Blood In The Water

Whenever an elected Republican in Arizona comes close to even suggesting raising taxes, its akin to self-afflicting a wound in shark-infested water. That’s exactly what happened when Governor Jan Brewer mentioned it in her address to the legislature weeks ago.

A recent visit to the Secretary of State’s election website reveals a growing list of candidates exploring and seeking to thwart any effort by Governor Brewer to seek reelection.

In fact, as recent as yesterday, former State Senator, Karen Johnson, formed an exploratory committee to weigh her options. Tim Willis, a conservative Republican from Wickenburg, was the earliest candidate to announce on November 6th, 2008. John Paul Mitchell, an Independent, has actually formed a full-blown committee and has been blogging on his campaign for months.

In total, there are six candidates of which half are Republicans, one Independent and two unidentified third party candidates.

Will there be more candidates? Count on it, especially as public dissent at the federal level spills over to the local level. Wednesday’s multiple taxpayer protests shot a warning shot across the bow of Brewer’s Administration. If the Governor continues to push her tax-hike-last-resort option, you can bet other high profile Republicans will enter the Primary. Names include John Munger who has been extremely active pushing an organization called Imagine Arizona.

Political insiders are also speculating Congressman Jeff Flake will be compelled to enter the race given his fiscally conservative, Goldwater-ties and local roots.

Don’t be surprised to see a Draft JD Hayworth movement rise up from those who demand fiscal responsibility and border security.

Just remember, a lot can change between now and September 2010 and although its still early in the next election cycle, expect more announcements as we move into the fall.

Finally, the biggest shock may come should the current Governor decide to make next year’s race an open primary.



  1. George of the Desert says

    The more GOPers that file to primary Brewer, the better off she is. She will have the advantages of incumbency and the challengers will dilute each others’ votes. I’m not advocating this, nor am I advocating tax hikes. I’m just offering political calculus.

  2. Basil St. John says

    Johnson already said that she’s not going to win the race. The others on your list of official candidates are nobodies, politically speaking. Tim Willis? John Paul Mitchell? Blogging now qualifies as seriously campaigning for governor? This is a dispatch from Fantasyland.

  3. Dems must be absolutely ecstatic over the blood-letting in the water if all these R’s and more run. It will only leave a weakened candidate for their one candidate who will have no primary competition.

  4. Of course, the R’s could find a R to run as a Green candidate and who would siphon off enough votes for the R to win. Oh, that trick has already been played.

  5. Ron –

    That scheme might work in something as obscure as an LD race (and it did work in 2008) because most voters are *not* familiar with the challengers or even the incumbents in a state lege race.

    A statewide race for Governor gets a lot more attention.

    A candidate/party who goes that route will see it blow up in their faces.

    So here’s to hoping the AZGOP huddles up and calls that play once more. 🙂

  6. A bunch of no names who have zero chance of winning. Republicans are going to lose the Governor’s seat if we can’t rally behind ONE candidate and stop under cutting each other from the get-go. Ahem, SA.

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