CASA GRANDE — The race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District seat just got more crowded for the Republicans. Nolan Reidhead, a business attorney from Oro Valley, has announced he is joining the race.

Reidhead will compete with Pinal County native Tiffany Shedd and Chris Taylor from Safford for the Republican nomination.

The winner of the Republican nomination will then have to compete against the candidate who wins the Democratic nomination. Those running for the Democratic nomination are incumbent Tom O’Halleran, former state Sen. Barbara McGuire of Kearny and former Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova.

Reidhead said he has been active in politics all of his life, as a precinct committeeman and a regular voter, but never considered a run for office until now.

“The last few years, seeing the decay in constitutional protections, the progression toward socialism, the decay in civility and the decay in the quality of life in this country,” Reidhead said, pushed him toward running for office.

If elected, Reidhead said he would work with President Donald Trump to build the border wall and secure the country’s borders from illegal immigration. He would also work to reform immigration rules to make sure that the laws governing work visas are enforced, especially when it comes to workers overstaying their visa.

“I want people to obey the law,” Reidhead, who has been a business attorney for more than 20 years, said.

He pledged to fight for small business owners when it comes to government regulations and lower taxes.

“My father was a business owner, my grandfather was a business owner, my brothers are business owners, my uncles and I am a business owner,” he said. “I have a passion for small businesses. I know a lot of the concerns that small business owners in the rural parts of this state are facing.”

“Small rural businesses are frustrated,” he said. “They don’t feel they have a voice. I can be that voice for them.”

Reidhead said he will also fight for the constitutional rights of his constituents. There’s been an erosion of freedom of religion and freedom of speech over the last few years, he said. Democratic candidates for national and state offices have been demonizing churches for their stance on issues and fining people for what they say, he said.

“I believe everyone should be able to practice their religion in the way they feel is best,” he said.

He is also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Reidhead said his entire family enjoys practice shooting and hunting.

He also feels that people have a right to protect themselves, and laws like California’s “red flag law” have him concerned.

The law allows California police or family members to petition a state court for an order to temporarily remove guns and other weapons from the home of those considered to be a danger to themselves or others. A similar law was proposed in Arizona but died in the Arizona Legislature.

“It allows police to enter a home without a search warrant or probable cause,” he said.

Reidhead said he would also advocate for the rights of veterans. His grandfather and father-in-law are veterans, he said. And his son is currently serving in the Navy.

Veterans should be able to choose the health care they want to receive, including getting treatment from a doctor who does not work for a Veterans Affairs medical center, if they wish, he said.

Reidhead said he would also strengthen the services provided by the VA for veterans to make sure they can get the care they need.

Reidhead said he believes his experience as a small rural business owner, a gun owner and as the son and grandson of veterans can provide a voice for rural Arizona in Congress.