Northwest Tucson has been a sanctuary for moderate/liberal Republicans for a long time. There are several reasons for this. One is that the Republican District 26 Committee and County HQ provided cover for the three H’s (now down to two.) Anyone asking what’s with the voting record of Toni Hellon or Pete Hershberger is quickly told not to make trouble.
The days of sanctuary are now over. What happened? One of the biggest changes has been the growth in population. Thousands of Republican voters moved to the area and they were more familiar with the name Reagan than Hershberger. The internet has made checking voting records a snap and e-mail allows people to spread the word quickly and inexpensively. Clean Elections allows a candidate with a message but little money to be instantly credible. Finally blogs have made raw, unfiltered coverage available. The message may stand or fall on its own merits but is not silenced.