Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich presented his election agenda as a candidate for US Senate to the Serbian and Balkan communities in Chicago on Sunday.
At the promotion held at the Compass Arena, he promised to his compatriots that he will fight for lower taxes and better conditions for those who work and earn, also against crime, and with respect for traditional family values, also supporting education without “cancel culture” ideology. Brnovich supporters expressed hope that he would become the second senator of Serbian descent in the history of the United States.
The event was opened by hosts Kristina Dobrašinović and Antonije Kovačević, and then the guests were addressed by lawyer John Ostojich, who thanked everyone for their support on behalf of the host Rade Dobrašinović, owner of MGR Freight System. Ostojich made an introduction for Brnovich with a few words about life and the career of Marko Brnovich.
He reminded us of his origin and the principles he stands for, after which he gave the floor to the distinguished guest.
– The American Constitution is what binds us all, regardless of who we are, where we come from and what political attitudes we have. When President Biden and his administration threaten the security of the American border and its citizens, in all these cases it is no longer a question of whether we are for this or that, but whether we will defend the Constitution and laws, fight for their implementation or let them be driven by anarchy and chaos. When we talk about border security, we are talking about national security. It happens to us that hundreds of thousands of people cross the border every year, and among them there are many who are involved in crime, drug and human trafficking, which puts us in a very dangerous situation, said Mark Brnovich.
He pointed out that he was not a politician and that he was not interested in politics until he realized that there are few politicians among whom the rule of law is important, which is why he entered the race for senator.
-At the time when I first ran for public position, no one expected me to do anything, everyone laughed and made jokes about my strange, Serbian last name, and my friends from Fox, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, they often do that even today. My father is an Orthodox Serb from Montenegro, my mother is a Serb from Split, Dalmatia, and my dream is for the Serbian community to get its representative in Washington, as well as all those Orthodox peoples living in America who are not currently represented by anyone : Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, Armenians, Georgians, Macedonians and everyone else, the Republican candidate pointed out.
Primary elections in Arizona are expected on August 2, after which it will be known who will run against Democrat candidate Mark Kelly in November.
He underlined that the United States is a country built by immigrants, and that new generations of immigrants should be allowed to come and show how valuable and capable they are.
– That will not happen if this country continues to kill businesses with taxes and to spend unlimitedly. We will lose what is America’s driving force, the free market that motivates people to work and earn.
Brnovich also commented on the rage in energy prices, which daily lowers the standard of living of citizens and endangers their businesses:
– We saw what happened after the Biden administration stopped the exploitation of fossil fuels and gas pipelines. We are all witnesses to the impact of the prices of gasoline and oil to the economy, whether it is the transport industry or restaurants. The problem is that people in Washington don’t see it. Rich, powerful people, who have been sitting in Congress and the Senate for years, have no ears to deal with the lives of ordinary citizens. That is why we need to win this battle, for that voice of ordinary people to be heard where important decisions are made, concluded Brnovich.
If he is elected senator in November, Mark Brnovich will become only the second senator of Serbian origin in history. The first was George Voinovich, who served as a Ohio senator for three terms, from 1999 to 2011.
For that to happen, Brnovich must defeat far richer, financially more powerful opponents, backed by big companies or influential people like Donald Trump. The former president, who blamed Brnovich for not fighting hard enough to prove election fraud, recently backed Blake Masters.
– After the elections in 2020, I told President Trump that I love him very much and support his policy, but that I cannot stand behind something that I cannot prove in court. A few months ago, he called me again to talk, and then he continued the phone conversation with my mother, and that was hilarious, a real Balkan discussion where they interrupted each other non-stop.
“Maria, your son is a dangerous guy (tough guy), you Serbs are dangerous guys, dangerous!”, Brnovich immitated Trump’s voice.
“She asked him if he would run again, and he answered with a counter-question: “What do you think, should I run in 2024, honestly?”, Brnovich recounted the details of the conversation with the former president, which made the audience laugh.
Then, Steve Slepchevich, a Serbian businessman from California and the owner of the company Strategic Response Partners, which deals with securing American borders in countries such as Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, addressed the audience. He spoke about the difficult situation and conflicts with drug cartels, human and sex traffickers.
His speech was followed by an invitation to donors to help Brnovich’s campaign and an auction of unique weapons by Zastava Arms USA, the exclusive representative of Kragujevac-based Zastava Oružje in America. Instead of the justifiably absent owner Ranko Ristic, weapons specialist Ben Vanerson addressed the audience.
He presented the weapons that were offered at the auction that day, starting with ZPAP M70 semi-automatic rifle gilded with 24 carat gold, with a wooden coverings specially engraved for this auction. In addition to this beauty, there was also a CZ 999 Scorpion gun caliber 9mm packed in a hand-carved box made of walnut wood, as well as a hunting carbine LK M70.
In the end, the highest price was reached by the gilded Serbian Kalashnikov ZPAP M70, for which the owner of the company Strategic Response Partners, Steva Slepčević, paid $ 9,500. The money from the sale went to the benefit of Marko Brnovich’s campaign, who did not fail to point out that he loudly supports the Second Amendment and the right of citizens to be armed.
The candidate for senator also pointed out that he is a legalist when it comes to the death penalty, and since it is provided by law in Arizona, he tries to implement it in extreme cases.
– A few days ago, we had an execution in Arizona for a man who brutally killed an eight-year-old girl 38 years ago. And then it happened that that man, just before serving his sentence, became an Orthodox monk of the Greek Orthodox Church. I was called from their church, they have asked ask me what I would do about it. I said I would just enforce the Law. And the law says that this man deserved to be punished, because of the gravity of the crime he committed, and because of the crime he previously committed in California. Because that girl’s family deserves to see justice in action.
A total of about 50,000 dollars was collected from donations, and it should be said that in addition to Serbs from Chicago and the surrounding area, Serbian people from Indiana and Wisconsin, such as Miroslav Majko Jovic, president of the Church-School Community of St. Sava in Milwaukee, also provided donor support.
Mark Brnovich spent several hours talking to the audience, together with the guests enjoying the top specialties of the chef of Compas Arena Kristina Milivojčević (Chef Kiki), promising at the end of the gathering that if he wins the elections in November, he will come to Chicago to celebrate entering Senate.
Article BY: Antonije Kovačević Photo: Private archive