Jonathan Gelbart Files for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jonathan Gelbart

Tempe, AZ (August 7, 2017) – Jonathan Gelbart, former Director of Charter School Development for the nationally top-ranked BASIS Charter Schools, today announced that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. He has resigned his position at BASIS to campaign full-time.

“I’m running for this office because nothing is more important for Arizona’s long-term success than our public education system,” Gelbart said. “And our incumbent has really engaged in dereliction of duty. We need a state schools chief with a fresh perspective, the will to fight for our public schools, and the long-term vision necessary to build the education system of the future. Our workforce is facing an oncoming freight train called automation, so business as usual isn’t going to cut it anymore.”

Gelbart has managed the opening or expansion of schools for more than 8,000 children across Arizona, including the number one public high school in America according to U.S. News & World Report. Gelbart’s efforts involved building relationships with communities from Prescott to Tucson and obtaining more than $250 million in bond funds for school construction, renovation, and expansion.

To ensure broad, ongoing feedback from education professionals, Gelbart has formed an Educators Advisory Group composed of educators and school leaders with more than 100 years of combined experience in Arizona schools. “I want our Arizona school system to be one of the best in the country, and Jonathan can help us move in that direction,” said Michele Savoia, a member of the group and a psychology teacher in the Deer Valley Unified School District for 28 years.

“Arizona has the opportunity to lead the nation in creating a more flexible education system that truly prioritizes creativity, self-motivation, and critical thinking,” Gelbart added. “Schools need to treat every child as an individual human being, not a test-taking robot.”

Gelbart was born and raised in northwest Phoenix, graduated as salutatorian from Barry Goldwater High School, and earned a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University. His family roots in Arizona go back nearly 70 years. If elected, Gelbart would be the youngest Superintendent of Public Instruction since statehood.

About Jonathan Gelbart
Gelbart earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations and master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University in four and a half years. Through his work with the BASIS charter schools, he managed the opening of 12 campuses in Arizona and three in Texas that will serve more than 10,000 students this fall. He serves on the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s Millennial Council and the Tempe Neighborhood Advisory Commission. He and his newlywed wife Cara live with their rescue cattle dog mix, Kermit, at their home in Tempe.

For more information or to sign up for campaign updates, please visit www.gelbartforaz.com.

Frosty’s Snowflakes

By Calamity June

We’ve noticed that over the last few days, Frosty’s Fake News has led with a “warning” to the rejects and sore losers who are pushing a recall against AZ GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines. A typical post reads as follows:

“Any State Committeemen Being Harassed for signing a Remove AZGOP Jonathan Lines “call” petition should notified (SIC) petition spokesman Marianne Ferrari…Harassment is a Class I misdemeanor…”

Even for the typical spittle-flecked drivel of Frosty’s Fake News, this is incredibly rich. Having engaged in a near non-stop campaign of lies, smears and bullying against Chairman Lines and his team, Frosty’s Snowflakes apparently can’t handle even a modicum of scrutiny that comes with their ill-fated effort to remove AZ GOP leadership in the middle of a crucial election cycle.

SnowflakeThese snowflakes have sent the better part of the year crying about bylaws violations that don’t exist, licking their wounds over a free and fair election that they lost, and fabricating wrongdoing for the sole purpose of grabbing power. Like the liberal snowflakes who still haven’t come to grips with President Trump’s victory, Frosty’s Snowflakes similarly are unable to grasp the fact that they were rejected by the state committee in January.

So instead of working to Make America Great Again and fight for President Trump’s agenda, they throw tantrum after tantrum while attacking grassroots Republicans and attempting to shut down discussion from anyone who disagrees with them, in the best traditions of left-wing college students in need of a “safe space.”

These are snowflakes like Bruce Piepho, who compares the AZ GOP to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany; like sore loser Jim O’Connor, who claims on one side of his mouth that he is uninvolved with a recall effort, then travels up to Show Low to advocate for it; like Lori Hack, who as a Never Trump Republican was removed from the RNC convention floor after refusing to support our Republican nominee. (You can find a full list of the Recall Roster here, snowflakes all.)

While real Republicans in Arizona continue to work to register voters, turn out Republicans for municipal races and lay the groundwork for a successful 2018, Frosty and her snowflakes continue in their effort to tear down the party…and then cry crocodile tears when anyone dares to criticize their destructive behavior and calls out their lies.

They represent the height of hypocrisy and the definition of Alinksy-style tactics. And once again, they will be rejected by Republicans who want to win in 2018.

Guest opinions are not necessarily the opinion or position of Sonoran Alliance or its editors. 

Speaker Mesnard Applauds Court Decision Allowing Initiative Compliance Law to Take Effect

Arizona Seal

JD Mesnard

JD Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today applauded a decision by the Arizona Superior Court allowing legislation (HB 2244) passed by the Legislature earlier this year to take effect tomorrow.  HB 2244 creates uniformity, provides greater clarity, and ensures integrity in the signature-gathering process for initiatives and referenda by compelling strict compliance with requirements set forth in statute and the Constitution.

“Because the Legislature doesn’t have the ability to address unintended consequences created by initiatives, it’s important that initiative campaigns strictly comply with the law,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “I’m pleased with the Court’s decision and look forward to the implementation of the law.”

The new law goes into effect tomorrow, August 9.

Fightin’ Words!

Gary Kiehne

Gary Kiehne

Even without a calendar, you’d know it’s election time by the sudden reappearance of Senator Jeff Flake within the state’s borders and on television.

His handlers have clearly decided the way to sell Flake to Arizona as a conservative is to rebrand him as Senator Barry Goldwater, even brazenly stealing the title of Goldwater’s iconic book, The Conscience of a Conservative.

But Flake is no Goldwater.

When Flake refers to Arizonans as “nativists” and “protectionists” because we believe in sane immigration and trade policies, he is using “fightin’ words”!

What is wrong with calling illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants?  What is wrong with basing our immigration policies on what is best for America, rather than what is best for the Third World’s impoverished masses that want to come here?  (Some seeking paradise and a brighter future, others a government handout, and sadly some who would do us harm.)

What is wrong with advocating America-first trade policies, rather than tolerating one-sided trade deals that suck money out of our economy and yank jobs from our shores?  Is it really “protectionist” to show spine when advocating for the people whose interests you are elected to represent?

The late Senator Barry Goldwater was not a “globalist.”  He was an America-first patriot.

In his new book, Flake says, “if we’re going to be a governing party in the future, and a majority party” we need to change our approach (to his own brand of Republicanism.)  I might point out to the Senator that we already are the majority party now!  As an unofficial member of the Senate’s “Surrender Caucus,” he has become so accustomed to surrendering before a battle is fought that he should probably be forgiven for not recognizing we hold the majority, and acting accordingly.  And when he does pick a battle it is within his own party, namely with President Trump.  As a member of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” he honestly believed that if we gave the Democrats everything they wanted up-front in the reviled immigration bill, the Democrats would honor their word to give Republicans everything we wanted later.  Much later.  Really, Jeff?  If you really believed that, I have some Ocean Front Property I’m dying to sell you.   Senator, show me when that has happened in the last 70 years?

Barry Goldwater was a courageous fighter, statesman, and patriot who was not afraid to stand alone and sound a warning bell about the dangers of encroaching socialism.

Unlike Jeff Flake, Barry Goldwater didn’t promote compromising our foundational American principles.  Jeff Flake seems to think “we are at our best” when we compromise “across the aisle” to surrender our principles gradually, giving America away in bite-sized pieces.  When Flake suggests it is possible to find healthy “common ground” with Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi, he may as well suggest healthy cells grow through “compromise” with cancer cells.  Government-dictated socialism cannot co-exist with free-society capitalism any more than cancer cells can co-exist with healthy cells.

Today’s national Democratic Party is no longer the party of John Kennedy.  It’s the party of extremists like Bernie Sanders, and others even more radical than he.  Today’s Democrats promote a virulent strain of socialist cancer…and what is at stake today is nothing less than America’s survival as a prosperous, free Republic based on individual liberties enshrined in our constitution…or, it’s continued descent into becoming a failed, bankrupt, socialist regime like Venezuela or Cuba.

Fortunately, we still have a way of self-correcting our course in America.  It’s called an election.

A recent survey found that Senator Flake was ranked the third most unpopular man in the U.S. Senate behind only Senator Mitch “Surrender” McConnell, and our other Arizona Senator, John McCain.  It’s undoubtedly for good reason.

Hopefully, Arizonans will remember the actions of Senator Flake in the five years he has been absent from Arizona, rather than buy the re-branded, newly-packaged “Goldwater Conservative” his handlers are selling us now.

Goldwater’s undoubtedly rolling over in his grave.

By Gary Kiehne, a former Arizona candidate for U.S. Congress, business owner, rancher, Trump supporter and unabashed Barry Goldwater supporter.

Unhinged: Recall Rejects Invoke Adolf Hitler, Bizarre Conspiracy Theories

By Rangel Solamente

This week, yet another leader of the misguided and meritless “recall movement” circulated an e-mail which made the ludicrous connection between the AZ GOP and…Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Here’s the relevant text:

There is non-threatening enabling acts for Arizona – One for creating a state and another for the Land Department, see attached.  Fortunately none such as in Germany of 1933.

The German word for an enabling act is Ermächtigungsgesetz. It usually refers to the Enabling Act of 23 March 1933, which became a cornerstone of Adolf Hitler’s seizure of power.

This is embarassing and disgusting on it’s face. Adolf Hitler oversaw the extermination of 6 million Jews, millions of others deemed “impure,” and represents a unique and disgusting sort of evil that we all must vigilently protect against.

And yet, Bruce Piepho, a regular contributor to Frosty’s Fake News, whose unhinged and incomprehensible rants have lately become a staple of her daily screed, has somehow found a connection between Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, and the work being done at the AZ GOP by Chairman Lines and his team.

Piepho concludes his rant with a question: What do you want your AZGOP to be? Well, Bruce, if the choice is between Chairman Lines and a man making Hitler references…you probably won’t like the answer.

Piepho’s e-mail also includes the bizarre conspiracy theories of Steven Slaton, the chairman of Navajo County and another keyboard commando quoted often in Frosty’s Fake News. Slaton claims that the AZ GOP staff was hired not by Chairman Lines…but by a mysterious group of donors known as “The Council.”

Slaton’s blatherings bring to mind another conspiracy-minded character. We couldn’t think of anyone in real life, but let’s take a look at the “Father” character portrayed in “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” and his deep concern with the mysterious “Pentaverate.”

The truth is, the Council is no more real than the Pentaverate. Sadly, Mr. Slaton, and his friend Mr. Piepho, live in a world of black helicopters, chem trails, and secret societies that spend their time, apparently, making staffing decisions at the AZGOP.

It truly is stranger than fiction.

 

Guest opinions are not necessarily the opinion or position of Sonoran Alliance or its editors. Bruce Piepho or Frosty Taylor are welcome to submit their own piece.

Jeff Flake Releases New Ad

Senator Jeff Flake released a political ad on Thursday touting his longstanding consistent conservative credentials.

In the ad, he references Vice President Mike Pence who arrived in Congress at the same time as Flake.

Both freshmen congressmen were ready to take on the establishment but also willing to speak out against their own party’s addition to bigger government and more spending.

The ad is a clip from an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer in which Flake calls out those in the Republican Party who have lost their way and continue the trajectory of more government.

President Trump Challenges Millennial’s for Twitter Crown

OH Predictive

Almost Two Thirds of Arizona Voters Believe Trump Tweets Too Much

Phoenix, AZ (August 4, 2017) –  As social media use continues to grow, OH Predictive Insights wanted to learn more on how Arizona voters viewed President Trump’s tweeting frequency and to gather tangible data on the overall perception behind his use of Twitter.  It is safe to say that by now in the era of Trump you are aware of his preferred social media platform Twitter.

Over 700 active registered, Arizona Democratic, Republican, Independent and non-declared voters participated in this survey, which were based on current active voter registration numbers. The results are as followed:

The question was stated, “of these 4 types of people, who would you say tweets the most in your opinion?”

“It should raise some red flags when the President is running second behind millennials when it comes to their tweeting frequency,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.

OH Predictive Insights also tested Trump’s tweeting frequency. The question was stated, “how would you rate President Trump when it comes to the frequency of his tweeting?”

“If 2 out of every 3 people you meet say you should tone it down – you may want to use Twitter more strategically,” said Noble. “Especially, when 42% of your own political party believes you that are overdoing it.”

“Arizona voters are even split down partisan lines on President Trumps tweets. Democrats and Independents clearly want the President to rest his fingers while only a plurality of Republicans say ‘enough with the tweets’,” said Wes Gullett, partner at OH Predictive Insights and GOP Strategist.

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on July 26th, 2017, from an active Arizona registered voter sample. The sample size was 700 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 3.7%

About OH Predictive Insights

Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers.

Recall Ringleader Admits: “We Need No Cause”

By Rangel Solamente

In a stunning admission, Marianne Ferrari, the self-described leader of the Recall Lines movement has publicly admitted that she does not need a cause for recall; this entire effort is nothing more than an attack on the Republican Party and a massive distraction from the organizing and voter registration activities which should be the sole focus of Republican activists.

In Friday’s Yellow Sheet Report, Ferrari’s admission earned her the coveted “quote of the day.” And why not. The instigator and leader of this strange and meritless recall effort admits what we’ve known all along: they have no cause.

In a weak attempt to cite SOME reason for her time-wasting effort, Ms. Ferrari also reportedly said that she was motivated to recall Chairman Lines because of the $235,000 in debt that he inherited upon assuming the chairmanship in January of 2017.

Keep in mind, this $235,000 legal fee was the result of the AZ GOP’s successful litigation in defense of Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting. No true Republican would object to the AZ GOP working with national Republican organizations to fight back against Soros-funded ballot fraud.

Making her charge all the more ludicrous is the fact that, as was announced today, the Arizona GOP has retired all legal bills that the chairman inherited upon taking office.

Of course, Ms. Ferrari knows full well that Chairman Lines knew nothing of the debt before he took office. And she also knows that the Chairman has worked tirelessly to make sure that the AZ GOP pay its bills, and continue to stand up for ballot integrity and the rule of law.

So there we have it. A recall without merit, a leader without a cause, citing a debt that the chairman was not aware of, that has since been paid off …all wrapped up in her apparent opposition to the AZ GOP’s successful fight to ban ballot harvesting, defending a law that was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by our Republican governor.

We’re starting to think that Marianne Ferrari may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart. And we have a pretty good idea why that is, but we’ll save that for another day…

“Never Trump” Republican Activist leads efforts to Recall Jonathan Lines

By Rangel Solamente

A small band of malcontents has elected to join forces in a quixotic effort to remove Chairman Jonathan Lines. With Frosty Taylor and her “Fake News” briefs serving as a facilitator and mouthpiece, this small group is attempting to overturn the results of a  duly called and recognized election.

So…who are these divisive forces  that are attempting to throw the Arizona GOP into chaos? And while taking a look at this motley crew, consider this…what is their real objective?

The “Never Trumper”: One of the most vocal members of this rogue band is Lori Hack. Lori’s efforts to sow discontent and division are nothing new, as she made national news last year in her refusal to support Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. http://www.azcentral.com/ story/news/politics/elections/ 2016/07/18/arizona-anti-trump- delegate-lori-hack-denied- republican-national- convention-credentials/ 87243792/

In announcing her intention to oppose our nominee, she was in violation of state statute and party bylaws. Her refusal to back our nominee resulted in her removal from the delegate roster; and added to the media’s false narrative that Republicans were not united behind our nominee. Interestingly, the man who Hack is attempting to remove from office, Jonathan Lines, was an enthusiastic Trump supporter who led the nominee’s efforts in Yuma County, ultimately turning Yuma red for President Trump. Also ironic, is that Chairman Lines has received accolades from President Trump for his focus and efficiency in supporting the Trump Agenda.

The Sore Loser: Jim O’Connor was Jonathan Lines’ primary opponent at the January statutory meeting. O’Connor’s candidacy was already shrouded in controversy, as he rigged the election of State Committeemen in LD 23 to ensure a near-unanimous slate to back him. Despite these shenanigans, O’Connor lost by 36 votes, or just over 3% of the electorate. Given the historically close races for Arizona State Chairman, that is actually a fairly wide margin. Instead of graciously accepting the outcome and pledging to work with the new chairman, O’Connor and his henchmen made false accusations of fraud and suggested that votes were not counted properly. However, when offered the chance to review the election documents, they declined. Six months later, still unable to accept the fact that he lost, O’Connor is a leading proponent for a recall. No one likes a sore loser, Jim.

The Puppeteer: It’s been widely reported that the main “mastermind” behind the entire recall effort is none other than Lynne Breyer. Lynne’s troubled past was first brought to light when she ran, unsuccessfully, for AZ GOP Secretary in 2014. Research done by AZGOPCandidates.blogspot.com shows that, as an LD 23 Executive Committee member, Lynne directed thousands of dollars to various PACs, without board approval. One of those PACs, Better Leaders for Arizona, spent over a million dollars attacking Governor Ducey…and Lynne could give no answers as to why she funneled any money there at all, let alone thousands of dollars which had been donated by hard working LD 23 PCs. Lynne has absolutely no business judging the actions of Republican leadership…not when she’s so badly mismanaged her own Legislative District coffers.

The Puppet: Not many Republicans in Tucson have ever heard of John Backer. Since 2010, Backer has voted in just ONE Republican primary, has only recently become a PC, and has never served on the state committee. Oh, and the one time he did bother to vote in a primary? It’s because his name was actually on the ballot (he finished dead last in a race for Pima County Supervisor). Most people believe that Backer is really doing the bidding of others or looking for a way to inject himself into a possible paid office in the next election. Who, we wonder, could be pulling the strings??

The Dishonest Secretary: Gabby Saucedo Mercer has long had trouble telling the truth. As a twice-failed candidate for Congress, she lied to her campaign staff and refused to pay the money she owed them. As a candidate for AZ GOP Secretary, she lied from the pulpit of the church about Jonathan Lines and participated in vicious religious bigotry against the Mormon faith (after being called out for her dishonesty, particularly while giving a speech in a house of worship, Mercer shrugged: “I’m not a preacher,” she said.) And now, Mercer is lying about Chairman Lines, suggesting that he is somehow preventing her from doing her job. To review, the Secretary is responsible for obtaining the permanent party records from his or her predecessor. The bylaws are clear; this is NOT the responsibility of the Chairman. Another important point, is the definition of “permanent records”, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, this means the minutes, which is the “record” of all actions. Despite this, Chairman Lines has attempted on multiple occasions to facilitate the transfer of records from the past Secretary to Gabby. As of yet, this has not occurred.

The Fake News Maven: It’s been well documented how Frosty Taylor, and her “fake news” Briefs, have for years relied on character assassination, dishonesty, and downright lies in order to bully anyone who isn’t a part of her small and shrinking faction. Unsurprisingly, Frosty used her Briefs to promote the candidacies of Jim O’Connor and Tristan Manos…both of whom lost in their bids for chairman. Lately, Taylor’s fake Republican newsletter has attacked, demeaned, and bullied Republican leadership and activists. This recall effort is par for the course for Frosty…her constant efforts to destabilize the GOP plays right into the Democrats’ hands. How proud she must be. Her latest “mistake” was publishing a letter supporting the recall attributed to Russell Pearce, less than 24 hours later she slid a correction in to say it was an error on her part and was actually from the relatively unknown Chairman of La Paz County. A “mistake” or planned strategy to start a false narrative of support for the recall?

The Failed Chairman: Russell Sais is the chairman of the La Paz County GOP. As such, he is responsible for recruiting PCs and building the party. At last count, La Paz County has…wait for it…exactly 3 precinct committeemen, with dozens of vacancies. Perhaps Chairman Sais’s time would be better spent bringing new people into the party and growing his ranks of PCs, rather than sending out bile-filled rants from his computer and attempting to tear down the duly elected leadership of the AZ GOP. A check of the Secretary of State site shows they have never filed the statutorily required committee and are operating illegally. Maybe Mr. Sais and his board should get their own house in order?

The pitch man: Tim Horn clearly loves the sound of his own voice. In December and January, he was the “front man” in trying to explain the illegal activities surrounding LD 23’s state committeemen elections. In a series of youtube videos, Horn attempted to defend the indefensible…illegal calls, random exclusions, failure to adhere to bylaws…all, as it turned out, to elect a state committee slate that would support Jim O’Connor. Following O’Connor’s defeat, Horn showed up at the AZ GOP and inplied that some wrong doing had occurred; this was wrong and an insult to the dozens of volunteers who ensured a fair and transparent voting process. And finally, now that it’s been revealed that LD 23 remains buried in debt from their legal case with the state party, is there any indication that their executive committee approved this expenditure>? What did Tim Horn know, and when did he know it?

The Two-Time Loser: Few people had a rougher January than Wes Harris. The LD 20 PC and State Committeeman put his name forward for Maricopa County Treasurer AND AZ GOP Treasurer…and lost both times! Perhaps most humiliating, Harris was the only candidate on the ballot for Maricopa County Treasurer…and was defeated, soundly, by a write in! That’s right…Harris is so unpopular, he can’t even win when there’s no one else on the ballot! Lately, Harris has taken to Facebook to lie about Jonathan Lines’ tenure as Yuma County Chairman, going so far as to accuse Lines of doing things that occurred before he was even elected. Nice try, Mr. Harris. Harris is no stranger to controversy, having been removed from the Diane Douglas campaign when his felony record for assault with a firearm was revealed in the press.

The Author/Publisher: Then we have the self-proclaimed author of the “call” that would actually force the election, Marianne Ferrari.  No one has seen this document, but this group says it does exist. Marianne is in fact a publisher whose travel guide books can be purchased on Amazon. Originally from New York, she’s a bit of a mystery in that she shows up for meetings, runs for state committeemen but seems to always be working for the destruction of candidates and the party and is known for her regular use of profanity.  Is she really a conservative or an angry woman bent on some sort of mission?

So there you have it. This merry band of Never Trumpers, sore losers, liars and puppets are using Fake News in working to undo a fairly contested election result. We can’t help but wonder how many Republican State Committeeman will publicly stand with this motley crew by signing a recall petition. We’ll certainly be watching.

Sonoran Alliance will gladly publish a response by any of the aforementioned individuals mentioned.

Robert Graham Seriously Entertaining US Senate Run

Former State Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party continues to fuel speculation that he will run for the US Senate in 2018.

In an interview with Scott Simon of NPR’s Weekend Edition, Graham told listeners, “it’s definitely not in the immediate plans…”

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

Graham then went on to criticize Senator Jeff Flake over his “stiff opposition” during the presidential campaign and now Flake being “openly against a lot of his [Donald Trump] agenda items.”

Robert Graham did stop short of acknowledging he will challenge Jeff Flake in the 2018 Republican Primary.

What gives this interview and potential Graham candidacy credibility is that it took place on a national radio show.

Timing is everything of course.

The recent announcement by Senator John McCain that he has a serious and aggressive form of brain cancer has already begun to create tremors across Arizona’s political landscape in anticipation of major seismic activity. An early retirement by Senator John McCain could lead to the appointment of his Republican replacement by Governor Doug Ducey. And that appointment could go off with a major shift in Arizona’s political tectonic plates.

Jeff Flake

Or not.

Governor Ducey could resign and cut a deal with his replacement Michele Reagan to have her appoint him to the position – an unlikely move.

Ducey could also appoint a sitting Republican congressman like David Schweikert (in a safe Republican district) or Martha McSally who may be defeated in 2018 (given the liberal demographics and volatility of CD-2). Either type of an appointment would result in a torrent of state senators, representatives or city officials released to fill that vacancy.

Perhaps the least tumultuous move could be the appointment of someone like Robert Graham.

Graham, who would have to run for the seat in 2018 alongside the other senate primary, would have the advantage of incumbency, an arsenal of Republican donors at his disposal and perhaps most importantly, the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

John McCain

John McCain (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

A Graham appointment also avoids a nasty Republican primary between Graham and Flake who have been political allies. Graham understands the formidability of the Flake machine and avoids that altogether in a parallel campaign.

That takes us back to the interview on NPR. Graham was very careful not to time stamp his answers. No one knows what Senator John McCain will do. Medical treatment takes time and the outcomes may give the senior senator more time to serve.

One thing is certain; Arizona political insiders are in uncharted waters in this political scenario because it has never happened with a US Senate seat here in Arizona.

Finally and most importantly, I want to offer my prayers to Senator John McCain and his family as he takes on another very tough battle. I wish him strength, courage and peace in the months and years ahead.

Non sibi sed patriae, Senator McCain.