Friday, February 22, 2013

Psssst. Didja hear the latest rumor?

Just a compilation of some recent political rumors here in AZ...

...The Phoenix Business Journal (and other sources) has been reporting that Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor (D-AZ7) is under consideration for a spot in the President's cabinet as Secretary of Transportation.

From the article, written by Mike Sunnucks -
Longtime Phoenix congressman Ed Pastor’s name has popped up as a possible successor to the departing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
That could open up Pastor’s Democratic-leaning and Hispanic-majority district, and there will be no shortage of possible contenders from within his party.

Some of the names of contenders listed in the article:  Mary Rose Wilcox, a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Laura Pastor, the Congressman's daughter and 2007 candidate for Phoenix City Council; and Phil Gordon, former mayor of Phoenix.  In addition, pretty much every legislator with ties to Central or South Phoenix, or southwestern Maricopa County, is also mentioned.

I don't know if Pastor has a serious chance at the cabinet seat, but if it happens, look for a rugged Democratic primary in the race to fill the seat for the remainder of his term.  Pastor's district is heavily Democratic (the district has slightly less than three times as many Ds as it does Rs), and the winner of the special election will get the inside lane on what should be a safe seat for them for years, maybe decades.

This isn't the first time in recent years Pastor has been the subject of rumors of a possible presidential appointment - at the beginning of Barack Obama's first term in the White House, Pastor was talked about as a dark horse candidate for the ambassador's post in Mexico.  That one didn't happen, but even then, it didn't seem likely.  This one...?

...Terry Goddard, former Arizona Attorney General and three-time candidate for governor (and a former mayor of Phoenix), is mulling a run at another term as AG.

From Politics Plugged In, written by Dennis Welch

Old pols never die and many times they never fade away, either.
Take former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard for example. The three time gubernatorial loser told 3TV this week that he might want his old job back.
“I’ve been seriously thinking about it because I don’t like seeing what’s happening to the office,” Goddard said over the telephone. “Morale has fallen and a lot of people are leaving.”

...Jim Lane, Mayor of Scottsdale, is making noises, and moves, like someone who is strongly considering a 2014 run at a statewide office.  John Washington, in a post on Scottsdale Trails, dropped a hint that Lane may be looking at a run at either Arizona Secretary of State or even Governor.  According to the post, Jason Rose, one of the premier Republican PR flacks in AZ and a Lane "advisor", has publicly stated that Lane isn't considering a run for AZ Treasurer.

However, that denial may fall into the category of "whistling past resign-to-run" - as part of Scottsdale's State of the City activities this past week, at one event, Lane was introduced by Doug Ducey, who is none other than the current AZ Treasurer.  And Ducey himself is the subject of rumors regarding a possible 2014 run for Governor.

There is also talk that the "Lane as a candidate for AZSOS" talk was less a serious consideration than a threat to gain the support of State Senator Michele Reagan (R-LD23), a real candidate for SOS.  Apparently, while Reagan and Lane are both members of the chamber of commerce wing of the AZGOP, and both are from Scottsdale, they aren't exactly best friends.

Lastly, while Lane has strong ties to the business community, he is taking steps to shore up his support among social conservatives.

Witness this picture of the invitation to an official event with Jim Lane, Mayor -

While the invite touts the event as "Breakfast With The Mayor", has the city's logo on it, and is going to take place in a city-owned facility (Granite Reef Senior Center), it has a rather curious "copyright" statement - it was copyrighted by the Paradise Valley Community Church.


Obviously, nothing is definite yet (other than that Lane and Rose need a civics class refresher, focusing on the separation of church and state), but if a Lane statewide candidacy comes to pass, political dominos will fall in Scottsdale in much the same way that an elevation of Ed Pastor to the president's cabinet would set off a political reshuffling in south and west Phoenix.  Virginia Korte and Bob Littlefield, current members of the Scottsdale City Council, would almost certainly test the waters.  That would open up the race for one of the state representative spots in north Scottsdale, a position that Littlefield is "exploring", and so on...

...More to come as the 2014 election cycle reaches full speed...

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