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Dead Candidate Walking

It is time for Yahya Yuksel to go

It's impossible to know whether Yahya Yuksel was delusional enough to think he could actually win the Congressional District 2 Democratic primary, or if he was just hoping to get some experience and boost his name ID by dropping into a crowded race. But the 28-year-old political wannabe can pretty much kiss any hope of a political career goodbye after his disastrous efforts at damage control in the wake of news reports that revealed he'd been accused of rape as a teenager.

As Arizona Daily Star political reporter Joe Ferguson first revealed last week, police investigated a teen girl's claim that Yuksel had sexually assaulted her after she'd had too much to drink in 2007. She said she had resisted Yuksel's advances; a friend who was at the house said he listened to Yuksel and the girl having sex and didn't hear her object, according to a police report.

Yuksel, who had little business getting into the race in the first place, called a press conference on Sunday morning, but it quickly degenerated into a shit show during which Yuksel tried to flee the scene, then returned but failed to address the concerns of the rape victims, reporters and various political activists who had turned up to ask questions. His parents' efforts to do some form of damage control only threw fuel on the dumpster fire and by the end of the weekend, all the other candidates—Ann Kirkpatrick, Matt Heinz, Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler and Barbara Sherry—had called on Yuksel to exit the race, and Represent Me AZ has told him he wasn't welcome at a candidate forum scheduled for 6 p.m. this Thursday, July 19, at Tucson High. (Check out the Tucson Sentinel for an exhaustive recount of the press conference, along with questions about Yuksel's campaign spending.)

At Sunday's disastrous event, Yuksel vowed to stay in the race, so he can look forward to getting his clock cleaned on Election Day and more humiliation between now and then.

Independent's Day

A bit more about the blogger on Miller's payroll

We've learned a little more about the sweet gig lined up for Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller's latest aide, Loretta Hunnicutt, who is also the woman behind the Arizona Daily Independent blog.

County records show that Hunnicutt's new gig is as a special staff assistant. She's only only supposed to be in the job between July 3 and Sept. 28 and will be working two days a week. She'll be making $25 an hour.

Hunnicutt did not get back to us regarding her duties or whether she'll continue moonlighting as a blogger while drawing a county paycheck, but it appears as if she'll be at least working on Miller's newsletter to constituents, at least according to a Facebook post by Miller.

Miller took umbrage at our report about Hunnicutt's hiring, saying on Facebook: "No one cares what Nintzel has to say...just a fact. He should be focused on me and leave my staff alone."

Given what former staffers have had to say about Miller's management style, The Skinny has probably been kinder to many of them than Miller has been.

Catch a Candidate Debate

Your District 14 candidates are ready to rumble

Your Skinny scribe, Jim Nintzel, will be moderating a forum for the candidates in Legislative District 14, which includes the eastern half of Pima County as well as Cochise County.

The forum will feature the candidates for the Senate, as the House of Representative primaries are uncontested. Running for Senate are Republicans David Gowan, Drew John and Lori Kilpatrick and Democrats Jaime Alvarez and Mendy Gomez.

The debate begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, at Vail's Empire High School, 10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way.

The televised edition of Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays on the Creative Tucson network, Cox Channel 20 and Xfinity Channel 74. The TV show repeats Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. The radio edition of Zona Politics airs at 5 p.m. Sundays on community radio KXCI, 91.3 FM. Hear Nintzel talk about what's happening in Tucson entertainment on The Frank Show at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings on KPLX, 96.1 FM.

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