After the new legislative district lines came out a few months ago, there was much speculation (and anticipation), about the potential AZ Senate matchup between would-be comeback kid Russell Pearce and his top Senate Republican nemisis Rich Crandall. The consensus pointed to Crandall getting crushed by Pearce.
After all, in 2010 Crandall lost over 40% of the vote to newbie challenger James Molina, even though Molina dropped out of the race almost a month before early ballots. Even a charitable view of this outcome points to a 20%+ protest vote against Crandall – a HUGE number for a relatively low profile state legislative race.
Fast forward to March. First, Crandall announced he was retiring and endorsed wealthy LDS RINO Bob Worsley against Pearce. Then soon after, Crandall filed run in the new LD16 against freshman Rep. John Fillmore. Crandall will have to move to run in LD16, which he justifies by noting his kids go to school there. He’s been drafted to run, you see, because the state would be unable to sustain itself without the benefit of his insight on education.
The truth is somewhat less flattering for him. First, the Elites, who Crandall loves to consider himself a leader among, threw him under the bus because they knew he’d lose to Pearce. He tried to make it look like his idea so it wouldn’t be so obvious. But since he wants a position in a national educrat organization that requires that he be a sitting legislator to be eligible, he decided to carpetbag over to LD16, where he would avoid facing Pearce.
All Arizona conservatives should hope that the voters of LD16 who aren’t as familiar with Crandall as his abandoned district will see through his conservative facade and recognize the coward that is underneath.