...On the local (Scottsdale) level, a new candidate has entered the race for City Council.
Denny Brown, a 21-year resident of Scottsdale, has turned in paperwork as a $500 exemption candidate. He is running on enhancing/protecting Old Town Scottsdale and seeking an integrated approach for dealing with Scottsdale schools. 'Integrated' means involving "all the players, City of Scottsdale, Chamber of Commerce, Scottsdale School District, and the State Legislature." His website is here. I hope to speak with him about his candidacy within the next few days.
Edit to update later on May 27 -
Denny Brown was gracious enough to take a few minutes to chat with me earlier this afternoon. He mentioned that signature gathering seemed to be going "reasonably well" though there is a lot of competition for them right now - apparently he was at the library earlier and John Washington (mayor) and Jim Lane (mayor) were there collecting sigs, as was someone working on multiple initiatives. He did say, however, that he has been fortunate in that his involvment with Hohokam Elementary's PTA (President!) and other issues has raised his visibility in the community. Many people have stepped forward to help his efforts.
In addition to his focus on Old Town Scottsdale and working with SUSD's board on school issues in the City, he is also concerned with the southernmost parts of Scottsdale. One issue that he specifically mentioned was the exodus of car dealerships from the McDowell Road area (sounds mundane, but that's a *lot* of sales tax revenue leaving.)
My impression - he's obviously a political rookie, but an intelligent and enthusiastic one. He also shows more depth and breadth than the single issue, "no growth", candidates. Many voters, including me, may be sympathetic with the single-issue candidates on their one issue, but few voters, including me, are single-issue voters. We understand that there are many issues facing us (at the municipal, county, state, and national levels), and candidates who focus only on one issue don't make effective public officials.
If he is able to gain enough sigs to get on the ballot, Brown could surprise some folks come September.
...On the state level, Corporation Commission to be specific, candidate Sam George sent out an email touting an endorsement by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ8) and talking about his campaign. No website yet, but he can be contacted at sam4corpcom[at]gmail.com. If you didn't receive the email, leave a comment with your email addy, and I'll be glad to forward it to you.
...On the national level, ultraconservative former Congressman Bob Barr won the Libertarian Party's nomination this weekend. Beyond Libertarians, he is expected to appeal mostly to conservative Republicans, leading to some speculation that he could do to John McCain in 2008 what Ralph Nader did to Al Gore in 2000. The gist of that speculation is that in a close race, Barr could take enough votes away from McCain to give the election to Barack Obama.
I'm not so sure of that - many words have been used to describe Republicans (and, partisan hack that I am, I've used most of the uncomplimentary ones :) ), but while the list is a long one, "collectively stupid" isn't on that list. Barr will see an increase in support if the race *isn't* a close one; in a close race, I've got to expect most Reps will vote for McCain, even the ones that hold their noses while doing so. As much as many of them dislike McCain, they dislike Democrats even more.
In the event the race for the presidency isn't a close one, more Reps will be willing to exercise their votes as protest votes.