Sunday, October 25, 2009

Offices up for election next year...

This post will mostly cover races that will be on East Valley ballots in 2010.

One of my primary sources of info on this topic is this list of offices to be elected, courtesy the Maricopa County Recorder's Office.

On to the races, and a brief summary of current activity in most of the contests -

U.S. Senate - Incumbent Republican John McCain may be facing a serious primary challenge from radio gabber JD Hayworth, though McCain should be able to fight that one off. It looks as if Democrat Rodney Glassman, a Tucson City Council member, will face McCain in the general election.

Governor - Unelected incumbent Jan Brewer is expected to run for a full term, with possible challengers Vernon Parker (Mayor of Paradise Valley), John Munger (former AZGOP chair) and Dean Martin (Arizona State Treasurer) lurking as potential primary opponents. Democrat Terry Goddard, currently the Attorney General of Arizona, is the presumed Demcratic nominee. In recent polling, Goddard is favored over any of the likely Republican nominees.

Secretary of State - Unelected incumbent Ken Bennett is expected to run for election to a full term, though there has been some talk of him joining the race for governor, especially if Brewer decides to forego a run next year. The only announced Democratic candidate is Sam Wercinski, formerly Arizona's Real Estate Commissioner.

Attorney General - Democrats David Lujan, a State Representative and the House Democratic Leader, Felecia Rotellini, former Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, and (rumored) Vince Rabago, an assistant AG, are looking hard at running for the office. On the Republican side, Tom Horne, current State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Andrew Thomas, current Maricopa County Attorney, are "exploring" runs.

Treasurer - Incumbent Dean Martin has a lock on the Republican nomination for the job, unless he takes a shot at the ninth floor (FYI - the Governor's office is on the ninth floor of the state's executive office tower). Thayer Verschoor, a Republican State Senator, has opened an exploratory committee to set up a run in the event that Martin moves on. Andrei Cherny, a former assistant Attorney General (in AZ) and staffer in the Clinton White House, is the only announced Democratic candidate.

Superintendent of Public Instruction - This one has turned into something of a cattle call. Democrats Jason Williams, the 2006 Democratic nominee for the spot, and Penny Kotterman, a teacher and former President of the Arizona Education Association, have announced their candidacies for the job. On the Republican side, John Huppenthal, a State Senator, Margaret Dugan, current Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mary Lou Taylor, currently on the Tempe Union High School board, Gary Nine, superintendent of the Florence Unified School District, and Beth Price of Casa Grande, have all formed committees of one sort or another for a run at the office.

State Mine Inspector - Who cares?

Arizona Corporation Commission - Incumbent Republicans Kris Mayes and Gary Pierce are termed out next year, meaning there will be races for two "open" spots. Republicans Brenda Burns, formerly President of the State Senate, and Barry Wong, former legislator and 2008 candidate for ACC, have formed committees here. On the Democratic side, the only person to officially express interest is Jorge Luis Garcia, currently a State Senator and Senate Democratic Leader, who has formed an "exploratory" committee.

More localized races -

Representative to the U.S. Congress -

In CD5, two-term Democratic incumbent Harry Mitchell has three Republican challengers, thus far. David Schweikert, the 2008 Republican nominee for the seat, Jim Ward, a Scottsdale investor and former executive with George Lucas' video game enterprise, and Eric Wnuck, another Scottsdale businessman, have all formed committees for a run at Mitchell, the much loved and highly-respected Tempe icon (career teacher, longtime mayor, and four term state senator).

In CD6, Republican incumbent Jeff Flake is so scared of losing his job that he spent a week this summer taking off his shirt on a deserted island. As of this writing, he has no known challengers for either the primary or the general election, though that may change in the coming months.

BTW - the "scared" part of that earlier sentence is sarcasm. I think his recent PR push is less about the CD6 seat than about a Senate run next year or in 2012, when Jon Kyl's seat is up.

The Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Project, aka the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) has 5 seats up for election. Current members Susan Bitter Smith, Timothy Bray, Daniel Donahoe, Paul Hendricks, and Mark Lewis see their terms expire next year. I have no idea who is termed out or who is running for another term from among them. The only challenger that I have heard of thus far is Arif Kazmi, a career civil engineer.

Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District, District 2 is up next year. The incumbent is Jerry Walker, an embarassment to the Board, his district, and the County. Not that I have an opinion on the subject of Mr. Walker. :)

Justice of the Peace and Constable spots in the Kyrene, University Lakes, West Mesa, East Mesa, and San Marcos Justice Precincts. I may cover those in a later post.

City Council races -

Scottsdale City Council, three seats. Incumbents Tony Nelssen, Wayne Ecton, and Bob Littlefield see their terms expire next year. Nelssen and Ecton have already formed re-election committees. Littlefield may yet do so, but he is rumored to be interested in other offices. So far, only the two incumbents have formed committees. One person who was considered a possible candidate due to his flirtation with a mayoral run in 2008, John Washington, is listed as the treasurer for Nelssen's re-election committee. As such, I don't think he is running this time around. Elections on the standard August/November schedule.

Tempe City Council, three seats. Incumbents Shana Ellis, Ben Arredondo, and Onnie Shekerjian hold the seats with expiring terms, and all three have taken out candidate packets. Also interested in running next year (indicating their interest by also taking out packets): former Council member Hut Hutson, Robin Arredondo-Savage, Matthew Taillon and Rich Bank. Not all of those folks will become actual candidates in the March and May elections. Sigs are due between November 9 and December 9.

Chandler Mayor and City Council, four total seats. Incumbents Boyd Dunn (mayor), Trinity Donovan, Jeff Weninger, and Bob Caccamo have seats that are up next year. No info at this time. Fall schedule.

Queen Creek Mayor and Town Council, four total seats. Incumbents Art Sanders (mayor), Gordon Mortensen, Joyce Hildebrandt, and Jon Wootten have the seats that are up next year. The East Valley Tribune reports that the three Council members will *not* seek reelection next year, and the mayor is undecided about pursuing another term. Spring calendar.

Mesa City Council, three seats. If I've read the City of Mesa's website correctly, incumbents Kyle Jones, Dina Higgins and Scott Somers will see their terms expire next year. I don't have any info on these races, but the blog Mesa Issues probably will. Fall schedule.

Most school boards have some seats up for election next year, too. A complete list of boards with elections next year is here, courtesy the Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools.

East Valley Institute of Technology Board, Districts 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. The incumbents are Norman Colbert (District 1), Erwin Heimbuck (5), and Garry Hays (9). There is a dearth of information on the membership of the Board. During the 2006 elections, it didn't have any candidates in Districts 3 and 7. The Board membership is full, but I'm not sure which appointees fill the seats in the two above districts.

Kyrene School District #28, two seats. Incumbents Patrick McGill and Rae Waters see their terms expire next year. I don't know if they are running for re-election or if there are challengers for the seats. Waters also serves in the Arizona House of Representatives.

Tempe Elementary School District #3, two seats. Incumbents Bill Munch and Jim Lemmon see their terms expire. Again, I don't have any info on this race.

Tempe Union High School District #213, two seats. I'm not sure which members' terms are expiring, though it seems to be a safe bet that Mary Lou Taylor is one of them, seeing as how she is running for State Superintendent and not for this board.

Scottsdale Unified School District #48, two seats. Incumbents Karen Beckvar and Dieter Schaefer see their terms expire next year. I don't have any info on this race at this time, either.

Mesa Unified School District #4, two seats. Incumbents Mike Hughes and David Lane see their terms expire. No info.

Gilbert Unified School District #41, two seats. Not sure which incumbents will see their terms expire. However, one seat is open right now and will be up for election next year. Board member Van Dunham has submitted his resignation because he is moving out of the district. EV Tribune coverage here.

Fountain Hills Unified School District #98, three seats. Incumbents Helen Howard, C.T. Wright, and Melanie Anderelli see their terms expire. No info.

Chandler Unified School District #80, two seats. Not sure which incumbents will have their terms expire.

Queen Creek Unified School District #95, two seats. Incumbents Del Caron and Jeff Black see their terms expire. In addition, one seat is vacant. No info.

And the winner of the "Most obscure elected office in the East Valley" award goes to -

The board of the Tempe County Island Fire District (its website is unavailable as of this writing).

Two seats are available during next year's election.


Kyle Patton said...

Did you see the recent report that involves Jerry Walker?

He may be tied to $23,000 in legal fees and one count of severely harassing a student.

Let me know if you'd like a copy.

Thane Eichenauer said...

I love this post.

cpmaz said...

Thane - Why do I think that there is just a little sarcasm dripping from your comment? LOL.

Thane Eichenauer said...

The risky double edge of sarcasm has come to harm me. Such is the downside of using it in injudicious measure.