Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pima Supe Ally Miller Has a Republican Primary Challenger

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 2:13 PM

Looks like Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller has an opponent in the August GOP primary.

John Winchester, the Arizona state director for Christians United for Israel and an outreach director for the AZ Center for Judaic Studies at the UA, told the Weekly today that he thinks it’s time for Miller to go because “she’s a problem.”

“Ally facilitates conflict,” the Tucson native said. “A lot of people are asking me, ‘Why are you running against another Republican?’ Well, she’s irrelevant. She’s preaches low taxes, but taxes are projected to go up for the next three years. She preaches about wasteful spending, but she doesn’t have any influence there. We need someone who can influence the county.”

Miller won a four-way GOP primary with 38 percent of the vote in 2012 and then went on to win District 1—a heavily Republican district that includes the Catalina Foothills, Marana and Oro Valley—in the general election.

Since her election, Miller has feuded with her fellow supervisors, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and her own District 1 staff, where she has lost two chiefs of staff and numerous other employees in just four years. She has frequently voted against county’s economic development efforts that are supported by the local business community, including a plan to move a road to help Raytheon, the county’s largest private employer.

Winchester, who is making his first run for public office, is critical of Miller’s “demeanor, her methods, the way she pursues what she thinks is good for the county. I’m not going to challenge her character in pursuing what she wants, but her methods I will challenge. They’re destructive. I need somebody who is going to bring leadership to the board and move the county in the direction it needs to go in, and she’s not doing it.”

Miller, who did not return a phone call from the Weekly, doesn’t get along with the three Democrats on the Board of Supervisors—Sharon Bronson, Richard Elias and Ramon Valadez—but she has been particularly critical of her fellow Republican on the board, Ray Carroll.

Carroll, who announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek reelection this year, recently traveled with Winchester to Israel. Winchester, an ordained minister, baptized Carroll in the Jordan River.

But Winchester downplayed his friendship with Carroll. While Carroll and he have worked together over the years on various faith-based events, it was only during the Israel trip that they really got to know each other.

“Ray and I have never been close, but we’re closer now,” Winchester said. “We’ve got a lot in common, but we’re not longtime friends or anything.”

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Brian Bickel, a veteran and former hospital administrator.

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