Yes, it is early, but since at this point of this year's election cycle, it's "hurry up and wait" time until we see which candidates become known as candidates who couldn't get their signature in... :)
Also, this list is limited to those folks who have held office already or have made a serious impression in the metaphorical public square; rich people who believe that they can just buy the seat (yes that's you, Buz Mills) aren't included, mostly because I don't know their names.
On to the speculation, Republican candidates first (and it's just that - no actual persons were spoken to for this post. I don't know the actual plans or wishes of the people mentioned in the post) -
Jan Brewer, current governor -
- Pro: probably has the highest name recognition among Republicans, other than perhaps Joe Arpaio.
- Con: that pesky Arizona Constitution.
Tom Horne, current attorney general -
- Pro: he hasn't been indicted or disbarred yet.
- Con: it's still early.
Ken Bennett, current secretary of state -
- Pro: until the last week, he was considered to be one of the few sane Republicans in Arizona politics
- Con: the events of the last week. Turns out that kissing up to the birthers quickly moves one into the "batshit crazy" category.
John Huppenthal, current superintendent of public instruction -
- Pro (at least as far as R primary voters are concerned): hates people with brown skin, hates public education, and hates education for people with brown skin.
- Con: in a general election, people with brown skin, educated people, and educated people with brown skin can and do vote.
Doug Ducey, current state treasurer -
- Pro: no one knows who he is, and given that you only know any treasurer's name when the police and prosecutors get involved, that's a good thing.
- Con: no one knows who he is, and given that being a down-ballot candidate in a Republican wave year (2010) is very different than being a top-of-the-ballot candidate in what looks to be a tough year, that's not such a good thing.
Steve Pierce, current president of the state senate -
- Pro: hey, he's a rural kind of guy, yeehaw!, and he's more civil than his predecessor.
- Con: Prescott, in northern AZ, may not provide the strongest power base for a statewide run. Most of the state's population is in the central and southern parts of the state.
Andy Tobin, current speaker of the state house of representatives -
- Pro: hey, he's a rural kind of guy, yeehaw!, and he's...a rural kind of guy. Yeehaw. :)
- Con: his base of operations is near Prescott, only smaller. And he's a Yankees fan.
Brenda Burns, current member of the corporation commission -
- Pro: a darling of ALEC (former president of it), has access to scads of corporate money.
- Con: an ACC slot may be a statewide office, but it's so low-profile that only hardcore political junkies and lobbyists can name them. And with the murder of Trayvon Martin, rationalized by Florida's ALEC/NRA-pushed
Joe Arpaio, current sheriff of Maricopa County -
- Pro: highest name recognition among AZ's Republicans. Everybody has heard of him and has an opinion of him.
- Con: not all of those opinions are positive. Not hardly. If he hasn't been indicted by then, he'll publicly flirt with a run (he does every four years), but even he knows that he wouldn't last in a job with serious scrutiny from the media and the public. Note: there is a big difference between "scrutiny" and "mindless adoration".
Other names that might come up in conversation:
- Hugh Hallman, soon to be former mayor of Tempe - wants it, but in a statewide race, would have trouble winning even his own home town.
- Jay Tibshraeny and Scott Smith - the mayors of Chandler and Mesa respectively. Thoroughly conservative, but have still been able to do some good work for their municipalities. Given that current R orthodoxy calls for contempt for actual public servants, they could never get through a primary (and there *will* be one in 2014).
- John Shadegg, former member of Congress. Last seen in some kind of role with the Goldwater Institute; not sure if he would take a job with less influence at the Capitol.
When I get bored again (a couple of days), I'll do a post on possible Democratic candidates. It won't be as snarky. :))