Conservatives made some good gains in the Congressional races. I think conservatives had wins in the Congressional races because they’re sexier than state races. This is perhaps where we shined the brightest since we lost wholesale in the state-wide races and, as you’ll see in my next article, the legislative races were a real mixed bag. I’d argue that since the federal government is a government of limited powers and the states are governments of general powers, we need to be focusing a lot more on state races than we currently do. Same with city, county, school board and other elections. Again, there’s LOTS of work for the TEA Partiers to do if they’ll just apply themselves.
I’ve got to admit, CD 1 isn’t my strong suit and I don’t know a ton about Gosar. Paul Gosar won in CD 1 with about 38% of the vote. Looking at the FEC reports, he had the money. He also had a Palin endorsement. In Arizona, that shouldn’t mean much to conservatives since she endorsed McCain too, but apparently it meant something to the district. It looks like from his webpage he had the support of Sheriffs Arpaio and Babeu as well.
Sydney Hay came in second with about 23% of the vote. Not too shabby since she’s run in the district a couple of times before. She had name ID and money that rivaled Gosar’s. However, Sydney threw her hat in the ring late in the game. Sydney has been a movement conservative for a long time. To my mind, the fact that she was Alan Keyes’ campaign manager is all I need to know about her. Keyes is a consummate conservative, but in recent years, he’s acted on the crazy side.
The surprise in the race is that newcomer Bradley Beauchamp beat Rusty Bowers. Bradley was nice enough to come on Grassroots Interviews. He styles himself a constitutionalist and is passionate about his beliefs. As a constructive criticism, his passion often comes across as anger and that can be off-putting. I’d like to see Beauchamp run for office again.
Rusty Bowers of course is a lobbyist and former state legislator. The lobbyist Mike Williams once told me that being a lobbyist pretty much precludes you from winning office. He was right in Matt Salmon’s case and in Rusty’s case, but I remain skeptical about his adage.
The others might be good guys, but this was a crowded field and they failed to broach even 10% and to be frank aren’t worth mentioning.
Simply by looking at Gosar’s webpage, he seems like a relatively conservative guy. I hope that he truly is. It would be a ray of hope for conservatives and one of the too few wins in our column. The next test will be for Gosar to beat Ann Kirpatrick, but then comes the REAL test: will he have the spine to be a conservative icon like Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling and to a lesser extent Paul Ryan or will he be subverted by the RINO McCainiacs like Flake and Shadegg. I pray he has backbone.
No surprises that Trent Franks annihilated Black by an 80-20 margin. Since Shadegg and Flake abandoned conservatives, Trent Franks has been our lone conservative in Congress. He has made some missteps, like endorsing the RINO Sen. Nelson in LD 12and endorsing McCain before JD Hayworth got in the race, but again, right now, he’s the best we conservatives have in Congress and he’s a darned good Congressman. We’re lucky to have him.
I’ll be the first to admit that I called this race incorrectly. With Niecegate, dirty.com, the hint of nepotism and inexperience and all the old Bush-Quayle establishment money flowing into Ben Quayle’s coffers from out of state, I thought he was going to be beat. I was wrong. I think the Quayle win was the most impressive of election night.
Many commenters have said money and name ID were the most key in this election cycle. The Quayle win would seem to prove that assertion correct. Apparently, he was able to paper the district with mailers. Again, since I haven’t been back in the state long enough to be considered a high-propensity voter, I wasn’t targeted by many campaigns, so I didn’t see all the campaigning many candidates in my area did. By many accounts, the Quayle effort could be compared to a deluge.
Luckily, Quayle can fundraise. Hulburd, the Democrat nominee has around three quarters of a million dollars. While the Democrats may THINK they’re going to have a field day smearing Quayle, this will NOT be a repeat of Harry Mitchell vs. J.D. Hayworth. This is a Republican year and CD 3 has a strong Republican registration advantage.
To my mind, Moak coming in second was also a surprise. His fundraising was second only to Quayle’s. Moak seemed to be a relatively conservative guy when he came on Grassroots Interviews. I’ll also assert, as many have, that immigration was also a key issue this cycle. I believe his opponents were successfully able to label him as a supporter of the DREAM Act, a measure that upset the anti-illegal immigration crowd. After my interview of Mr. Moak, his answers about the DREAM Act seemed to be less than a direct and emphatic, “No, I don’t support the DREAM Act.” If he had not been successfully characterized to the voter’s mind as a supporter of the DREAM Act, he might have edged out Quayle. There was only about a 3,000 vote difference between Moak and Quayle.
Waring coming in third was also a surprise. I had picked him to win this contest because I know he was knocking on doors every day. While I may have picked him to win, I did not want him to win. He was a McCain staffer and while some have said he’s shown some independence, I would never have trusted him not to carry McCain’s water in the House. If McCain subverted our Arizona delegation, he wouldn’t have even had to try with Waring. I am happy with Waring’s loss simply because I worry about his politics. To my mind, he’s not conservative enough. Mark my words, Jim will be back. I believe he’s ambitious. He’ll run for something else soon and trust me, he’ll win because he knows how to campaign and he campaigns hard.
I never understood the hype around Vernon Parker. Vernon was a Bush appointee. Bush was a liberal Republican so it might stand to reason that Vernon is a moderate or liberal too because he was tapped by Bush to serve in the Administration. One bit about Parker that even he did not publicize, to his detriment, that would have helped him shake off the mantle of moderate or liberal, is that he worked on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. I also felt like Vernon got Arpaio’s endorsement simply because both are Jason Rose clients. It didn’t seem like a sincere endorsement to me. I mean, really, when you think of stopping illegal immigration, is Vernon Parker’s name the first that pops into your head? Don’t get me wrong, I have come to like the Sheriff and I honestly do appreciate the fact that he endorsed so many candidates. I’ve thanked Arpaio in person for that. I think three other things killed Vernon’s chances. First, he seemed wishy-washy or inconsistent when he dropped out of the governor’s race and ran for Congress instead. I was thankful he dropped out of the governor’s race because I supported Dean and I thought Vernon was a distraction. Since CD 3 includes Paradise Valley, I sorta felt like his switch in races was cynical in that he decided to abandon the Governor’s race for a seat that had his constituency as a larger percentage of the electorate. Second, I’m skeptical of anyone who’s in city government. City government is not a bastion of conservatism, of belief in de minimis government. Unless someone in city government is really making waves slashing and burning unnecessary city services and being a total junkyard dog attacking wasteful city spending, they’re likely moderate or liberal. Third, the playing of the race card in was desperate and perfidious. Calling someone a “poster boy,” isn’t racist in the slightest. Calling a black man, “boy” is. The term was used to assert white dominance over blacks in the South. I’m a Southerner by birth and the grace of God. Vernon wasn’t called, “boy” by anyone…except maybe me. Before the “poster boy” flap, at the Sheriff’s birthday party in Cave Creek, I asked Vernon when he was coming on Grassroots Interviews. Without thinking, I addressed him as “boy.” I truly meant it in a jocular and familiar sense. I realized later that the term had racist overtones and I sought Vernon out to look him in the eye and sincerely apologize about any unintended connotations. Vernon said he hadn’t heard me call him that and said he wouldn’t have taken offense. That told me that Vernon’s “outrage” at the “poster boy” comments was manufactured. We’re in a time where the leftists have shrilly cried “racist” at every turn. We’re in a time where the term has been so overused, we’ve started to turn a deaf ear to it and dismiss the claims. We’re not letting the leftists shut down the debate anymore with that now meaningless and overused brand.
Gorman and Crump were two LD 6 conservatives that likely split the votes of their constituencies. Pam Gorman certainly campaigned harder than Sam Crump. Crump certainly had a hard time raising money. Not only did I vote for Sam Crump, but I had hoped he would have remained in the Attorney General’s race. Had he stayed in that race, with Thomas and Horne destroying each other, he might have been the victor…but more than likely, he would have split the conservative vote with Thomas and assured Horne’s victory. My trouble with Gorman is her support of moderate or liberal candidates. She supported Tony Bouie over Carl Seel and Sam Crump for the LD 6 House. Tony is a nice guy, I appreciated the fact that he came on Grassroots Interviews, I’m just hesitant to believe he’s a hard-core conservative and I hope he doesn’t hold my comments against me because I’d like to remain friends with him. Gorman also supported Peggy Neely. To my mind, conservatives should NEVER, EVER, EVER support moderate or liberal candidates. To me, it’s unforgiveable. Gorman did it not once, but twice. I think both Gorman and Crump are ambitious and we’ll see them run for office again. I can honestly say I wish them both the best of luck.
I’m SO happy that the Jan Brewer-loving and pro-death Paulina Morris finished near the bottom. She had an organized and ardent pro-death constituency. I can only hope she and Hull, the two pro-death candidates, split the pro-death vote. But more than the Life issue, Paulina Morris’ ads were atrocious. Find out who did her commercials and avoid them like the plague. The impression I was left with after her first TV ad was that she was an angry woman marching around behind a desk stabbing her finger at me. That’s not a way to PERSUADE me to vote for you. Her “frank” assessment of the other candidates was also a colossal disaster. There’s a certain decorum that’s expected of Congressmen. It’s why Joe Wilson got reprimanded for correctly stating that Obama is a liar during the State of the Union address. Saying she “damned well approved this message,” violated that decorum. So did Quayle’s ad stating that he’d “knock the Hell out of Washington.” However, sexist or not, I think we generally still expect ladies to act like ladies and Morris’ ad was not lady-like. I truly hope this is Morris’ political obituary, at least in terms of running for office. We Republicans don’t need her for much more than voting for our nominees. Otherwise, she needs to register as a Democrat.
Ed Winkler had an amazingly tin ear. He committed suicide in front of the Arizona Republican Assembly by stating that he thought Jeff Flake was on the mark on illegal immigration. He had neither the district-wide name ID or the money or the position on illegal immigration necessary to win. I knew he’d be an also-ran and he finished just about where I privately suspected he would.
Bob Branch came in second to last. Sad. He’s a good guy and my impression is that he’s genuinely conservative. The only black mark I know about on him is that he apparently dislikes Prop. 13. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I hope Bob Branch stays involved in politics and I hope he runs for something else soon, like perhaps the state legislature. If he does, I’d be happy to support him. Ultimately, he didn’t have a lot of cash, he didn’t have a lot of name ID, and he didn’t have an Arpaio endorsement. Though negatives to overcome.
LeAnn Hull never had a chance. She came in dead last and had I publicly made predictions before the primaries, I would have stated that she would come in last. She’s a passionate woman, but comes across as crazy. Her ad done in the toilet where she says we’re flushing money in Washington just looks thoroughly insane. She’s pro-death and when I asked her about amnesty, she at first said that she didn’t believe in it, then explained in a round about way that she thought there should be a path to citizenship. She should have started her political career running for the state legislature, but I would not counsel her to run for anything at all ever again. Her positions on the Life issue and amnesty and her inability to raise money should be clear indicators that she’ll never go anywhere in politics. LeAnn said she didn’t want to raise money. That’s a cop out. While having the most money is not a guarantor of a win, have NO money guarantees defeat. Her position on fundraising is more proof of her lack of a grasp on reality.
Is the Quayle win a win for conservatives? I’m undecided. He has at least one conservatarian on his staff that truly believes Ben is conservative. I hope he’s right. If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, we need to remember that Bush picked Dan Quayle as his VP running mate to appeal to the conservatives. I truly hope Ben Quayle makes his dad look like a sissy liberal. I’ll be voting for Ben in the general election over Hulburd and I’m confident that Ben WILL win a seat to Congress. Get used to saying, “Congressman Quayle.”
Janet Contreras smoked admitted progressive candidate Jose Penalosa by almost 19 points. Yes, Janet is my client, but I can truly say CD 4 made a VERY wise choice by nominating Janet. I’m sure Janet will want me to be nice to Jose because that’s just the type of classy woman she is, but I’m going to take a moment to talk about Jose Penalosa’s campaign strategy. That I can tell, Jose’s strategy was to show up on just about every Spanish speaking media outlet and put campaign signs in downtown Phoenix which has a very transitory population of workers that come from a multitude of districts. He wasn’t targeting constituents at all by doing that. His signs should have been in the residential areas of CD 4. As for targeting the Spanish-speaking, I don’t see the logic in that either. Even Hispanics will admit that Hispanics aren’t high efficacy voters as they should be. Now, there’s been speculation that Penalosa might be a Pastor plant or even a McCain plant, but there’s also speculation that Penalosa ran for Congress just to advertise his law firm which defends illegals. His campaign strategy sure seemed to target those same illegals who listen to Spanish radio.
This is a win for conservatives. Now we need to really help Janet get the 9K or 10K more votes she needs to topple Ed Pastor. As Janet says, we need to stop spreading the lie that pastor is not vulnerable. In this Republican year and with a stellar candidate like Janet, he IS vulnerable.
Conservative David Schwiekert beat moderate Jim Ward by slightly more than 12 points. Schweikert had name ID, money, and a strong stance on immigration. It was a recipe for a win.
Ward’s ads were pure perfidy. Attacking Schweikert as a career politician? It’s been a while since he’s held office. Attacking Schweikert for losing to Mitchell in a year when Republicans lost across the board? I guess in bad years for Republicans no one should challenge the Democrats? I think the voters saw through Ward’s thin logic.
Now, it’s time for some frank talk with Susan Bitter Smith. How many times have you run for office and lost? You’re now officially a perennial candidate and perennial loser. Arizonans have you figured out as a moderate or RINO and you’ve been outed as such on this blog innumerable times. Please, stop running for office. You can’t win. We want you in the party to vote for our nominees, but your ambition has been soundly rejected time and again. I’d suggest taking the hint.
Some TEA Partiers supported Chris Salvino. He came in fourth and garnered less than 10%. I have friends that worked for his campaign and were supporters, but I have to think that Dr. Salvino might have fared better if he had run for a legislative seat out of the gate.
The other also rans aren’t worth mentioning their results were so poor.
This is a total win for conservatives. Almost 59K people turned out to vote in the Republican primary. Only 24K, less than half of the Republican votes, turned out to vote for Mitchell. That’s a heartening statistic in a Republican year. I’m sure the Leftists will argue that Mitchell hasn’t bothered to run a campaign yet since he wasn’t facing a primary.
That Jeff Flake beat Jeff Smith by a 2-1 margin is no surprise. I believe I predicted Flake’s win, not like that was too difficult to predict. Despite all the black marks against Jeff Flake, he is a leviathan in the district. He certainly had the name ID and money to command the field. Even Russell Pearce had the wisdom not to challenge Flake. Flake started out his Congressional career as a staunch conservative, but he has been subverted by McCain and the open borders crowd. He has voted for ENDA, he sponsored the STRIVE Act, he has proposed Cap & Trade legislation and he broke his term limit pledge. Flake has become a disaster.
I HAVE to chalk this up as a win for moderates and a loss for conservatives. CD 6 was presented with a conservative alternative to Flake and they rejected him. Flake will continue to move left. He’s lost his way. We’d love to have Flake back in the conservative fold, but I’m not holding out hope.
Myers may have had some money, but that didn’t help him beat Ruth McClung. Ruth campaigned hard. I saw her everywhere. I saw Myers once. Granted, I don’t live in CD 7. Let me ask, if we should have voted for Myers because he’s a millionaire and he had the cash to beat Grijalva, then why didn’t he spend the cash to defeat Ruth? Myers ran a poor campaign. I’ve also got to ask if Myers is dedicated to defeating Grijalva, is he going to max out to McClung now?
The shocker here was that Robert Wilson, who made an attempt at campaigning, lost to perennial candidate and nut job Joe Sweeney.
This has to be counted as a conservative win. The real test is for Ruth to run hard against Mr. “Boycott Arizona” Grijalva. He’s utter leftist scum and hates America and his own state. Democrats should be ashamed for electing this guy and returning him to office.
Jesse Kelly, a newcomer, beat a former state legislator with more money. This is proof that money isn’t everything, but it’s helpful. Jesse campaigned hard. For a while at the beginning, I thought he was the only guy in the race. Something else that may have hurt Paton was his late entry into the race. Paton has never been a conservative legislator in the mold of Harper or Gould or Seel or Burgess. I bet we see Paton run for something else in the future.
If Jesse makes it to Congress, and I hope he does, I hope he is unwaveringly conservative. I hope he resists McCain’s attempts to subvert him. We need him to stand strong.
I have to chalk this up to a win for conservatives due to Paton’s middle of the road record. Since Giffords is considered vulnerable, I expect Jesse to get a flood of cash from the RNC.
Conservatives and TEA Partiers, you did OK. I give you a B+…but that’s not an A+. There’s work to be done. You need to STAY involved and be involved in ALL races and elections. Don’t give up!