Frank Pratt is deeply rooted in his legislative district.
Born in Florence, Arizona, Pratt is a small businessman living in Casa Grande and representing Arizona’s eighth legislative district in the state Senate.
Pratt has been an Arizona legislator since 2009 when he was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives and was elected to the state Senate in 2018.
Chamber Business News talked to Pratt about his work in the Senate, what he finds rewarding in public service and his love for scuba diving.
Question: How did you decide to get into politics?
Answer: It’s an extension of public service. You know, we are members of chambers of commerces or we are members of Rotary clubs and you just think that you can help and you get involved.
I didn’t have an agenda that I was trying to pursue or anything else. It was just trying to make Arizona a better place.
Q: What was your favorite legislation you have worked on?
A: I did some fun stuff. I did some legislation for electric motorcycles. I did some legislation for some new technology…working with new electric technology and you have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Those are kind of fun.
They’re just business for the state of Arizona, they’re not necessarily glamorous, they’re just things that you just do because it needs to be done.
I like to work on business issues. Everything, a lot of business issues that go through the chambers of commerce, technology, things like natural resources, energy, all of those types of issues are my favorites.
Q: Why are business issues your favorite?
A: I feel like you come here, you are like a blank slate and you have an opportunity to just pick up on types of issues that you feel comfortable with and [those are] the issues I work on mostly. They’re usually business issues and as a businessman growing up and being involved in business, this is just kind of a natural extension.
Q: What are your priorities for next session?
A: I don’t have them yet. We’re still taking a look at what issues are going to be coming in the future. There will probably be some energy issues that will come through my committee. There will be some transportation issues, I think, that will go through another committee of mine. Then the [agriculture] and water issues. We still probably have some work to do as far as water and [agriculture] even though we passed the [Drought Contingency Plan]. I think that we’ve still got some water issues to work on still in Arizona.
Q: What are you looking forward to for next session?
A: It’s a new world every year. So there will be issues that you don’t expect and you just go to work on them and you just make them happen. That’s probably the more rewarding things we get done.
Q: What’s your favorite part of being a state legislator?
A: The people. You get an opportunity to work on a lot of issues that you never even knew existed. You can help people in a lot of ways you never even knew existed. Those are the most rewarding things that happen to you.
Q: What do you do with your free time when you’re not at the Capitol?
A: [There’s] not much of it. Between just taking care of our business and helping out a little bit there and having a few pet projects that I’ll work on and just some home improvement jobs and things like that. There’s always something to do.
Q: What’s a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?
A: I don’t know, I’m kind of a boring guy but I’ve had a lot of experiences in life. I used to be — although I’m not active in it right now — [a] very active scuba diver and taught a lot of people how to go out and have fun and do it safely as far as scuba is concerned. [I have] been to a lot of interesting places around the world and taught a lot of people to go to a lot of fascinating places.
Q: What’s your favorite place you’ve been?
A: I like Mexico and I like the Carribean. They’re my favorite places to go, but there are some places that I would still like to try sometime in my life… I’ve never been to the South Pacific and I would love some time to go to Truk Islands…basically where we surprised the Japanese during World War II. [There are] lots of wrecks down in that area, lots of artifacts [that are] kind of dissolving, rusting away and things like that. It’s great to have an opportunity sometimes to see those things while they still exist.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I enjoy what I do. I enjoy working with people a lot. The people are what make working in the legislature, make it rewarding. You never know exactly what’s going to happen. [I] started working on an issue a week ago on some veteran’s issues that I typically don’t work on, but a person walked up to me when I was picking up some things in the grocery store and next thing I know I’m working on veteran’s issues for some veterans that are having problems. There’s always something that you’re not expecting and you just roll up your sleeves and go to work on things.