The voters have yet to agree. Jenkins, 57, has lost two races for the Arizona House of Representatives and one run at the Tucson City Council. In the Tucson Weekly poll, he got only 1 percent of the support.
Jenkins says the federal government spends too much money and screws up too often. As he puts it on the stump: "Anytime the federal government gets involved in something, it costs you twice as much for half the benefit."
Jenkins may be further right of center than he realizes, at least when it comes to issues such as abortion, which he opposes except in cases where the mother's life is in danger. If a woman gets pregnant as a result of rape or incest, "We have adoption agencies that can take care of that."
At the same time, he says he doesn't want to see abortion "go back to the back alleys. ... I want to be smart in where we go."
Jenkins also wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, although he says future tax cuts would depend on the economy and the needs of the federal government.
The former Green Beret gets things done. Antenori, 40, has seen combat in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He's guarded the border in Texas. He's worked as an ambulance driver in New York City.
Antenori has a meaty agenda. He wants to scrap the income tax altogether, rein in government spending, stop military waste and properly outfit the troops. He says Arizona can solve its water problem by building a nuclear power plant and trading the power to Mexico in exchange for water from the Sea of Cortez, which would flow through a desalinization plant and up to Tucson.
Now a Raytheon project manager, Antenori, 40, is a cocky presence on the stump, even though he drew less than 1 percent in the Weekly poll. He's hardly daunted by the prospect of learning the ropes in Congress.
None of his opponents, he notes, have anything like his experience. On the other hand, he's confident he can master the legislative process in no time.
"It's about negotiation," he says. "I know about negotiation. I've negotiated with Afghan warlords."