Rural Arizona Senator Chester Crandell Passes

By Jesse Bryant

Senator Chester CrandellTragedy has once again struck Rural Arizona with the passing of Rural Arizona’s Senator Chester Crandell. It was announced Monday, August 04, 2014, that Senator Crandell died while out riding his horse in his Rim Country home of Heber, Arizona.

It was in Heber, also, where Chester grew up and finished school in the one-room school house in 1964. He went on to attend Mesa Community College, then transferred to the University of Arizona earning a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education and afterward earning a Master’s of Education Leadership degree from Northern Arizona University.

After college, he began a distinguished thirty year career in public education starting at Westwood High School in 1972. He developed the first Vocation Agriculture program at Heber-Overgaard School District, and in 1999 helped to establish the Northern Arizona Vocation Institute of Technology (NAVIT) across rim country school districts.

While serving as superintendent of NAVIT, Chester took sevice to the next level by becoming a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives. He received a warm welcome by rural activists and became the “C” in that year’s ABC team representing the five eastern counties, including Gila, in the legislature; Senator Sylvia Allen and Representative Brenda Barton being the “A” and “B” of the team. In 2012 with the retirement of Senator Allen, he ran for and won a seat in the state senate.

Chester presented a strong voice at the capitol for all rural Arizonans and our important issues. Most recently he was working on efforts to restore control of public lands to the states, and running for a second term. His death creates vacancies in his office and on the November ballot. A strikingly similar incident occurred in 2008 when Senator Jake Flake died of a heart attack after being thrown from his horse in Snowflake, AZ. As it happened in 2008, the law requires that the Navajo County Board of Supervisors appoint a resident of Navajo County to finish the remaining few months of Senator Crandell’s term. The precinct committeemen of the Republican Party inside Crandell’s legislative district will gather together in a central location within their district, receive qualified candidates, and elect an individual to run in his place for the November election.

Chester Crandell, leaves behind his wife Alice, nine children, and many grandchildren. As an inheritance he leaves them a ranching heritage, a name marked by honor, and an example of humility. Rural Arizona mourns the loss of one of its champions and heroes, but hats come off to a fitting passing for a man of the land.

NFIB Endorses 42 Legislative Candidates

Nine Newcomers Join 33 Incumbents as Small Business’ Choice

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its endorsements of 42 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

The principal standard used to evaluate incumbents was their voting records on 12 bills supported or opposed by the National Federation of Independent Business during the 2013-2014 legislative sessions. Endorsements for non-incumbent candidates were largely based on the quality of their answers on a questionnaire. These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the pre-primary phase of the candidate evaluation process. There may be further endorsements in select legislative and statewide races after the August 26th primary elections.

NFIB/Arizona Endorsements in 2014 Legislative Primary Contests

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

One Team, Three Voices. LD6 Legislators to embark on Town Hall Tour.

Town Hall Tour Barton