Conservatives uneasy about LD-19 shakeup

Ask almost any of the tried and faithful precinct committeemen in Legislative District 19 about the impending retirement of Senator Chuck Gray and the decision by House Member Rich Crandall to seek that post and you’ll find plenty of unrest.

Crandall who has been viewed as an educrat Republican with a less than spectacular voting record is not held in favor amongst many conservatives in the district. Some would even say that he has burned too many bridges with the party faithful.

Crandall’s motioning to walk into Gray’s Senate seat is leading some conservatives to recruit a more conservative alternative. One name being mentioned is Maricopa County Community College District Board Member, Jerry Walker. Finishing up his first term, Walker is already running for re-election to the District 2 MCCCD board seat but is considering taking on Crandall who he claims wants to consolidate and centralize the Maricopa County Community College system under the Arizona Board of Regents.

Meanwhile, conservative activists are actively seeking another candidate to deny Crandall an easy slide into Chuck Gray’s seat. A Crandall win would symbolize a weakening of the party and lack of fiscal discipline.

In the House race, Speaker of the House Kirk Adams is also running for re-election and for speakership. Across town in Legislative District 10, Jim Weiers also has his sights set on reclaiming the speakership as he faces his final term in the Legislature.

Also yet to announce his candidacy in the LD-19 House race is Justin Olson, a conservative businessman who made an unsuccessful bid for East Mesa Justice of the Peace in 2006.

Another House candidate who has already announced is Scott Perkinson. Perkinson, who is a longtime Mesa native is President of his family business Perkinson Reprographics which does printing for the construction industry. He also serves on the City of Mesa Planning and Zoning Board. Perkinson has already revealed that he has the support of Mesa Mayor, Scott Smith, Councilmembers, Dina Higgins (also from LD-19) and Alex Finter in addition to Kirk Adams and Rich Crandall. Perkinson would appear to have the endorsements locked up.

Democrats will also put up a candidate in 2010. Kathryn “Kit” Filbey, a Democratic party official, community activist, business owner and former teacher, will likely be the “Single-shot” candidate for Democrats next year.


  1. The conservative base in LD19 has good reason to be concerned about Crandall in the Senate, where he would have at least twice as much influence as he has in the House. He has been heard recently saying he “wants to be the next Carolyn Allen.”

    He is referring to her ability to hold the caucus hostage for her vote, thereby extracting a disproportionate number of concessions to her personal agenda, not necessarily her specific ideology. However, with a reasonably conservative Senate membership, the issue positions drive the power. Crandall has to be willing to block conservative policies, and the other Senators have to believe he will, before the power to demand his personal priorities be addressed will materialize.

    Look for him to try to set the stage during the 2010 session, subtly if he has a serious potential primary opponent, overtly if he does not.

  2. East Valley PC says

    Jerry Walker deserves a look. He’s been a loyal conservative and a platform Republican.

  3. Nelson Cassaro says

    By way of informtation, Mr. Crandall has set a record in the House. He was last term’s winner of the Most Missed Votes title, being absent from about 2/3 of all floor votes.

  4. Thx Nelson. I found this milk carton notice;

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the milk carton, but make sure you’re providing balanced coverage.

  6. J. Brown says

    As long as your talking about balanced coverage, make sure to read the article about Rich Crandall Fund Raising with liberals and Democrats.

  7. I’m not uneasy about LD19 – my money and my vote are with James Molina. He supports SB1070 and a secure boarder, he is opposed to fundraising with Democrats, and he will show up to work 100% of the time.

    James Molina

  8. Liberty is the right to choose, freedom is the result of that choice.

    Choose well Arizona –

  9. Rich Crandall from district 19 doesn’t think he should have to show to work.

    AZ Capitol Times –
    Crandall, a Republican from Mesa, missed more than two-thirds of the floor votes in the House in 2009….

    Still, Crandall said, attendance doesn’t really matter.

    “I did nothing different this time, except that I didn’t have any commitments before June 15,” Crandall said. “And the number of votes missed isn’t very important anyway.”

    Crandall said the residents of his district don’t put a high priority on voting for what he sees as unimportant bills.

    “Do we expect someone to be there to vote on the state beverage?” Crandall said. “Are we upset at people who missed that vote? Not one person has asked me about it on the campaign. It hasn’t come up once.”

    Berman, the political science professor, said big problems would arise if all lawmakers adopted Crandall’s attitude about voting attendance.

    “If everybody felt that way, you’d never have anything passed,” Berman said. “You have to have some sort of quorum. Why should (Crandall) be the one who doesn’t have to show up? Is he an exceptional case? I don’t buy that.”


  10. arriba scott

  11. William Munsil says

    Crandall now has an opponent – ME!

    William Munsil
    LBT for Senate LD19

    I’m retired so I won’t miss any votes.

  12. The only problem with Jerry Walker is…. he’s INSANE! Come watch him “conduct” a board meeting for MCCD. What a kook!

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