Arizona Republicans find themselves in unfamiliar territory this election cycle. The GOP, which has held all statewide executive offices, now finds those slots up for grabs, except for a couple of primary winners who were unchallenged.
Gov. Jan Brewer, unable to run for a second term due to assuming office after her predecessor abandoned the state for DC, is finally gone from the political scene after three+ decades.
Secretary of State Ken Bennett took a weak stab at succeeding Brewer, but floundered among five other Republican candidates and a perennial Libertarian. Bennett’s also out the political door.
Attorney General Tom Horne, a top-flight, conservative lawyer who won major cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal District Courts, lost to the former appointed state Gaming Director. Horne is also gone.
Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal tearfully imploded when he was revealed as the less than politically correct, multi-pseudonymed commenter, frequenting numerous blogs during work hours. His political career is kaput after a devastating 16-point defeat by a conservative former school board president.
The state Treasurer’s post opened due to incumbent Doug Ducey’s entry into the governor’s race. Jeff DeWit bested his two Republican challengers, not only moving forward, but actually winning the General Election with the primary count. Democrats, well aware of their lack of financial expertise, didn’t even bother to field a candidate for the office.
Two seats on the rate-setting and regulatory Corporation Commission opened and the conservatives who won in a four-way primary will face Dem challengers. Commissioners cannot hold office for more than two consecutive terms
The Mine Inspector’s office stays in Republican hands, as Democrats gave a pass to this office. Joe Hart, a former state House Speaker with a background in the mining industry, slides back into office, unchallenged.
The governor’s race pits Republican businessman and state treasurer Doug Ducey against lobbyist Fred DuVal. It’s a no-contest contest.
In the Secretary of State’s race, Republican Michele Reagan faces leftist retread Samuel Pearson “Terry” Goddard, III, the three-time, unsuccessful governor aspirant, who has longed to follow his single-term father to the governor’s office. This route is his desperation move. Arizona has had several governors who ascended to the post in this manner when the incumbents unexpectedly left or died.
The Attorney General’s race is a match-up between radical liberal Felecia Rotellini, who previously lost to Horne, and Republican Mark Brnovich.
In the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, the underlying issue is the controversial federal overreach into the American education system known as “Common Core.” Huppenthal and Brewer, aware of the toxicity of the program, deceptively renamed it. Bottom line: Conservative Diane Douglas has made the defeat of this problematic program the focal point of her campaign. Far leftist David Garcia is an educrat determined to foist this disastrous scheme on Arizona’s children.
So what recommendations does the daily newspaper make in these statewide offices?
The Arizona Republic editorials call both the Secretary of State and Attorney General races “close calls.” But to no one’s surprise they endorse the Democrats. Ditto the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a race in which the newspaper calls Common Core supporter David Garcia “a great choice.” The advice they dole out in the important Corporation Commission race? They advise voters to “split your ticket” as they recommend a liberal challenger to the Republican team of Tom Forese and Doug Little. The daily has not yet endorsed in the governor’s race, but we’re betting they’ll go with leftwing lobbyist DuVal —- calling it a “close call.”
Both Felecia Rotellini, touting her list of RINO supporters, and Fred Duval are engaged in a deceitful “party doesn’t matter” strategy, emulating the open borders proponent Janet Napolitano, by running lists of RINO endorsers.
But political Parties do matter. They have platforms that are world’s apart. Those elected to public office set policy, governors make judicial appointments.
Don’t be conned by the liberal newspaper. It wants nothing more than extreme leftwing control of the state. Coming together after bruising primaries is difficult. Few of us find joy in supporting the candidate who defeated the one we backed. Others are frustrated that the less desirable candidate won the Primary. But someone is going to govern and we’ll all be better served if it’s not the strident leftist.