As we reported last week, state Rep. Steve Farley is the next Democrat to get into the Congressional District 2 race in the hope of representing the turf formerly represented by Gabrielle Giffords, who stepped down from Congress last week to focus on her recovery from gunshot wounds suffered on Jan. 8, 2011.
Farley is set to announce his campaign tomorrow at a variety of stops in Tucson, Green Valley and Sierra Vista.
Farley joins state Rep. Matt Heinz and state Sen. Paula Aboud in the Congressional District 2 race, which will be settled in the normal election season later this year.
Democrat Nan Stockholm Walden, who owns the pecan groves near Sahuarita with her husband, Dick Walden, is expected to join the race next week. Walden, who earned a law degree at Stanford, worked in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s and 1990s, including a stint as chief of staff for former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.
Before the CD2 race takes place, voters will decide an election to determine who will finish out the remainder of Giffords' term in Congressional District 8.
A half-dozen candidates are officially in the CD8 race. Nominating petitions for that race were due yesterday.
Barring some kind of successful petition challenge, Four Republicans will battle it out in an April 17 primary election for the chance to face Democrat Ron Barber and Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis.
The Republican candidates include Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010; state Sen. Frank Antenori, who previously ran for Congress in 2006 before winning a seat in the Arizona Legislature in 2008; sports broadcaster and marketing businessman Dave Sitton; and former Air Force fighter pilot and squadron commander Martha McSally.
Two other Republican candidates, John Lervold and Mark Koskiniemi, failed to turn in nominating petitions, although Lervold tells The Range that he will try to get into the Congressional District 2 race later this year.
The Republican candidate have a short window of opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters in Congressional District 8, which includes Saddlebrooke, Oro Valley Marana, central Tucson, Green Valley, Sierra Vista and much of rural Arizona in the southeast corner of the state. Early voting in the race begins on March 22.
Okay, I admit it: I watch Dancing With the Stars.
Rather, I sit there while my daughter and wife watch it, mostly criticizing the cheesiness of it all. But I still do pay attention to who gets voted off and who moves on, secretly hoping that train wrecks (read: Bristol Palin, Kirstie Alley, Nancy Grace) keep sticking around despite not being very good dancers.
So, the news that Jaleel White (aka Urkel, from the very underrated Family Matters TV show of the mid-1990s) was among the 12 celebrities selected for the upcoming season, I instantly got WAY too excited to watch this show again.
Having White be a University of Arizona alum is just gravy.
Among the other people scheduled to compete on the show, some of my favorites include token African-American football player Donald Driver, token way-too-old-to-be-dancing-in-a-slinky-dress contestant Gladys Knight and Martina Navratilova, the robot-like tennis player who dominated the 1970s and 1980s despite never smiling.
The new season premieres March 19. And my DVR is set.
I don't know if there's necessarily a way to measure happiness, but the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index makes some effort every year to do so. Big surprise, Hawaii is on top, scoring 70.2 out of 100. Slide down the chart and you get to Arizona, which comes in as the 26th happiest state this year, slightly happier than Texas (well, sure), but less happy than Maine. I can understand Colorado and Minnesota ranking high on the list, but North Dakota and Nebraska? Is there some sort of ignorant bliss in effect in these states that they've forgotten where they actually live? Madness.
North Dakota: 70.0
New Hampshire: 68.2
South Dakota: 67.8
New Mexico: 66.8
New Jersey: 66.2
North Carolina: 66.1
South Carolina: 65.7
New York: 65.7
Rhode Island: 65.6
West Virginia: 62.3
It's an exciting time to be a music fan here in Tucson, with an intimidating number of bands coming through town over the next few months. Two of those forthcoming acts have new videos out, Grammy winning mopsters Bon Iver (TCC Arena, Apr. 3), with the above video for "Towers", and chipper Australian/English indie-popsters Allo Darlin' (Club Congress, May 4), with "Capricornia" below. Enjoy!
Something I did not know until today: there are hundreds of YouTube videos of planes landing at the airport in St. Maarten's. Watch the above video (and if you're like me, you'll end up watching five or six more of the like) and you'll see why.
State Rep. Daniel Patterson called us to deny the accusations that he hit his now ex-girlfriend and campaign manager, Georgette Escobar, saying she has serious mental problems and a history of felonies—and is trying to blackmail him.
He also said he will not step down from the Legislature, despite calls from his own party’s leadership and executive director to quietly go away. Patterson said the calls for him to resign are premature, and that the truth will vindicate him—though he may leave the party.
“This is lynch-mob type of politics that we see from Phoenix, and I’m not going to listen to these cutthroat throw-em-under-the-bus politicians from Phoenix,” he said. “I’m responsive to my constituents in Tucson. Period. … I’m not going to be blackmailed out of office.”
“I may become an independent,” he added.
He said he called the cops when he and Escobar got into an argument on Friday after she had told him about her history of mental illness and crime. She freaked out and hit him “at least 30 times” before the cops arrived, he said.
He said he was not cited or arrested and has not yet been served with a restraining order, though he admits to dodging service, because he said Escobar threatened to change the locks on his house after she had the order.
He speculated that the bruises she displayed to reporters today were self-inflicted, and said that the cops didn’t see any marks on her Friday.
Escobar is making allegations that are similar to those made by Patterson's ex-wife, Jeneiene Schaffer, two years ago. Patterson said that's because Escobar saw what Schaffer did and is following her example.
He said that he hasn’t made the best choices with women.
“I know I’m going to be much, much more careful with who I associate with in the future,” he said.
He said Escobar claims he owes her “thousands of dollars” and has hinted that if he would pay up, these allegations wouldn’t have become public. He said he doesn’t owe her money, and his position as a politician made him an easy target.
“People wonder why good people don’t go into politics," Patterson said. "It’s because of attacks like this.”
Patterson said he worries about his own safety and the safety of his daughter, and doesn’t want any contact with Escobar.
“I don’t feel safe around this woman. I think she’s a threat; she’s threatened me before. She’s blackmailing me,” he said.
As for the dog, Jake, Patterson said the pet belongs to both of them, and he just wants it to be safe. (When the Tucson Weekly interviewed Escobar this morning, she produced a document to show that the dog was registered in her name.)
“I’m happy to work something out with the dog. I just wanted to make sure he had someplace safe to be right now,” he said.
Thanks to the fine people at Casino Del Sol, we have a pair of tickets to give away to the Boz Scaggs show there on March 9th. It's super easy to enter, just head to our contest page, press a button (assuming you're a member of our website), and we'll let you know if you win.
Rep. Daniel Patterson has taken to Twitter to deny allegations of abuse from his now ex-girlfriend:
Allegations are lies from person w bad mental problems & violent criminal history trying to blackmail me. I will not resign.
Meanwhile, Patterson's support at the Capitol continues to collapse as Democrats in the Arizona Senate, including seatmate Linda Lopez, have called on him to step down:
Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, Assistant Democratic Leader Leah Landrum Taylor and Senator Linda Lopez (D-29) released the following statement urging Representative Daniel Patterson (D-29) to resign.
“This Legislature expects that its members adhere to standards of conduct, which the Senate Ethics Committee upheld just last month. If any legislator, regardless of party, cannot adhere to these standards they must, at the very least, respect the constituents who elected them by resigning. With so many problems facing our state right now, Arizonans cannot afford to have their elected officials be focused on anything but finding solutions.”
Tucson Botanical Gardens and Etherton Gallery are collaborating to bring the photography show Frida: Portraits by Nickolas… More