Sunday, February 21, 2016

Committees and candidates update

While there may be (OK, probably "will be" :) ) some last minute entries, we are now in late February.  Most of Arizona's races are defined.

The most contentious race on the Democratic side of the ballot is shaping up to be the race for the three legislative seats in LD26 (most of Tempe and the much of west Mesa).

Current legislators Andrew Sherwood and Juan Mendez are both going for the state senate slot from the district.  Sherwood was appointed to the slot to fill the vacancy in the Senate left by the resignation of Ed Ableser; Mendez is currently a member of the House.

On the House side of the ballot there, there are six declared candidates (and a few rumored ones, too) for the two seats -

Isela Blanc, who I don't know much about, but looks to be part of the Tempe Community Council

Michael Martinez, president of the Maricopa County Young Democrats

Steve Muratore, blogger (withdrawn)

Cameron Oberlin, who I don't know much about

Celeste Plumlee, current state representative (appointed to fill the vacancy created when Sherwood moved to Senate)

Athena Salman, with First Things First, and a community activist in Tempe

David Lucier, a prominent community advocate for Tempe and for veterans

On the Republican side, and I freely concede that my insight into R internal politics can be a little murky, but it looks like that the legislative races in LD5 (most of western Arizona north of Yuma) may be the most contentious.

The last elected state senator there, Kelli Ward, resigned to spend her time mounting a primary challenge to John McCain, who is up for reelection to the US Senate in 2016.  Susan Donahue was appointed in her place, but she has already stated that she will not seek election to a full term in the Senate.

Running for the R nomination for LD5 Senate:

Sonny Borrelli, a colorful current state representative

Ron Gould, a colorful former state senator

Running for the R nomination for LD5 House:

Regina Cobb, current state representative

Sam Medrano, former member of the city council in Bullhead City

Paul Mosley, a financial advisor in Lake Havasu City

...In Maricopa County, the R nomination for county sheriff will either be the most boring race in the state (if Joe Arpaio is on the ballot) or the wildest race in the state (if Arpaio doesn't, or can't, run).  There are currently four Republicans with open committees for the job, and more may yet enter (depending on what Arpaio does).

Candidates with open committees for the R nomination:

Roger Baldwin

Mike Bodak

Marsha Hill

Dan Saban

...Still at the Maricopa County level, the most "interesting" candidate is one who is running for a seat on the governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District.

That's a relatively low profile race at a relatively low profile level (except for the race for sheriff, which will garner national attention, regardless of who's running).

The candidate in question in one Jonathan Gelbart.

To the best of my knowledge, he's not a "bay at the moon" Republican (who tend to get most of the attention in Arizona politics).

Nope, the "interesting" part of his candidacy is listed right on his campaign paperwork -

He's not just a "manager" for BASIS, one of the largest charter school operators in the country, he's the manager of new school development for them.

Insert your own fox/hen house cliche here...

...In Scottsdale, Bob Littlefield, a former member of the Scottsdale City Council, has formed a committee to challenge incumbent mayor Jim Lane.

Littlefield is a staunch Republican, as is Lane.

While Littlefield and I (and for that matter, Lane and I) will disagree on pretty much every issue that Republicans and Democrats will disagree on, Littlefield genuinely cares for Scottsdale.

I can't honestly say that about Lane.

...At the federal level -

- Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has finally filed his paperwork to be a candidate for Congress.  Three months late and listing the wrong district.  But that paperwork has been filed, and corrected, so he is a candidate in CD1.

- A putatively Independent candidate has filed to run against Raul Grijalva for the seat that Grijalva holds, and that candidate has what may be the best committee name of this, or any other cycle -

"Eat Bacon For Congress".

- Perennial candidate Wendy Rogers (LD17 State Senate in 2010, CD9 in 2012 and 2014) has filed to run for the R nomination in CD1.

- Levi Tappan of Page has formed a committee for a run for the D nomination in CD1 in 2016.  Which is interesting, because when he won a seat on the Page City Council in 2013, he was a Libertarian. 

That's an interesting two-step, and an unusual one. Transitions from Green to Democrat, Democrat to Republican, or Republican to Libertarian (or vice-versa in each case) are rare, but not unheard of.  Skipping a step, like going from Green to R, is something that I've never heard of.

"Libertarian to Democrat" is something else that is so rare as to be unheard of. 

- Ross Groen, formerly the campaign manager for Mark Brnovich's campaign for Arizona Attorney General and a former Congressional aide to Trent Franks, has filed for the R nomination in CD9.

After this, unless the situation merits (i.e. - one or more "big names" get into a race, or a campaign gets crazy, like with a candidate mooning an audience [and in the "Year of Trump", that's not out of the realm of possibility]), this will be the last committees update post until ballots are set.

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