Wednesday, August 31, 2016

McCain vs. Kirkpatrick: It's On Like Donkey Kong!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 12:28 AM

Despite what Breitbart News would have you believe, Sen. John McCain easily squashed GOP challenger Kelli Ward, a former state lawmaker from Lake Havasu who hoped that her Tea Party bona fides and can-do spirit would help her upset the five-term veteran.

McCain was crushing Ward, 52 percent to 38 percent.

McCain's win sets the stage for what even he calls the toughest challenge of his long career: Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, whose sprawling congressional district has allowed her to build up both decent statewide name ID and a legit fundraising base. 

In his victory speech, McCain told the crowd: "Tonight, you have given me a chance to continue serving America. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Now, let’s go win one more time."

Kirkpatrick stuck with one of the central messages of her campaign—"John McCain has changed"—in her prepared statement after the polls closed.

“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to represent my lifelong home of Arizona, and I will never waver in the fight to keep our communities safe, stand up for our veterans, protect Social Security and Medicare, and create good-paying jobs for hardworking families," Kirkpatrick said. "John McCain has changed after 33 years in Washington and no longer puts Arizonans above his own self-interest and his political career. There are enormous stakes in this election, and I look forward to a spirited campaign that offers voters a clear choice for the future of our state and who will best represent them in the U.S. Senate.”

McCain's full victory speech:

Thank you. I’m humbled by and grateful for our success tonight and for the honor to be the Arizona Republican Party’s nominee for election to the United States Senate.

Thank you to the interns who sacrificed their evenings and weekends to make our campaign stronger. Thank you to the many coalitions – Latinos, Iranians, Asian Americans, and countless others – who worked tirelessly to advocate for me. To our veterans, your support is more meaningful than you know. Thank you, all of you, for everything.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Galbadon, Hernandez in LD2; Friese, Powers-Hannley in LD9; Mach, Engel in LD10

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 11:13 PM

UA law prof Kirsten Engel wins the first round of her rookie run for office, but now faces Republican Todd Clodfelter in one of the most competitive districts in the state. - NICK MEYERS
  • Nick Meyers
  • UA law prof Kirsten Engel wins the first round of her rookie run for office, but now faces Republican Todd Clodfelter in one of the most competitive districts in the state.
In the competitive legislative House races tonight:

• Rosanna Galbadon and Daniel Hernandez lead the race for two House seats in Legislative District 2, which runs along the Santa Cruz River from downtown Tucson to Nogales. Aaron Baumann is running third.

While the district is Democratic-leaning on paper, Republican John Christopher Ackerley won a House seat two years ago in an upset victory. Now Ackerley will have to see if he can hang onto the seat in a presidential election year.

• In Legislative District 9, challenger Pamela Powers Hannley was knocking out incumbent Rep. Matt Kopec, who was appointed to the LD9 seat earlier this year by the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

Powers Hannley, who said she'd be sending back $1,000 of the Clean Elections public financing she got for her campaign, said she often won over voters she talked to with her left-leaning politics. "Sometimes all is have to say is that I'm a progressive," she told TW correspondent Nick Meyers tonight.

Kopec was disappointed in the results but said he "ran the program I wanted to."

Rep. Randy Friese, who is wrapping his first term, was outpolling both of them in the race for two House seats.

Friese and Powers Hannley will face Republican Ana Henderson, a business owner and political newcomer, in the November election. She has already qualified for Clean Elections funding.

LD9, which includes central Tucson, the Catalina Foothills and the Casas Adobes area, is one of Arizona's most competitive legislative districts and elected a Republican, Ethan Orr, for one term as recently as 2012. 

• In Legislative District 10, incumbent Rep. Stefanie Mach and UA law prof Kirsten Engel were leading political activist Courtney Frogge in the race for two House seats. State Rep. Bruce Wheeler did not seek reelection.

Engel said the other candidates pushed her to be the best she could be and credited her strong showing to the her focus on education and environment . "I picked the right issues to focus on, the issues I can best represent," said Engel, a former environmental lawyer with the Sierra Club and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. 

Frogge said she was a team player and would support the other Democrats, "no matter what the outcome," and said she'd remain engaged with the Democratic Party.

Mach said "the real battle for me is the general election." 

LD10, which includes central and eastern Tucson, is also one of the most competitive in the state. Republican Todd Clodfelter, who has run for the seat previously, has already qualified for Clean Elections funding.

Congress: Heinz Up Over Steele in CD2 Dems, Babeu Up Over Field in CD1 GOP Primary

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 10:32 PM

There are plenty of ballots left to be counted, but Matt Heinz has the lead in the race that will determine the Democrat who will take on Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally in CD2 this November. Heinz, who raised significantly more money than Victoria Steele and ran a traditional campaign versus Steele's low-budget, grassroots effort, has 53 percent of the vote and a lead of 2,886 votes, as of the last time we were able to access the Secretary of State's very buggy website. (Those damn Russian hackers sure have screwed that up tonight.)

Heinz and Steele: Civility rules! - NICK MEYERS
  • Nick Meyers
  • Heinz and Steele: Civility rules!
Heinz told TW correspondent Nick Meyers he was feeling good after campaigning for the last 13 months. "There's a lot of excitement and a positive vibe here." 

Steele said watching the results come in was nerve-wracking but she was ready to support Heinz if he came out on top. "If he wins, I'll support him. If I win, I know he'll support me. We have grown-up races in the Democratic Party."

McSally, a rising star in the GOP, has more than $2 million on hand and the advantage of incumbency, but the district is one of the most competitive in the nation and Democrats hope that an anti-Trump wave could yet sink McSally. Recognizing the danger that Trump poses despite her advantages, McSally has said that she won't endorse the GOP nominee and won't reveal who she plans to vote for in November.

Over in CD1, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is leading a crowded field, with Wendy Rogers coming in second place. Rogers had hammered Babeu about allegations that he had been aware of abuse that was taking place at a school where he served as an administrator and had landed the support of two of Babeu's sisters. 

Expect that story to be amplified as the DCCC and other groups start spending TV dollars in support of Democrat Tom O'Halleran, who served in the Arizona Legislature as a moderate Republican and who switched parties to seek the congressional seat.

O'Halleran himself was talking about ethics before he went to bed on Election Night.

“Now that the primary is over, it's time for a real conversation about how we can improve the ethical climate in Congress," O'Halleran said in a prepared statement. "Over the next few weeks, I will visit every corner of our district to lead that conversation. I've released a ten-point ethics plan, and it stands in sharp contrast to Paul Babeu, who has been caught repeatedly abusing his power, and using the public’s money for his own personal and political gain.”

DCCC Chair Ben Ray Luján echoed the theme of ethics in his prepared statement on the race. 

“Democrats have proven cycle after cycle that we know how to win this critical district," Lujan said. "As a former police officer, business owner, and public servant, Tom O’Halleran brought members of both parties together to improve Arizona schools and fully fund all-day kindergarten. Now he’s running with a concrete ethics plan that stands in stark contrast to any of the embattled Republicans that will emerge from their divisive primary. We’re confident that Tom will run a winning campaign based on the issues that matter to hardworking Arizonans.”

The district, which includes Oro Valley and Marana as well as most of eastern rural Arizona, Flagstaff and the Navajo reservation, remains one of the most competitive in the nation, although Ann Kirkpatrick won it twice as a moderate Dem. To get an idea of what the polls are showing, watch to see whether the NRCC starts spending money here.

For now, the NRCC is behind Babeu. NRCC Chair Greg Walden had this to say in a prepared statement: “Congratulations to Sheriff Paul Babeu on his primary victory. Paul has dedicated himself to serving Arizona as both a lawman and member of the Army National Guard, keeping America safe at home and abroad. I am confident voters will recognize Paul’s experienced leadership and service to his community, and send him to fight for them in Washington this November.”

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Burns, Tobin & Dunn Up in Corp Com Race. Next, It's the Battle Over Solar in AZ!

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 9:57 PM

So it's an unusual trifecta coming out of the Republican primary for Arizona Corporation Commission: Incumbent Bob Burns is leading the pack. Burns, a former Senate president, has led the way in trying to uncover how much mega-utility APS is secretly spending on Corporation Commission races, given that the Corporation Commission is the body that regulates APS. 

Coming in second is Andy Tobin, the former House speaker who was appointed to the commission by Gov. Doug Ducey when another commissioner was forced off the commission for a pretty blatant conflict of interest. Tobin has led the charge to try to stop Burns from getting to the bottom of the APS' efforts to keep commissioners in its pocket.

All of this gets back to the war between the utilities and rooftop-solar companies and advocates that's got the commission tied up in knots.

Coming in third at the moment is Boyd Dunn, a former Chandler mayor who has steered clear of all that controversy so far.

Not making the cut for the three seats are too former state lawmakers, Rick Gray and Al Melvin. Many Southern Arizonans remember Cap'n Al from the good old days when he kicked around the poor and championed nuclear waste as a Southern Arizona lawmaker. Sorry you won't be able to fulfill that dream of the SaddleBrooke repository, Al! 

Two Democrats are also in the hunt for the three seats in November: Bill Mundell, who previously served on the commission as a Republican, and Tom Chabin. Look for them and their allies in the solar industry to shine a light on APS' unsavory efforts to kneecap the rooftop solar biz as well as the push for higher rates. (If you're not already familiar with the phrases "dark money," "demand charges" and "regulatory capture," get ready to learn all about it.)

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Napier Up in Sheriff's Race & Other Pima County Races of Note

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 9:36 PM


Looks like Republican Mark Napier, a former Tucson Police officer who now works as an UA parking administrator, will be facing off against Democrat Chris Nanos in the race for sheriff in November. Napier has a big lead over Terry Staton in the GOP primary.

Pima County Assessor Bill Staples is cruising to reelection against former employee Brian Johnson.

Dustin Williams has a big lead over Mike Gordy in the race for Pima County Superintend of Schools in the Democratic primary. He'll face Republican Margaret Burkholder, a school teacher who recently made an unsuccessful run for Tucson City Council last year, in November. Gordy fesses up to TW correspondent Nick Meyers: "I'm a little disappointed in the results, but I don't think I ran as good a campaign as I could have."

Former state lawmaker Paula Aboud has a big lead over attorney Jeff Rogers in the race for Justice of the Peace. Rogers had the legal experience and had kept as high a profile as any Pima County Party chair, but Aboud had the name ID that came with serving in the state Legislature.

Former state lawmaker Charlene Pesquiera is way out ahead in the three-way race for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4. 

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LaWall Up Big Over Feinman in County Attorney Race

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 9:10 PM

Looks like former public defender Joel Feinman's effort to topple Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall is coming up short: LaWall leads Feinman by about 11,000 votes: 36,541 to 25,742. LaWall is headed to a sixth term; she was first elected in 1996.

Miller, Christy Winning Pima County Board Races

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Ally Miller investigating potholes - COURTESY ARIZONA DAILY INDEPENDENT
  • Courtesy Arizona Daily Independent
  • Ally Miller investigating potholes
Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller has a 2,000-vote lead on challenger John Winchester in her race for reelection tonight. (Miller 10,780; Winchester 8,567) Miller has often been unhinged in her first term, but as a symbol of opposition to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and the other board members, Miller has won over a majority of Republican primary voters tonight. She will face Democrat Brian Bickel in the GOP-leaning District 1 in the November general.

In the race to replace Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, former car dealer and State Transportation Board member Steve Christy has jumped to a big lead over his outsider challengers, Marla Closen and John Backer. (Christy 10,568/Closen 6,834/Backer 1,597). Christy faces minor opposition by Green Party candidate Josh Reilly in November.

Grijalva: 'This Is About What's Ahead Of Us'

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Congressman Raúl Grijalva called for unity among the Democrats gathered at Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ: "This is about Democrats. This is about what's ahead of us. And this is about necessary, Democratic struggles and decisions that we, all out voters, make."

  • Nick Meyers

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Staff Pick

Barbara Brandel: Paintings on Display

Barbara Brandel’s paintings will be on display September 1-30, 2016, during regular library hours.… More

@ Joel D. Valdez Main Library Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 25 101 N. Stone Ave.

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Popular Content

  1. McCain vs. Kirkpatrick: It's On Like Donkey Kong! (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Galbadon, Hernandez in LD2; Friese, Powers-Hannley in LD9; Mach, Engel in LD10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Napier Up in Sheriff's Race & Other Pima County Races of Note (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Congress: Heinz Up Over Steele in CD2 Dems, Babeu Up Over Field in CD1 GOP Primary (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Oh, That Ally: Miller Bans Corrupt Media From Her Election-Night Fest (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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