Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2012 Congressional Speculation

With Senate candidate speculation running wild across Arizona (Flake in, Shadegg out, Arpaio flirting, Democrats waiting until summer to see what happens with Gabrielle Giffords' recovery), now folks are starting with speculation regarding possible Congressional runs.

Some of the names so far, mostly in a run for Jeff Flake's seat (CD6) sort of way, but not really, since redistricting could make the current CD6 a totally different district (with a couple of other committees thrown in for good measure) -

Republican Kirk Adams, speaker of the Arizona House, from East Mesa

Republican Russell Pearce, president of the Arizona Senate, from Central/West Mesa

Republican Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa

Republican Chuck Gray, former state senator from LD19 (East Mesa), close to Pearce so probably won't jump into the race if Pearce actually runs

Republican Jay Tibshraeny, current Mayor of Chandler,  former state senator, and previously considered an heir-apparent for Flake's seat if Flake moved on/out.  Redistricting could affect his decision to run/not run (that caveat could apply to almost every possible candidate, so consider it applied for each one)

Republican Rich Crandall, current state senator from East Mesa.  Crandall, Adams, and Gray are all from the same district, LD19, but they aren't close friends by any stretch and could easily end up knocking each other off, helping Smith (if he jumps in)

Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer has opened a committee to run against Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva in CD7.  Haven't heard of her before this and don't know much about her.  However, if she's a serious candidate (and not just a fringe tea party type), we'll know more later in the year
Republican David Schweikert has opened a reelection committee for his seat

Democrat Harry Mitchell hasn't ruled out a run for a rematch with Schweikert, looking to reclaim the seat he formerly held

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, like Mitchell a former member of Congress, may also run again

Republican Hugh Hallman, Mayor of Tempe, has ambitions for higher office, but any run for Congress will depend on redistricting and which other candidates jump in

Democrat Neil Giuliano, former Mayor of Tempe and former Republican, could also jump in, especially if Mitchell decides against a run.  I don't know how close he and Giuliano are, but Mitchell is the political force of nature in Tempe, so his decision will affect that of the other potential candidates

Democrat Phil Gordon, current Mayor of Phoenix whose term expires this year.  Noted for his ambition and his Phoenix-based campaign machine, if he doesn't go for the Senate seat, is seen as likely to pursue a Congressional run.  Of course, he could go for Governor in 2014, or for McCain's Senate seat in 2016, or...? :)

Republican State Senator Rick Murphy, a former (and future?) Congressional candidate, has opened a $500 Threshold Committee for a run at the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board.  Someone like Murphy standing for a public school committee slot is like someone like me standing for chair of the AZGOP.  Except that I don't want to kill off and bury the AZGOP, just help defeat them at the ballot box

There will be other names out there once the new district maps are drawn, and once the field for the soon-to-be open U.S. Senate seat sorts itself out.


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