Conservative Business Leader Christine Jones Announces Run For Congress

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(Gilbert, AZ) – Today, conservative business leader Christine Jones officially announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in Arizona’s fifth Congressional District.

Jones said, “We have enough career politicians in Washington and need citizen representatives with business and real world experiences if we are going to fix the multitude of problems facing America today: runaway spending in Washington, a failed immigration policy, and threats from ISIS on the battlefield and in cyberspace.

The voters are tired of politicians who make big promises and fail to deliver. That needs to change. Unlike career politicians, I don’t just talk about what needs to be done…I do it,” said Jones.

As Executive Vice President of Go Daddy for more than 10 years, Christine Jones played an essential role in the creation of over 4,000 jobs, including more than 1,500 in the East Valley. She brings successful private sector business, technology, and policy-development experience to the table.

The campaign released the following video today:

Christine Jones – A Fresh Choice for Congress

Christine JonesShe hasn’t even announced a decision to run for congress and career politicians are already treating her as a threat to the political system they are trying to protect.

That’s the response Christine Jones has elicited from the campaign teams and political insiders catering to a flooded field of entitled east valley politicians.

Republican businesswoman Christine Jones is no career politician and she hasn’t spent her career climbing the ladder of political offices like others already in the race for CD-5.

Jones has risen in her career through tremendous hard work and commitment to conservative business principles. As the first in-house attorney for GoDaddy, she was an integral part of the success of the popular domain name and hosting company. In fact, she was part of the team that helped grow the company to over 4,000 employees.

Currently, she serves as the interim CEO of Great Hearts Academies – one of the most successful charter school systems in Arizona. The school has an impressive reputation of high test scores and college-bound graduates.

Other than the obvious, Christine Jones is very different from the cadre of career politicians running for this open seat. She knows how to accomplish major goals as both a team player and as a strong woman leader.

Any day, she is expected to make a decision and announcement. Should she enter the race, it will certainly stir things up for the cabal of east valley politicians but isn’t that what makes a strong principled leader?

If she gets in the race, Christine Jones will be a fresh choice and a strong voice for the citizens of CD-5.

Christine Jones – Right for Congress

Guest Opinion

Although she has yet to announce, Republican Christine Jones would be a conservative force among a growing crowd of men in Arizona’s 5th congressional district.

The former 2014 gubernatorial candidate and Vice President/General Counsel for GoDaddy is seriously considering a bid for the congressional seat that will be left open upon the retirement of Congressman Matt Salmon.

Christine Jones

Christine Jones

Jones, who placed 3rd in the 2014 Republican Primary for governor, is no stranger to political campaigning. Not only would she bring extensive statewide campaign experience to the race against opponents lacking in the same depth, but she would also have the financial resources to wage a serious ground and media effort.

Her conservative credentials are also proven – a criteria essential to win and represent the east valley’s 5th congressional district. On national security and immigration, Christine Jones has called for deploying National Guard troops to the border, using high tech monitoring and fortifying the wall in critical strategic places. During a 2014 RealClearPolitics interview she said on immigration, “I just know that I’m an unapologetic conservative and I think if you break the law you should have a consequence.”

On jobs and the economy, Jones is no stranger to private sector job creation. As Vice President at GoDaddy, she oversaw the creation of 4,000 jobs during her service to the internet giant. During her gubernatorial campaign she called for a focus on the “5 T’s” – technology, training, transportation, tourism and taxation. Her plan would have moved Arizona’s economy forward with an emphasis on the economic drivers taking Arizona into the next century. The plan would rely heavily on an education system that creates a world-class workforce that focuses on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To spur economic growth, Jones has proposed cutting taxes, streamlining and downsizing government and reducing or eliminating regulatory and legal reforms in order to create an environment that encourages private investment and job growth.

One issue extremely important to Christine Jones is education. In November, 2015, she was appointed as interim CEO of charter school giant, Great Hearts Academies. There, she has overseen the classical education of more than 13,000 students and 29 schools in Arizona and Texas. Some 98% of graduates of Great Hearts graduates go on to college and university. In her appointment, Great Hearts Chairman and co-founder Jay Heiler said , “Christine Jones has the gifts, the background, the dedication and the knowledge of our organization to advance this process as our interim chief executive.” The January, 2016 Niche rankings recognized Chandler Preparatory Academy as the top performing school in Arizona.

While at GoDaddy, Jones pushed for legislation to protect children from online predators and stopping the sale of drugs by illegal online pharmacies. She has testified before congressional committees on several occasions regarding internet threats and illegal activities.

On cultural issues, Christine Jones has proven herself conservative on such issues as religious freedom, traditional marriage and protecting the sanctity of life. She identifies as an evangelical Christian and is active in her church. She is an ardent and fierce defender of the US Constitution, the Second Amendment and eliminating Common Core.

Should Christine Jones enter the race for CD-5, it will certainly stir up the dynamics of the race. The east valley which is considered by political experts as a stronghold for Mormon candidates, has never elected a woman to congress. Since statehood, Arizona has only sent six women to the US House of Representatives with Martha McSally being the only Republican woman elected in Arizona. (Republican women represent only 5% of the current US House.) The election of Christine Jones in the east valley would set a precedent and hopefully reinvigorate efforts to elect more Republican women to Congress.

Jones will likely make an announcement very soon as urgency increases to collect petition signatures for the August ballot. Her opponents should not underestimate her ability to change the entire formula of winning in east valley politics given her tested campaign experience, her ability to communicate conservative values and voters’ anger to overthrow a system of politics as usual.

Christine Jones has challenged and overcome the status quo throughout her life. Winning the 5th congressional district may very well be her next victory.

Latest Poll Shows Doug Ducey Leading Pack by 11 Points

Reposted from Conservative Leadership for Arizona:

PHOENIX, AZ – This week Conservative Leadership for Arizona and Harper Polling conducted a poll of likely Republican primary voters in Arizona.  Results revealed that Arizona Treasurer and entrepreneur Doug Ducey leads the pack with 26%.  Christine Jones and Scott Smith are tied for second with 15%

Below is a comparison of the ballot test in all five polls Conservative Leadership for Arizona has commissioned:

April 10*   May 15*    June 5*    July 11*    July 30*

Bennett   15%        13%          12%        11%          12%

Ducey      9%          27%         28%         26%          26%

Jones      14%        12%          12%         22%         15%

Smith       6%          12%          16%         14%         15%

Thomas   6%           6%            5%           6%           11%

Riggs       1%           1%            2%           2%            5%

Undecided 45%     28%           23%        19%          16%

CLA Chairman Sean Noble said, “Our latest poll shows that while some candidates experienced bumps in their numbers, they have only been temporary.  As the election gets closer and Arizonans learn more about the candidates, Ducey’s lead over Smith and Jones has grown.  While there has been some rearranging of the orchestra, the first chair has been occupied by Ducey.”

For more information on Conservative Leadership for Arizona and to view the full poll results, visit www.conservativeleadershipaz.com.

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*Polls conducted by Magellan Strategies.

CLA AZ GOP Primary Topline Results — July 30, 2014

Quiz: Match the Music Video with the Gubernatorial Candidate Campaign

I’m poking a little fun at the Arizona gubernatorial candidates by matching music (or commercial) videos with my take on their campaigns. So here goes. Try to match the music video with the gubernatorial candidate:

Which gubernatorial candidate is playing a high stakes game of political wannabe using her best poser face?

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One particular gubernatorial candidate could take a lesson from this rock icon. (And I bet he can even perform as well!)

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This gubernatorial candidate hails from the place where this commercial originates and says to speak the language of the fans. 

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This song is the theme for which former mayor’s gubernatorial candidate’s campaign? Hint: A tale of two cities.

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This gubernatorial candidate is so “hot” no one wants to stand near him!

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Finally, this gubernatorial candidate will be singing this on Tuesday night, August 26th.

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Most Recent Arizona Gubernatorial Ads

Here are the most recent gubernatorial ads for your review and comment. Note, production and airing for these ads is being paid for by money raised from donors, money from the candidate’s own pocket or from Arizona taxpayers through the Clean Elections system. Can you tell which?

Andrew Thomas – July 17, 2014
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Ken Bennett – July 16, 2014
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Christine Jones – July 15, 2014
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Scott Smith – July 15, 2014
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Frank Riggs – July 15, 2014
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Doug Ducey – July 8, 2014
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Fred DuVal – April 17, 2014
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Let us know what you think!

Hear 5-Minute Stump Speeches from 29 Arizona GOP Candidates!

uvs140316-001Here’s a chance to see and hear from no less than 29 Arizona elected-office candidates, all in one place. It’s like speed-dating for politicians(!).

On March 15, 2014, the Sun City West Republican club sponsored a well-run Candidates Forum in which each candidate packed all he/she could in a 5-minute appeal to Arizona voters.

The full article and videos are at this link.  You can hear them all or use time sliders to pick the candidates of your choice. Included, in order of appearance, are:

Michael Jeanes, candidate, Arizona Clerk of Courts
Sandra Dowling, candidate, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Clint Hickman, candidate, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Elbert Bicknell, candidate, Maricopy Country Health Care District #4
Jean McGrath, candidate, Marcopa County Community College District #4
John Heep, candidate, Marcopa County Community College District #4
Bonnie Katz, candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Lucy Mason, candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Diane Douglas, candidate, AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jeff Dewit, candidate, Arizona State Treasurer
Randy Pullen, candidate, Arizona State Treasurer
David Livingston, candidate, AZ Representative LD22
Phil Lovas, candidate, AZ Representative LD22

Judy Burges, candidate, AZ Senate LD22
Clair Van Steenwyk,
candidate, US House of Representatives
Trent Franks,
candidate, US House of Representatives
Tom Forese,
candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Mark Brnovich,
candidate, AZ Attorney General
Tom Horne,
candidate, AZ Attorney General
Michele Reagan,
candidate, AZ Secretary of State
Justin Pierce,
candidate, AZ Secretary of State
Christine Jones,
candidate, AZ Governor
Al Melivn,
candidate, AZ Governor
Alice Lukasik,
candidate, AZ Governor
John Molina,
candiate, AZ Governor
Frank Riggs,
candidate, AZ Governor
Scott Smith,
candidate, AZ Governor

For the full article, click here.

Handicapping the Arizona Governor’s Race

Arizona PBS’s Horizon just featured a segment featuring ASU pollster Bruce Merrill discussing the current lineup and prospects seeking the office of Governor in 2014. For the most part I agree with Merrill’s assessment on the candidates but I think I’d like to point out some factors that the respected pollster may have overlooked.

First, here’s the interview with Ted Simon:

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If I were to break out the GOP gubernatorial race into three tiers, this is what it would look like. (For the purpose of full disclosure, I do not have any of these candidates as clients.)

First Tier:
Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

Second Tier:
Secretary of State Ken Bennett
Christine Jones
Former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman

Third Tier:
State Senator Al Melvin
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas

Assessing the first tier of candidates, both Ducey and Smith are extremely formidable candidates with perhaps the best consulting firms/teams in Arizona running their campaigns. I like to refer to this race as a battle between the House of Noble and the House of Coughlin.

DC London is run by former Chief of Staff to Congressman John Shadegg, Sean Noble – one of the most disciplined, organized and well-connected consultants in the business. House of Coughlin is run by Governor Brewer’s closest advisor and strategist, Chuck Coughlin who founded and oversees Arizona’s HighGround firm. As noted, Noble and Coughlin are two of the best Republican consultants in the state of Arizona. Both their firms are ready to lock horns in the governor’s race with teams that will make the Republican primary battle very exciting to watch.

Both Doug Ducey and Scott Smith are also strong leaders in their respective arenas. They know how to campaign effectively and are very good with audiences. They also have the capacity to bring a lot of money to the table for their teams. On the GOP spectrum, Ducey draws out support from the grassroots while Smith tends to identify with the establishment.

At the present, Ducey’s assertiveness for this race has been a little below the radar while Smith’s team has been actively taking advantage of opportunities to boost the mayor’s profile. We saw this recently in Smith’s election as President of the US Conference of Mayors. This makes sense from Smith’s perspective since his profile is highest in the east valley and Ducey has already obtained statewide name recognition.

This race will be very tight as money, leadership style, likability and their respective teams are evenly matched.

Looking at the second tier, I would have to place Secretary of State Ken Bennett at the top of this tier, although he has the chance to bounce into the first tier given an effective campaign team. Bennett has run for statewide office before although he really didn’t have any competition. Anyone who knows Ken Bennett knows him as one of the nicest elected officials they’ve ever met. But his chivalrous soft-spoken demeanor is often seen as a lack of assertiveness. To jump into the first tier, he will need ditch some of the nice-guy persona and get a little more assertive.

Christine Jones’ biggest challenge is that no one knows who she is. Whoever she hires as her team will need to do a lot of catching up making the rounds. If she is counting on raising money from the political establishment, this will be tough because most of the cash is flowing to the upper tier. She will have to put a lot of her own money into the race to boost her profile and prove credibility as a candidate. When I first heard her name mentioned for a statewide office, my suggestion was to see her run for Attorney General because a Christine Jones vs. Felecia Rotellini matchup would keep that seat in the hands of Republicans.

Hugh Hallman also remains in the second tier primarily because of the challenges of statewide name identification and the challenge of fundraising in a crowded field. Hallman is one of the smartest policy guys and that may come off as being too wonky, geeky and not strong enough leadership. He is well liked but running for Governor is not like running for the 8th most populous city in Arizona,

Jumping to the third tier, it’s accurate to say that both Senator Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have no path to victory whatsoever.

Senator Melvin is one of the nicest men you will ever meet but his time in the Arizona Legislature has branded him with the image of the grandfatherly citizen legislator. He has never run for statewide office and the money, energy and team it requires to mount such a campaign is out of reach.

Finally (and this is difficult to write), Andrew Thomas has no chance of winning the nomination short of the entire Arizona judiciary system being indicted for corruption. If Thomas had only remained in the office of County Attorney and successfully beat the judiciary system, he might be invincible. Unfortunately he now has one of the highest political radioactivity levels when it comes to former elected officials. This will doom his campaign.

Having managed a statewide campaign, I will tell you that it is a tremendous amount of work that requires millions of dollars. Money does make the difference in races and candidates who assert themselves early through money, endorsements and profile take the advantage. Watch for this race to be far more exciting than it was in 2010!

 

Shane Wikfors is the creator and editor of Sonoran Alliance and President of Red Mountain Consulting & Development. He has been active in Arizona campaigns, grassroots politics and non-profit issue advocacy for over 23 years. You can read more about him at ShaneWikfors.com.