Talk about jumping the gun! Saturday, up in NW Arizona, in the Mohave County Republican Central Committee’s quarterly meeting, LD3 Representative Nancy McLain made a rather startling announcement. Nancy hastily announced her candidacy for the State Senate seat; one that will be vacated at the end of the current term, by incumbent Ron Gould, the conservative Republican from Lake Havasu City. Ron will be term limited, but not until after the second session of the 50th Legislature next year.
To confirm the verbal announcement, Ms. McLain sent out an e-mail from her legislative account early Tuesday afternoon. She wanted her constituents to receive the news directly from her. In fact Nancy’s words were, “I just wanted all of you to know that you will be seeing this announcement in the local papers but I wanted to get it out to you first.”
Along with describing her Saturday announcement, she stated that she didn’t expect the new boundaries to be formulated by the Redistricting Commission in time for the 2012 elections, and thus would be in the same LD3 district where she now resides; and expects to campaign in the communities she now represents.
The announcement isn’t a surprise that she was planning to run. No, it’s been no secret that since Ron was elected County Party Chairman last January Ms. McLain was planning to run for Ron’s seat. Nancy, who is rated one of the 5 or 6 most ‘liberal’ Republicans in the House by the Pachyderm Coalition, has harbored resentment towards the solidly conservative Senator Gould, apparently due to his unwillingness to support Ms. McLain’s various legislative efforts over the last several years. Ironically, Ms. McLain was telling constituents as late as last October that she would not be running for the Senate. Her one-sided feud with Senator Gould apparently could be the motivation for this very early announcement.
What REALLY makes this announcement surprising is the ‘timing’. State law requires that any candidate who announces his/her intent to run for another office, resign from their existing elected position, IF it is not in the last year of their term. Other candidates have followed this state law by resigning from their elected office. Accordingly, Nancy would be required to resign from her position EVEN before the end of the current legislative session! Is that what Nancy intended? Certainly she wouldn’t want to be ‘sitting on the sidelines’ for the next year, would she? Did Nancy realize the consequences of her announcement?
Apparently not; for late Tuesday afternoon, Representative McLain sent out another e-mail, a ‘correction’ of her earlier announcement. In THAT e-mail she denies making the announcement. In fact she states, “I’m interested in exploring that possibility, but it’s too early to say for certain at this time.”
She then cryptically adds, “The earlier announcement mistakenly stated that I am a candidate. That is not the case.”
WHAT!? Did Nancy announce her candidacy; or did she say in the quarterly meeting, that she was “…interested in exploring that possibility…”? Wow, What a flip-flop! One recalls John Kerry’s infamous quote, “I voted for funding the Iraq War before I voted against it.” So in one statement she announces her candidacy and confirms it in an e-mail; then immediately says, “…it’s too early to say for certain at this time.
It’s obvious that she did not know the law, and wanted to get the announcement out there for public consumption. She then realized the folly of her ways, and tries to ‘put the horse back into the barn’. So frankly, everyone has to wonder: Can she really undo her announcement? Does Nancy retain any credibility, should she re-announce in the future?
That is the major question for the residents of LD3, primarily Mohave County. Where more than a few residents would consider even Ron Gould and Russell Pearce, too liberal for their tastes! Inquiring minds really want to know the answers to these questions!