rather be here than anywhere else in the world. And I’m going to fight to keep this country and the American dream alive.

Rick:

Amen. No doubt about it. Wendy’s to Washington: you have to talk to Lauren and start the fast food coalition, they probably to have that…

Juan:

You know, I met her over at orientation. We got to hang out with some of the existing members there for a bit, so I got to see a lot of people.

Rick:

Well, I’m claiming both of you, because she’s a constitutional live grad and you’re a Patriot Academy grad for everything we’ve done and just cool, man. Just very, very cool. Of course, I know you’re not going to do a fast food coalition because you’re like in tip-top shape, so you wouldn’t need a fast food, but…

Juan:

Yeah. Tofu Coalition out there.

Rick:

That’s great. Well, God bless you, man. We’re going to challenge all of our listeners to be praying for you and Laura throughout the transition part and throughout Congress as well. And just appreciate you take the time to come on with us, man.

Juan:

You got it, man. Anytime. Thanks, Rick.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

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Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Got one of our victories on the phone with us, a school board race up in Minnesota, Pastor Gus Booth. Pastor, thanks so much for coming on, brother.

Welcome Pastor Gus Booth

Gus:

You’re very welcome. Good to talk with you, Rick. I wish I was in Texas, but we got a blizzard going on up here.

Rick:

Yeah, it’s like 90 degrees here, bro.

Gus:

Oh, you got to rub it in, huh? [

Rick:

Yeah, I always rub it in. No, listen, I think people might be saying, wait, Rick, you said won a school board race and pastor in the same sentence, which I think is a fantastic thing. How much of a hurdle was that for you when you decided to run, and people said, oh, wait a minute, separation of church and state and all that good stuff?

Gus:

Well, I’m pretty politically active, so my congregation and the community almost expected it at some point in my life. But I understand all of the wait a minute, people in the evangelical world that say don’t cross-pollinate those issues. But I’m not one of those people.

Rick:

Love it. Love it. Love it, man. Well, we’re all thrilled, of course, that you ran, and David said, man, we got to get Gus on in and talk about his race. And so tell us what’s the school district and where in Minnesota are you?

Gus:

Okay, we’re in Warroad, Minnesota. That’s six miles south of the Canadian border. I’ve got Canadians in my congregation every week just because we’re so close to the border. But that little blip on the top of Minnesota, that right where that goes north, that’s where our community is. We are up here.

Rick:

So tell us about this school board now. Are you the first churchgoing conservative to run? Are you going to be outnumbered or did you have several people running with you?

Gus:

No, not at all. Like so there was a school board member already attending our church and she was like, you got to run. And I’m like, well, if you can convince my wife to let me run, I’ll do it. And so she did and I ran and won. And one of the cool things is another pastor in the community, his wife also ran and got elected. And we didn’t even know each other were running. 

We didn’t like collaborate together. So we both got elected. And with the current school board member that is already on there and then there’s another one too, there will be four of the six that are Jesus- following, Jesus-loving, bonafide, born again Christians on the board.

Rick:

Oh, man, that’s fantastic. I mean, that’s what we need more of. That’s salt and light. You’re influencing the culture, you’re influencing the neighborhood, you’re influencing the schools with good common sense, you know…

Gus:

Yeah. One of the coolest things you’ll I think your listeners will love this, so at the candidate symposium that we had the week before the election, I commented on how we really should be teaching the historical value of the Bible in public school and just kind of that angle. I also said we should teach intelligent design right alongside the theory of evolution. It sounds a little nervous saying that in my community because those aren’t super popular topics for public schools.

 But after that, one of the public school teachers came up to me whom I didn’t know, and he said, I want to teach that class. I want to teach the class about the Bible as a historical, valuable piece of literature because you can’t teach it as a worshipful book or…

Rick:

Right. But he teaches history and literature and all those things. Yeah.

Gus:

I mean. It was fantastic. And I thought to myself, what if I wouldn’t have said that publicly? What if I would have just tried to do that kind of outside of the public’s knowledge and it would have been so much harder. And I really taught me more and more that all we need to do as Christians is just stand up and preach biblical values.

What A Difference

Sure, sometimes people are going to get in our face and call us haters or whatever. But you know what? Sometimes people are going to be appreciative. And now we got a public school teacher willing to teach that class.

Rick:

That’s awesome, man. Honestly, even as just a history book, literature book, if we had that back in the classroom and kids being able to just read those stories and learn those basic values and gleaned from it as they will, just what a difference our nation would be.

Gus:

Yeah, but most people don’t think that you can even do that. And there’s over 3500 public schools in our nation that have done that. And the world is going to be the next one.

Rick:

I love it. I love it, man. Well, what would you say is your advice to people listening that might think, yeah, I don’t know if I need even pay attention to the local schools anymore or I don’t know if anybody from our church could get elected? We always talk ourselves out of doing what needs to be done.

Gus:

Well, that day is going to come. That day will come in America, where nobody who loves Jesus is really going to be able to get elected and have people know that they love Jesus. But that day has not come in this community. And now I’m in a position with the other people on the board to be able to shape more and more minds, to not be so quiet about what God wants us to shout from the rooftops.

Rick:

Yeah. I mean, to be silent now when we desperately need it and for people to realize they can make a difference, that it’s not this other world of of all the I used to think as when I was young, it was, oh, yeah, I’m from the wrong side of the tracks: you got to be wealthy and you got to have all the right connections and all those things to make a difference. People need to realize they’ve got a voice and that voice needs to be heard, as you’re say, and not be silent. They can make a difference.

Gus:

Amen. I am the most average of average men. I’m not overly smart. I’m not overly handsome. I’m not overly anything like, I am just so average. But what I am not average at is obeying my God, I am above average of that and I want to continue to be that. And that’s what He’s after. He’s after those of us that have just realized that there is a God and He loves us, He wants us to influence our culture, to just stand up and do something about it and some good stuff can happen.

Rick:

Yeah. Amen. Amen. Well, brother, God bless you. Thank you for running. Thank you for just being willing to invest that time and energy and focus and all of those things. And looking forward to getting a good report from you.

Gus:

Hey, man, I look forward to giving one of my friend.

It’s Never Wasted Time

Rick:

Special thanks to both of our guest, Juan Ciscomani, new member of Congress and Gus Booth, new school board member up in Minnesota. You know, local is where our lives are most affected. Those races are the ones that are going to impact your yard. They’re going to impact your backyard. They’re going to impact your children. 

They’re going to impact your business, all of these things the most. And so the local races we definitely want to pay attention to. We’ve always paid attention to here at WallBuilders and encouraged people to run.

And I cannot even tell you I wish we did a better job of keeping up with all of the people that have run for office: local, state, federal, you name it, from WallBuilders and from Patriot Academy and they got involved because of these things and then won. I mean, we had a lot of people that ran that didn’t win, but we had a whole lot of people that did win. 

And over the last few years, that’s just been multiplied exponentially. The local races, especially because we had races in 2021, the midterms, of course, in even years in this case, 2022. But in the off years, there’s also a lot of states that still have their local elections and then some states that have their big elections like Virginia in 2021.

Election Victories – With Gus Booth & Juan Ciscomani

So we’re always involved, always paying attention. We never get to just completely check out folks. Whether we have the big red tsunami or we’re just make an incremental gains, we never get to check out, we never get to say we’re done. What we need to say is you’re not done until you’re six feet under. I mean, you’re not done. 

If you’re above ground, you’re not done if you’ve still got breath in you. And every single one of us has something to offer and something that we can do to help preserve this nation. So I love having candidates on the win. I also like interview people that lose, that lost their race. I’ve lost and won. I promise you, I learned a lot more from the races I lost than the races that I won. 

And actually, probably 50/50 I probably lost as many races as I won, especially if you, well, I guess if you count primaries, maybe I won more than I lost.

But anyway, the point is, I want to say thank you to all of those candidates out there that are listening that ran for office and did not win. Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for giving of your time, energy and money. And every minute you spent on the campaign trail, you were winning hearts and minds, you were influencing hearts and minds. 

So even if you didn’t win the election and you’re not going to be serving like Congressman Ciscomani, and like our school board member now, Gus Booth, you still one in terms of impacting the culture, in terms of being a force multiplier. And that’s what we’re asking everyone to do. 

Not everyone run for office, but everyone become a force multiplier, become a Constitution coach, become someone that shares these things and teaches these things and encourages others. And it begins in our homes and our church and our local communities. That’s what we’re asking everyone out there to do. Get involved, make a difference.

Special thanks to our guests today. Thank you for listening though. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders.