The district lines haven't even been finalized yet, but I received my first polling call of the election season.
Six potential candidates were mentioned, but only three were the focus of the call.
Harry Mitchell, the former teacher, mayor, city council member, state senator and current husband, father, grandfather, icon and mentor (geez, is it too obvious that I really wish Harry would reconsider his decision not to run next year? :) )
Neil Giuliano, the former Republican mayor of Tempe and current Democrat
David Schapira, the current state senator from LD17 and Senate Democratic leader
Kyrsten Sinema, current LD15 state senator and author (and many other things). Easily the most liberal member of this field
Andrei Cherny, current chair of the Arizona Democratic Party and former staffer in the Clinton White House
Jon Hulburd, a lawyer, businessman, and 2010 candidate for Congress in the current CD3. Easily the most conservative member of this field
The call was pretty standard with questions about if I thought the country/state/my area was headed in the right direction, rating the importance of certain issues in next year's election and general impressions some potential candidates (the six named above), voting habits, and so on.
Then the call moved into thoughts on potential matchups between specific candidates.
The potential matchups named were Sinema-Hulburd, Hulburd-Cherny, Harry-Cherny (I think. My notes went kind of fuzzy here. Turns out I have trouble taking good notes while keeping one eye on the baseball game, posting my status on Facebook, holding my cell phone to one ear and typing one-handed. Who knew? LOL), and Sinema-Cherny-Hulburd.
Then it moved into a sorta-push poll/testing possible negative messages section, reciting a list of negative statements about Sinema and Hulburd and asking me if the statements impacted my opinions of the pair.
Obviously, I can't state definitively who put the poll in the field, but given that the surveyor focused on three candidates, and only tested negative messages about two of them...well, I'm an Occam's Razor kind of guy (not necessarily a perfect approach in assessing political developments, but it'll do this far out from the election)...
What I can state definitively to the folks behind this poll, and to anyone else considering entering the race is that my support and vote won't go to the candidate with the strongest progressive bonafides or who runs as the most Republican-lite or has the most polished professional resume.
The candidate who I think will work hardest for the district and the state will get my support and vote. I certainly had my disagreements with some of Harry Mitchell's votes and positions on individual issues, but his votes and positions were what he thought was right for the best interests of his constituents.
He may have chosen to forego another campaign, but I expect no less from any candidate that wants my support.
I know, that attitude may be a little naively idealistic, perhaps surprisingly so for someone as cynical as me, but that's the way it is.
Let the infighting begin...
Edit on 10/24 to add:
Last night I received a phone call from someone who is in a position to know about these things (aka - someone who is more of a campaign insider than me), and they informed me that Occam's Razor is a little dull. They informed me that the campaign that I hinted may have been behind the poll in fact wasn't, and that it was one of the other two candidates.
Since paying for polls is generally listed as a campaign expense (though it is an expense that is frequently is not listed directly but is buried in "consulting fees"), I did a little research on the FEC's website and found that only one of the three, Jon Hulburd, has an active campaign committee. In fact, that candidate's committee just filed a Statement of Organization on September 9, 2011.
FWIW, while this news doesn't raise or lower my opinion of any of the candidates, it is research I should have done before posting. I promise to do a better job in future coverage.