Monday, August 04, 2014

State Sen. Chester Crandell (R-LD6) passes away

First and foremost, my deepest condolences go out to Sen. Crandell's family and friends.  Politically, we never agreed, on pretty much absolutely anything.  However, he was also very civil and even warm, even toward those with whom he disagreed.

He will be missed by many.

Picture courtesy the website of the Arizona Legislature

From the Arizona Republic, written by Alia Beard Rau -
Arizona Sen. Chester Crandell was found dead Monday afternoon after he didn't return from a horseback ride near Heber-Overgaard. He was 68.

Crandell, a fifth-generation rural Arizonan and rancher, had served in the Legislature since 2011.

Across partisan lines, Crandell was well-liked and well-respected:
From the Facebook page of State Senator Katie Hobbs (D-LD24) -
There may not be a lot that we agreed on, but I know that we shared the same passion for making sure we leave Arizona a better place than we found it. You did that Chester - thank you.

State Senate Adam Driggs (R-LD28) tweeted this - 
I will miss my friend Senator Chester Crandell. He was an Arizona statesman who worked w/ honor and integrity to make Arizona a better place.

Per news reports as of this writing, the investigation into Crandell's death is ongoing and no arrangements have been announced.

Now to the political details -

His seat is vacant now, and will be filled by a process where the Republican PCs of his district nominate three candidates whose names will be forwarded to the appropriate county's board of supervisors.  They will appoint someone to fill the seat until the end of the term.  Given that the legislature is adjourned and no special sessions are expected, the replacement will probably not have much to do.

As for his candidacy (he was running for re-election), he was the only R candidate, and there was no D candidate.  However, there is an Independent candidate, former state senator (and former Republican) Tom O'Halleran.

O'Halleran is *not* running unopposed now - Crandell will be replaced on the ballot in a process that has some similarity to the process to fill the Senate seat that is now vacant.

From ARS 16-343 -
A. A vacancy occurring due to death, mental incapacity or voluntary withdrawal of a candidate after the close of petition filing but prior to a primary or general election shall be filled by the political party with which the candidate was affiliated as follows:


2. In the case of a vacancy for the office of United States representative or the legislature, the party precinct committeemen of that congressional or legislative district shall nominate a candidate of the party's choice and shall file a nomination paper and affidavit complying with the requirements of section 16-311.
However, since ballots have been printed, section D looks to apply here -
D. A vacancy that is due to voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of the candidate and that occurs following the printing of official ballots shall not be filled in accordance with this section, however, prospective candidates shall comply with section 16-312. A candidate running as a write-in candidate under this subsection shall file the nomination paper no later than 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day before the election.

We'll see if any R write-in candidate garners enough primary votes to appear on the general election ballot.  Per the AZSOS' website, they'll need at least 427 votes for that to happen.

When services are announced, or when updates on filling the seat and/or ballot become available, I'll pass them along...

Note: Thanks to regular reader (and Twitter follower) "leewah" for pointing out section D of ARS 16-343.  In my rush to complete this post in a timely manner, I did not read far enough into that chapter of the law.

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