Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Republican Party Fiesta 2011: The Party's Over ... Kinda

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 12:37 AM

Before election results were announced tonight at the Pima County Republican Party election fiesta, everyone was in an upbeat mood. Republican Party chairwoman Carolyn Cox thanked everyone for coming and being involved this year.

But once election results were released shortly after 8 p.m., Cox and that upbeat mood changed with only one exception in the room — Tyler Vogt, who ran against Democratic incumbent City Councilwoman Shirley Scott. The race remains too close to call and Vogt remained upbeat all night.

After Cox announced the results she said, "We knew the odds were stacked against us."

Referring to the close Vogt and Scott race, Cox said, "I think we have a chance of getting one out of there. I am sorry. It certainly isn't what I was hoping for. ... This next election is important. ... We have to win it, or we are going to lose our country."

After results were announced, Rawson said she has no plans to run again.

"I ran to give the people an option. You only get one crack. In four years, I'll be 68." Rawson added that she's a grandma and she ran for her grandsons, "but I'm not a politician."

When asked if he had a few minutes to share about his campaign for mayor, Rick Grinnell said, "No not now, I'm busy," but talked with folks, took a few photos, did some TV interviews and then some print interview just a foot or so away.

However, Vogt who kept a smile on his face, took a few minutes. "I think we really had a good message," Vogt said, about his campaign.

Regarding the criticism he received from both Republicans and Democrats for getting city of Tucson constituency e-mail addresses through a public records request and using those e-mails for his campaign, Vogt said it was the result of being a newbie in Tucson politics.

That's also why he needed the information. The result, he said, was that he discovered many people don't know their e-mail addresses in city communications are considered public record.

"It made a lot of people mad," he said.

The ballot count won't start-up again until Thursday, which is why we probably won't know the results until the end of the week. Vogt said he plans to take it easy tomorrow. If he wins, he suspects he'll have to rearrange his work schedule before he starts his term on the city council. If he loses he said he'll have a lot to offer his brother, state Representative Ted Vogt.

"After seeing this from the inside, I feel like I can help my brother (in his next campaign), I didn't have much to offer him before, but now I do. He was a big asset to me," Vogt said.

The Vogt brothers, friends and campaign volunteers were the last to leave. Once the campaign results were released, most of the crowd started to head home. There were no further announcements or speeches, not attempts to do one last rally of the troops. Made me feel a twinge of nostalgia for the GOP bash at Chuy's — that was fun, even the one at the Doubletree ended with some pep.

Vogt is enthusiastic, and so were a new group of young volunteers I've never seen before at previous election night events. Would be a shame to lose that momentum just because you're left with one close race.

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