Races To Watch In The
Arizona Midterm Primaries
Image by DonkeyHotey and used under a Creative Commons License.
With The State’s Primaries On The Horizon We Take A Look At Some Interesting Races, Including Those For Governor, Corporation Commission And Both Congressional District No. 7 And No. 9
By Clipper Arnold
Special for Modern Times Magazine
Aug. 20, 2014 —The democratic and republican primaries for Arizona midterm elections are set to be held next Tuesday — followed by the more popular general election in November — and while every race is important, some have more drama than others.
Some of the most dramatic for the primary go-around include the races for the Governor’s seat, two Corporation Commission seats, the Congressional seat for District 9, and the Congressional seat for District 7.
Typically, fewer people vote in midterm elections and therefore, every vote means more in midterm elections. According to Fairvote.org, “in the U.S., about 60 percent of the voting eligible population votes during presidential election years, and about 40 percent votes during midterm elections.”
Congressional elections and others are sometimes decided over a couple of hundred votes. And, voter engagement initiatives can hold enormous sway.
If there’s any time where you should want to exercise one of your most basic rights of this representative democratic system, the time is now.
Now, for a peek behind the circus tent:
The 2014 AZ Gubernatorial Election
Gov. Jan Brewer — who is responsible for signing the controversial and utterly reprehensible SB 1070 into law and the erroneous gutting of Arizona education funding — is term limited. With the vacant space looming, nominations were made and (thankfully) subsequently declined by the likes of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and reserve deputy sheriff/Aikido expert Steven Seagal. Presumably Seagal decided against it because he’ll be too busy filming another direct-to-DVD movie with Ja Rule).
The final battle will be carried out in November. However, next Tuesday, republican primary voters will end the opening battle when they select a nominee from the many candidates — who all happen to be white Americans of predominantly European descent — who have gubernatorial aspirations. The winner of the republican primary will automatically become the frontrunner based merely on voter registration numbers. Democrats have put all of their eggs into Fred DuVal who has been waiting for the primary election to do anything it seems.
- Ken Bennett (R) - Secretary of State of Arizona, former CEO of Bennett Oil and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS.
- Doug Ducey (R) - State Treasurer of Arizona, former partner and CEO for Cold Stone Creamery
- Christine Jones (R) - former Executive VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Go Daddy
- Frank Riggs (R) - former U.S. Rep. from California and California Senate candidate from 1998
- Scott Smith (R)- Mayor of Mesa
- Andrew Thomas (R) - disbarred former County attorney of Maricopa County and AZ Attorney General candidate in 2010
- Fred DuVal (D) - Chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents
- Barry Hess (L)
- John Lewis Mealer (AE)
Doug Ducey has had the lead in polls for months, but recent polling by the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association says Scott Smith has passed Christine Jones. But not by much, so barring any last-minute surprises, republicans will select Ducey, Smith or Jones.
As a group, Thomas appears to be the most sadistic, Ducey the most financially savvy, Bennett is experienced, although inconsequential. Smith is safe, and Riggs appears opportunistic and out of touch (the former representative had to be corrected when he mistakenly referred to SB 1070 as ‘“SB 1062”). Jones is legally educated, has business experience, and started Arizona Research Project, a non-profit civic engagement project formed to “identify issues of importance to voters.” Oh, and Jones also made millions with GoDaddy.
Thomas, though is another embarrassment for the state and thankfully he will likely only manage about 10 percent of the vote. The former county attorney was disbarred in 2012, and according to the Supreme Court Panel, who unanimously elected to disbar him, he "outrageously exploited power, flagrantly fostered fear, and disgracefully misused the law" while serving as Maricopa County Attorney.This disciplinary proceeding was the most expensive in Arizona’s history, and cost more than $500,000.
This man is now running for Governor of the state of Arizona.
During a debate on PBS, Andrew Thomas appeared dead-set on steering the conversation toward fear-mongering border security. Thomas said on air, “"All new jobs created since 2000 — that's three presidential administrations — all of them have been taken by immigrants, legal and illegal.” While most candidates agreed with the necessity for border reform, there was a lot of contention over how best to accommodate that at the state level. Additionally, many were dismissive of Thomas’ readiness to blame every single issue discussed on illegal immigration. The candidates also paid lip service to how they would increase economic activity in Arizona, and continue to put moratoriums on business regulations. Bennett discussed his previous experience balancing the budget, and Smith discussed his track record as mayor. Several candidates, especially Jones, were critical of Ducey’s willingness to accept praise for economic successes as Treasurer while simultaneously opposing all measures that allegedly led to that success.
On the democratic side, Fred DuVal is the former chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents and worked as deputy director of Intergovernmental Affairs for then Pres. Bill Clinton. Last year, he drew national criticism for a prank against republican leaders. After being dubbed “The Most Uninteresting Man in the World,” by the Arizona Republican Party, DuVal posted a picture on social media likening himself to the Dos Equis pitchman, accompanied by the caption “Stay desperate my friends.” He also delivered a case of Dos Equis beer to republican Chairman Robert Graham and Executive Director Chad Hayworth. Thousands of campaign dollars rolled in following the stunt, though republican critics argue that the joke made offensive and pandering use of latino overtones.
Barry Hess is also included on the ballot as a libertarian candidate. John Lewis Mealer appears on the ballot as an Americans Elect candidate.
Corporation Commission Election
- Jim Holway (D)
- Sandra Kennedy (D) - Former Commissioner
- Tom Forese (R) - member of the Arizona House of Representatives
- Doug Little (R) - worked in the software industry
- Lucy Mason (R) - former member of the Arizona House of Representatives
- Vernon B. Parker (R) - former Mayor of Paradise Valley
The Corporation Commission is a board of representatives that regulates public utilities, facilitates the incorporation of businesses and organizations, regulates securities, and maintains railroad/pipeline safety. They also have an influence on how much Arizona citizens will pay for water, electricity, and gas.
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