State Senator Al Melvin Handily Wins Online Tea Party Straw Poll for AZ Governor

Melvin Letterhead Art

“We all know the difference between scientific polls and straw polls, but we are very encouraged at the success we enjoyed in the Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots poll.” – Al Melvin

The third-term Senator was the clear winner in the online poll that allowed participants to vote for any of the declared candidates for Governor.  With nearly 1,000 responses compiled, Melvin had 44% of the vote.

AZGOV Tea Party Poll Results Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 9.10.38 AM

“There are candidates who talk about what they will do if elected and then there is Al Melvin, who can also talk about what he has actually done since being elected.” said Joe Boogaart, himself an organizer for Melvin’s campaign.

Boogaart added, “Al Melvin offers bold reforms and real proposals to create growth on a massive scale.  He offers an impassioned defense of Arizona’s rights in the face of an ever-encroaching federal government, and he proposes education reform that finally and firmly shifts the power away from bureaucracies and into the hands of parents where it belongs.  And he gets to back up these promises with a real record of standing tall for conservatives.”

Melvin serves as Chairman of the Commerce, Energy and Military Committee and founded the highly successful Mining Caucus and Tourism Caucus. He has had a long business career in international trade and transportation, is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY and received his MBA degree from Thunderbird-School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.  Prior to his election to the Senate, he taught college level courses as an adjunct, in economics, international business and management.

Melvin is a military veteran and graduate of the US Naval War College. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service as Squadron Commander of COMPSRONTWO, then the largest ship squadron in the US Navy (14 ships) based at the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In 1999, after 30 years in the US Naval Reserve, he retired as a Navy Captain, the equivalent of a full colonel.

He is a member of the VFW, American Legion, Military Officers of America and other military related organizations.  Sen. Melvin is a life Member of the NRA (National Rifle Association).  He is a member of the Elks, Rotary and Knights of Columbus, and he remains a proud Eagle Scout (class of ’61).

Al and his wife Kou reside in SaddleBrooke in Pinal County, just north of Tucson and attend Santa Catalina Catholic Church in Catalina.

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Senator Jon Kyl to Head Policy Group for Doug Ducey Exploratory Committee

Doug Ducey

Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey announced today that former Senator Jon Kyl has agreed to lead a group of policy advisers for his recently-announced exploratory committee for the 2014 governor’s race.

“Throughout his career Jon Kyl has proven himself to be one of the most thoughtful, perceptive and patriotic public servants in the country,” said Ducey. “His entire public life is built on substance and solutions, and I’m delighted that he is standing with us, providing the benefits of his knowledge and wisdom in the days ahead.”

“Doug Ducey’s leadership style is to first ground himself in the substance of the critical issues facing our state. I respect that,” said Senator Kyl. “His skills, his knowledge of business management, his conservative credentials, and his proven record as State Treasurer are precisely what are needed for Arizona.”

Senator Kyl will be leading a policy group for Ducey 2014 that includes:

    • Cathi Herrod, highly respected lawyer and Arizona’s leading advocate for the foundational values of life, traditional marriage and family, and religious liberty.
    • The Honorable Robert Fannin, former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, former Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, and a highly respected leader in business and law.
    • The Honorable Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney. A West Point Graduate who received the Bronze Star for his service in the Gulf War. He then graduated Magna Cum Laude from the ASU College of Law receiving the Order of the Coif.
    • Lea Marquez Peterson, an entrepreneur and advocate for the Southern Arizona business community. Lea runs the largest Latino business organization in the State of Arizona.
    • Randy Kendrick, lawyer, founder and past president of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, health care policy expert, and philanthropist.

Ducey added, “I’m fortunate to have such policy grounded leaders advising me, and I’m grateful to each of them for giving time and energy to my exploratory committee for governor.”

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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:

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.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidates: Who Do You Like?

Arizona Supreme Court Reinstates Colleen Mathis as Chairman of Redistricting Commission

Early this evening, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling reinstating the so-called ‘Independent’ Colleen Mathis to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

This is a victory for leftists and Strategic Telemetry who were attempting to manipulate the Arizona Constitution to gain political power by leveraging data to the left’s advantage.

Three members of the commission decided to disregard the mandates outlined in the Arizona Constitution and solely utilize the element of competitiveness to draft Arizona electoral boundaries.

The law states the following under Article 4, Part 2, Section 1:

(14) The independent redistricting commission shall establish congressional and legislative districts. The commencement of the mapping process for both the congressional and legislative districts shall be the creation of districts of equal population in a grid-like pattern across the state. Adjustments to the grid shall then be made as necessary to accommodate the goals as set forth below: 

A. Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution and the United States voting rights act; 

B. Congressional districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable, and state legislative districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable; 

C. Districts shall be geographically compact and contiguous to the extent practicable; 

D. District boundaries shall respect communities of interest to the extent practicable; 

E. To the extent practicable, district lines shall use visible geographic features, city, town and county boundaries, and undivided census tracts; 

F. To the extent practicable, competitive districts should be favored where to do so would create no significant detriment to the other goals.

The two Democrats and Independent member, Colleen Mathis, established “F” – the competitive provision – as the main criteria in drafting the maps.

This was a blatant redistribution of votes.

With Mathis now reinstated, the commission can move forward working to further divide and leverage minority power against the rest of the State of Arizona.

We would assume that Governor Brewer is furious over the court’s action (A statement was just released.)

This may also set the stage for a constitutional crisis.

This also should give the legislature further motive to move quickly to enter a special session with the exclusive objective of referring a repeal of the law that gave us the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The Legislature has until November 30th to pass a referendum in order to place it on the ballot on the same day of the Presidential Preference Election on February 28th.

If you support repealing the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and restoring this authority to 90 elected accountable people instead of 5 un-elected un-accountable people, contact the Arizona Legislature and let them know.

Time is running out for the legislature to act.

Lets restore this important authority to those who will not manipulate the law using slick Democrat consulting firms.

PR: Rasmussen Reports Dean Martin Leads Governor’s Race

NEWS RELEASE
Rasmussen Reports:
Dean Martin Leads Governor’s Race
Monday, January 25, 2010

Independent research organization Rasmussen Reports released results of a new poll showing a surge by Treasurer Dean Martin into the lead in the race for Governor just one week after his announcement.

“A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Arizona voters finds Martin with a nine-point lead over Goddard, 44% to 35%. In November, the race was a toss-up, with Goddard up by two.” The release continued, “State Treasurer Dean Martin for now looks like the Republican who’s offering the biggest challenge to likely Democratic candidate Terry Goddard in Arizona’s race for governor.”
In addition “Martin holds a 10-point lead over Goddard [with independent voters]” a double digit lead with males and even with female voters. By contrast Brewer is behind Goddard by 17 points with female voters.

“Thirty-seven percent (37%) approve of the job Brewer is doing as governor, while 60% disapprove. Those numbers include only seven percent (7%) who Strongly Approve versus 29% who Strongly Disapprove. These findings are little changed from November.” Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

The poll also shows that Treasurer Martin is leading with likely primary voters with very high favorables among likely voters both in the primary and the general election.

“I am pleased to see we have surged into the lead so quickly just one week after my announcement. This proves that our plan for Arizona’s future which focuses on fiscal responsibility, job creation, education achievement, and border security is resonating with voters.” Treasurer Dean Martin said regarding the poll, “We have a long way to go until the race is over, and a lot of work to do, but you can obviously see that voters are tired with the status quo and are ready for a new generation of leadership for Arizona.”
Treasurer Dean Martin is an elected statewide constitutional officer serving as the state’s Chief Financial Officer. Treasurer Martin warned state leaders about impending financial crisis three years ago, in time to avoid the current budget mess, but was ignored as “Chicken Little”. Facing a government that was showing itself to be more out of touch with fiscal sanity and taxpayers, Treasurer Martin announced his candidacy for Governor on January 13th.

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PR: Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker Launches Gubernatorial Campaign Website

VPLogo

With the announcement of the first 1st-tier candidate into the gubernatorial race, comes the first campaign website. Here is the press release just issued by the Parker Exploratory Committee:

Paradise Valley, AZ. September 24, 2009. So what’s all the excitement about? Check it out at www.Parker2010.com.

Yesterday, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker shook up the 2010 Governor’s race by forming an exploratory committee for the office. Robust fundraising is already underway.

Evolving daily www.Parker2010.com will be a state-of-the-art web site. Visitors will be able to view Mayor Parker’s Twitter feeds, Facebook updates, a biography of the Mayor, his compelling life story, issues that are important to Arizonans, the latest videos and the speech he gave September 23rd to hundreds of supporters & Republicans to launch his campaign.

Supporters are encouraged to sign up on the site in order to receive campaign updates.

In case you didn’t catch that URL. it’s www.Parker2010.com.

Vernon Parker Files Exploratory Committee

Vernon ParkerWell, it’s official but yet to be announced.

Paradise Valley Mayor, Vernon Parker, has just filed paperwork for an exploratory commitee for Governor.

Tomorrow night, he will make an official announcement at the Politics on the Rocks event in Scottsdale.

Parker, who brings a diverse and experienced background to the Arizona political scene will likely make Arizona history in a state that was once was the target of a boycott because it refused to pass a holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.