GOP Candidate Assessment – CD5

The following post is an assessment of the potential Republican Primary candidates in Arizona’s Congressional District 5. In Nov 2006, Congressman J.D. Hayworth lost the seat in the General Election to Democratic State Senator, Harry Mitchell by a vote of 93,815 to 101,838. Currently, the voter registration stands at 87,394 Democrats to 139,057. It is almost guaranteed that the next congessman elected in Congressional District will be the winner of the Republican Primary in September, 2008.

GOP Candidate Assessment – Congressional District Five, Arizona

We’re still more than 16 months away from the next primary election and already Republican insiders are spinning at high speed regarding potential candidates in CD 5, which is currently held by Democrat Harry Mitchell.  There has been a lot of chatter (including some wild accusations and downright misinformation) flying around Arizona-based blogs.

So, let’s review the list of potential candidates and some information about them in as straightforward a manner as we can.  We’ll go alphabetical so as not to face accusations of favoring anyone.

Anderson, Mark

Solid conservative with a stellar voting record on most counts.  Although CD 5 has only a portion of LD 18, it is a portion in which Mark happens to live.  Mark is very well respected by conservatives, but frustrates the more libertarian-leaning with his willingness to use government for social conservative outcomes.  His membership in the Unification Church (better known as Moonies) could be a weakness because it is easy to shoot at someone’s religion when you don’t know much about it.  A bigger weakness will be the money game.  He has never had to raise more than $30K for his legislative races.  A serious candidate will need to raise that much about every ten days.

General issues: Dems attack his religion and his hard-right voting record.

Bitter-Smith, Susan

Susan has run twice for Congress and lost (first to Salmon, then to Flake).  She is well-known in Scottsdale and well-respected.  She currently serves on the Central Arizona Water District Board which manages the Central Arizona Project.  Smart and savvy, her weakness in a Republican primary is her position on life – she is pro-choice.

General issues: Dems attack her as a has-been and for being a lobbyist.  Strong social conservatives could take a pass, which would hurt.

Hallman, Hugh

Most insiders are saying that Hallman will not run.  But, as a smart guy elected in the heart of CD 5, until he publicly says no, it’s a possibility.

General issues: Hallman would fare pretty well against Mitchell, however, he’d take heat for “abandoning” Tempe to run against one of it’s own.

Hatch-Miller, Jeff

Jeff is termed out for Corporation Commission so running for something makes sense.  He is not known as a hard charging conservative, but takes whatever he is doing very seriously.

General issues: Dems try to make hay out of his votes on the Corp. Comm.  Try to hit him on carpet-bagging.

Knaperek, Laura

Laura has the advantage of being a pro-life woman in a potential field of mostly men.  While she lost her last race in the “Democrat sweep,” her loss was much more narrow than either Hayworth or Kyl within the confines of LD 17.  She won nearly 30 precincts in LD 17, while Kyl won about 10 and Hayworth didn’t win any.  That portends some potential strength in the middle of Mitchell’s base.  With a 16 point Republican advantage in the district, she could capitalize on her name ID and goodwill within the district.  As with most of the candidates, she has never had to raise the kind of money that will be required of this race.  Major advantage is that she has represented the majority of the current CD 5 as a result of serving in the legislature during a round of redistricting.

General issues: Dems attack her as a two time loser.  Overreach and come across looking mean for attacking a woman.  Attack her for being pro-life.

Liddy, Tom

Thanks to his role as a radio talk show host, Tom likely has the most name ID of anyone contemplating running.  Of course, that can be a double-edged sword.  Who knows if anyone has kept tapes of all the hours of radio Tom has down over the years.  Some of his stuff has been over-the-top (as is necessary for radio entertainment) but he is a thoughtful guy who is very smart.  He’s run and lost (in the same primary as Bitter-Smith) to Flake which may or may not play a factor.  Downside, his dad is G. Gordon Liddy.  Upside, his dad is G. Gordon Liddy.  In the end, more upside (money), than downside.  The unknown factor in this is that his mother is battling breast cancer and he has always put family first.

General issues: Dems dredge up some of the outlandish things Tom has said on the radio.

Meyer, Mike

Relatively unknown (or forgotten) to most rank-and-file Republicans, Mike was a losing candidate to Doug Wead and Phil MacDonnell in 1992 primary in the old CD 6. (Wead went on to lose to Karen English in the general)  Meyer has long wanted to run again, and he may see this as his best shot.  He is involved in the health care industry, so he’ll be competent on those kinds of issues.

General issues: Dems attack Meyer for not favoring universal health care.

Noble, Sean

Sean is a long-time staffer of Congressman John Shadegg starting in 1994 as Shadegg’s campaign manager.  One of the more experienced campaigners among the potential candidates, he will face the age-old issue of whether the manager can be the candidate.  His major strengths will be his conservative credentials and his ability to raise money, which he has done with Shadegg for years.  In addition to his campaign experience in Arizona, he has helped some major players including Pat Toomey (now Pres. of Club for Growth) who ran against Arlen Specter (PA) in a primary and Tom Coburn (OK), the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate.  And, he would almost certainly have the support of Shadegg, who last cycle raised a whopping $900K for the NRCC (much of which was spent to defend Hayworth) and gave away another $300K to Republican candidates. Major weakness for Sean, zero name ID among the voters.

General issues: Dems attack Noble for being a right-wing nut who has worked for the likes of Shadegg, Coburn, Toomey and Munsil.  They try to hit him for carpet-bagging.

Ogsbury, Jim

Jim is well-known and well-liked with insiders.  While his career has mostly been in Washington, D.C., he is a native Arizonan and hails from CD 5 where he attended high school and ASU.  No question that he knows the inner-workings of Congress better than anyone else, but that will likely cut both ways in a primary.  Voters want a competent Congressman (who, unlike Mitchell, can find the bathroom in less than three months) but primary voters will be wary of the insider status – particularly since his specialty has been the Appropriations Committee.   He will likely be able to raise pretty good money and is rumored to have some of his own that he could put in if need be.  However, he also has no name ID.

General issues: Dems try to claim that Ogsbury’s history with the appropriations committee and being a lobbyiest makes him a part of the “culture of corruption.” 

Salmon, Matt

Matt has told various insiders that he is not likely to run.  However, if he did jump in, he’d have instant frontrunner status because of his name ID and ability to raise money.  The other potential candidates are praying that he takes a pass.

General issues: Dems attack Salmon for being too partisan (forgetting that their guy was the Democrat Party Chairman) and for being a lobbyist for the same firm that employed Abramoff years earlier.

Schweikert, David 

David, former State Legislator and current County Treasurer, has been running for this seat, in one way or another, since the day he lost to J.D. Hayworth in the primary in 1994.  He is smart, ambitious and one of the hardest working people in politics.  And his new bride is said to be just as motivated as he is, which is a huge deal in a Congressional race.  He likely knows more detail about the district than anyone else, which demonstrates, to some degree, one of his weaknesses – he is a bit geeky, but in a charming way.  He is a solid conservative (he actually ran to the right of Hayworth in 1994).  Little known factoid: Sen. Karen Johnson was his assistant when he served as the Majority Whip in the state legislature.

General issues: Dems (and the New Times) attack Schweikert for his role in the LD 20 recount and for not releasing the ballots to the Senate.  Dems have an universal heart attack when they realize they are taking the same position as Sen. Jack Harper.
That’s the potential field.  Yes, I’m sure I’ve missed someone and there are probably others who no one has talked about yet.  Here are my predictions on how this plays out.

Anderson – ultimately does not run.  The money mountain is too daunting.

Bitter-Smith – a wild card, but I would guess she doesn’t run.

Hallman – decides the risk is a little steep when he can likely coast to re-election as Mayor of Tempe, therefore keeping him viable for future runs.

Hatch-Miller – if history is a guide, he’ll talk about it, mull it over, and decide against.  He would also have to move (although I don’t think the whole carpet-bagger claim is much of an issue – just ask McCain, Franks and Renzi – who all moved into their districts to run).

Knaperek – strong likelihood that she runs.  Timing seems to be right, and she has a unique set of strengths no one else has.  If she can raise the money, she’s the one to beat.

Liddy – still young enough to seek office later.  With a young family and a sick mother, probably decides against.

Meyer – probably runs because time does not stand still.
Noble – young family, has to move, no natural base of support. With Renzi’s trouble, Noble’s name has been floated by some insiders for CD 1 because he grew up in the White Mountains and is a Mormon – two potential advantages in that district.  Likely doesn’t run.

Ogsbury – all signs point to a run for Jim.  He is a thoughtful guy who wouldn’t take the steps he has already taken if he wasn’t very, very serious.  And, real Arizona men wear bola ties – which Jim proudly does, so watch for a resurgence (which will make Sen. Jake Flake very happy.)
Salmon – doesn’t run.

Schweikert – it would take an act of God to keep David out of this race. 
If my predictions play out, Knaperek and Schweikert battle for the conservative vote, and Ogsbury tries to gain a plurality with the rest.  Meyer will be a small factor, but with three men and one woman, I’d give Knaperek the edge in that scenario.

OK comment posters… fire away!


  1. one thing about Laura. Im a big backer of hers and I hope she runs for Tempe city politics, but it really is important to note that Laura didn’t only lose twice but she lost twice to MITCHELL.

    She lost once against him for the Senate seat and bad.

    Then she lost again because of the Mitchell machine was on full gear in her district. Scandals or not, she would have lost.

    I’ve lived in the city for 20 years and you cannot win an election as anyone if you are running against Harry. And if you can’t crack Harry clean sweep of Tempe, you can’t win CD5. You cannot just forget 1\4th of the district.

  2. Schweikert looks like he could be a serious threat to Mitchell, but Rebecca is right. There is no way the Republican nominee is a lock on the seat.

  3. Keen Observer says

    Posted this as a comment on previous article about Ogsbury. It’s still relevant:

    If you like McCain, Jim Ogsbury is your guy!

    A donor to McCain’s Not-So-Straight-Talk-Express, their connections run deep, back to when Ogsbury served as an aide to McCain.

    Another interesting fact about Ogsbury is that while he has donated to Republican campaigns, he has also contributed to the campaigns of CD 4 Democrat, Ed Pastor; CD 8 Democrat, Gabrielle Giffords; CD 7 Democrat candidate, Elaine Richardson; and Washington State US senate liberal Democrat, Patty Murray.

    That’s what’s so unnerving about Washington, DC lobbyists. They have no core.

    Ogsbury should save his time, energy and money. Once people realize what he’s all about, he’ll be available to run as a Democrat, since the GOP will be aware of both of his faces.

    Schweikert gives the AZ GOP the best shot at regaining the CD5 seat. He’s smart, decent and has great credentials.

  4. I think you have to break down why JD lost. This was never his district. The redistricting in 2002 is one of the primary factors for his loss. LD17 with its strong college/hippie/Democrat element and LD8 with it’s more country club crowd never really took to the guy who was originally elected by the Northeast quarter of the state.

    Tempe is important, but with Mitchell involved you want to mitigate the damage. You can lose by as much as JD did in LD17 (roughly 10,000 votes) if you make it up in LD8 — Scottsdale (Michelle Reagan/Carolyn Allen and interestingly John Kavanaugh territory — this LD is pro-choice, folks and as much as we may not like it, let’s face reality) and LD 20 Ahwatukee — Look at the relatively close margin for Huppenthal against a nobody. New growth in this area makes the political mood in this area somewhat murky — are these folks from California or pissed about the freeway expansion, both? We need to find out, because this is the swing area. Mitchell won LD20 and by all measurements had no right to.

    Mitchell has already made bad votes and he essentially lied about the vote he made tonight on Iraq. But, he rode great press to victory last November and there is no sign of anyone asking him tough questions from that quarter. The general consensus among those who are casual observers is that Harry’s a nice guy, and he’s too milquetoast to screw up too much.

    The primary scenario you outline indicates a slash and burn free-for-all. I’m all for anyone exercising their right to run, but the Party needs to take each of these people aside and let them know this is serious business, and will take a full-time commitment as a candidate to prevail.

    It will likely take someone with the wherewithal to at least partially self-finance, probably upwards of $250k for the primary. And hope they haven’t burned too many bridges in that process to be able to attract volunteers from other campaigns to make the switch. We also need to pray that we have a great Presidential nominee who can help restore faith in our Party brand.

  5. You guys are going to have a primary? How quaint! Down here in CD 8 the GOP has decided that’s just too much trouble and too damaging to the nominee. Better to just appoint a nominee. And that’s what they’ve done. All the big donors have decided that Bee will be be the nominee and then called a meeting with all the other potential candidates and read them the riot act: “thou shalt not run. Bee will be.”

    If you guys are serious about taking back the district, you need to lower your ideological purity standards (as suggested by a sensible earlier commenter) and anoint a candidate who can actually win the district. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance. Certainly, no candidate who can make it through an Arizona GOP primary is going to win against a moderate Democratic incumbent. So, get out your checkbooks and pick yourselves a candidate now, or you’re screwed.

  6. DoubleDecafLatte says

    How could you forget Michelle Reagan. I’d say she is the woman to watch

  7. kralmajales says

    You all are missing something very very important here folks. The registration advantage among Republicans and Demos is right on, but you forgot the emerging mass of independents who have largely deserted your party. They will again unless something changes on this war and on your “spend a thon” on it and the border. In addition, a lot of Republicans in Maricopa are northern/Midwest transplant Republicans who are more moderate than most. You do have moderates in Maricopa right? I bet dollars to donut that they cross party lines (or enough did) to helped be the difference.

    I bet I am right about this…in any estimate of what candidates you have before you, you’d better remember one thing, you are going to have to have a moderate to win in CD5 and someone who can attract independents. Also, remember that in the last few years, more and more people are identifying themselves with the Democratic party than as Republicans.

    Who on your list above has moderate credentials? Who on your list above has any chance of drawing independents and keeping the disaffected moderates in your party from staying home?

  8. Walter is low in his estimate for the primary expense. This will be at least a $400k primary race… He’s also wrong about CD5 leaning pro-choice and how LD8 is pro-choice, etc. But we’ve shown that in various different ways in previous posts.

    What the original post lacks is any consideration of the primary itself. What the Democrats will try to do to the candidates doesn’t really impact their primary. Moreover, some of those predictions seem silly. Dems will attack Schweikert for not releasing ballots in the LD20 Republican Primary dispute? No one will care… The notion that that would be an actual issue seems a real stretch. Let’s look at these folks in a primary, where Republican issues and voters dominate:

    Mark Anderson: Moonies will not be popular with the primary voters, but you’re wrong about his having trouble raising money. He can raise a TON of money from within his church.

    Susan Bitter-Smith: As fun as it would be to see her and Liddy wail away at each other again, a pro-choice lobbyist in a Republican Primary? Only if she’s got a ton of money and the field has at least 4 or 5 other genuinely competitive pro-life male candidates. Then maybe she splits them up enough to win.

    Hugh Hallman: Said he isn’t running, but would be a decent candidate with a decent chance in a primary. The problem is that he needs a very large field before the Tempe portion of the vote is big enough to matter. And will Republicans pay attention to the fact that if Mitchell is stronger than Hallman in Tempe, then Hallman doesn’t have a base?

    Jeff Hatch-Miller: Carpet-bagger with no real base in the district. Does anyone really know who the Corporation Commissioners are? He could, and probably should, wait and get ready for a statewide run at something in 2010. He has personal money though, as attested to by his nice Paradise Valley home. But of course, that brings us back to the fact that Paradise Valley isn’t in the district. And, oh yes, the Corporation Commission is home to rate hike after rate hike while our nuclear power plant is deemed the least-safe in the nation. Probably not the time to use that record to springboard to higher office.

    Laura Knaperek: Previous poster was right about her inability to beat Mitchell. So why nominate her? Plus, going to war against Pullen alienates her from the more conservative folks, which really matters in a primary.

    Tom Liddy: Name id from the radio is possible, although his ratings were poor and he dropped to a much smaller station a long time ago. He should be able to raise some money, but the conservative base remembers his attacks on them in 1994 and they still hold surprisingly strong and very negative feelings towards him. Lots of legislators and activists will join the “Anybody but Tom” campaign. Plus, Tom will have to give up his radio gig to run. Can he afford that?

    Mike Meyers: Loved Shrek, but wouldn’t send him to Congress… Seriously, no chance…

    Jim Ogsbury: Could jump in early and, if he can self-finance, but buy himself credibility. When you hear that “insiders” like him, it doesn’t appear to be party activists that are being spoken of. No one I know even knows who this guy is. “Insiders” refers to other lobbyists, etc. There aren’t enough of them in the district to actually vote, so while he could be serious if he can raise a boatload of money, I don’t think he has any real base to run from. There will be enough folks running as “conservatives” that he won’t get through them.

    David Schweikert: If he can raise the money, he probably becomes one of the frontrunners. Seems well-liked and sort of well-known. You know the kind of guy where folks know the name but don’t know why? That’s not all that bad in politics. His real problem is the resign-to-run law which means he can’t get a full-blown campaign going until Jan 1 of 2008.

    Want other names? How about State Sen. John Huppenthal? Keith DeGreen? Former Congressman Frank Riggs? Term-limited State Rep. Bob Robson?

    Some posts have also referenced Rep. Michelle Reagan. Likeable, but her fiscal record wouldn’t survive a primary challenge, she is so far left on the abortion issue that she even voted against Parental Notification for abortions performed on 11-year-old girls (one of only 2 Republicans to do so, joining uber-leftie Pete Hershberger), and she seems content to just wait and follow Carolyn Allen to the State Senate.

  9. My statement on financing was that the invidual should have the wherewithal to put in $250k of their own for the primary. Depending on how many people ultimately run, and given the dysfunctional state of the party, there will be little chance for multiple players to hit $400k (my guess was more like 350, but I’m fine using your number) without forking over more than half on their own.

    I’m not sure how you “proved” CD5 and LD8 are pro-life (no doubt our primary is), but if it is I guess we can throw Rosati into the mix (and continue to marvel, but ignore? the overwhelming numbers polled by Allen and Reagan.)

    I’m not sure where Hup gets any juice in this race, as stated before he almost got beat by a nobody — there is something going on in LD20 that we need to figure out. Seems like a conscientous guy, but mumbles worse than Harry. If part of JD’s problem was voter “attitude” toward the candidate, Robson would not survive a campaign kickoff.

    Finally, I don’t think Hatch-Miller has a chance, but I believe he does own a condo in Scottsdale awaiting the finishing touches of a new big house in Scottsdale.

  10. Grassroots Girl says


    Good comments… you are right about the money and also about LD8 being more pro-life than pro-choice (particularly with Republican primary voters.)

    Curious about a couple things. How did Knaperek go to war with Pullen? I would think that having represented a lot of that area, she would be viable. Consider that LD 17 has a much smaller GOP registration advantage than CD 5 as a whole, so if she has lost there, that doesn’t translate into a loss in CD 5.

    What did Liddy do to conservatives in 1994? He wasn’t even living in Arizona then (I think he moved here in the late 90’s)

    You didn’t say anything about Sean Noble, and given the claim in the original post about his ability to raise money, I would think that would play a factor.

  11. Mitchell will not run again in CD5.

  12. Sorry GG, I meant 2004 for Liddy…

    For Knaperek, lots of things were said and done during the race for State Party Chairman, but the most dishonest and downright nasty attack was signed by Laura. We will remember that if and when she’s ever dumb enough to come around and ask us for support and help. The knock against her losing is that people will know (or learn) that she has already run head to head against Mitchell during a good GOP year and lost. That will create a perception that she cannot win so why support her?

    Not sure about Sean Noble. I’ve heard he is LDS but the district really isn’t. The carpetbagger label might apply, but it might not. Raising money for a GOP incumbent who is in leadership (to the point where he ran for Majority Leader) and is reassured of re-election in a safe district is much different from convincing people to give to you in your own personal race. I’m also not sure how much, if any, credit Sean Noble deserves for John Shadegg’s fundraising success. Does Shadegg use professional fundraisers? Noble would be interesting, but if Shadegg is really facing a serious challenge as The New York Times says, perhaps Noble will stay with Shadegg? I don’t know what to think. Safe to say Noble does not have any sort of a base in the district. Another interesting angle is that most of the delegation (Shadegg, Kolbe, etc.) never really helped Hayworth during his career. Whether they felt jealous of his success or feared him in a Senate primary, or just plain didn’t like him, doesn’t really matter. Hayworth has lots of folks in that district who loved him and are still loyal to him. In a tough race last year, Shadegg and his people didn’t give much (if any) assistance to Hayworth. Noble will not get any help from Hayworth’s people!

    AZGOPgal must have serious insider information. Because Mitchell seems to be raising money like someone who is running!

    Agreed with Walter on the funding question and appreciate the clarification on the self-funding aspect of the $250,000…

  13. John Q. Public says

    Laura Knaperek will reap what she has sown. I live in the district, supported her in the past, and never will again. Her negativity in the state chairman’s race will come back to haunt her. Whether each and every election goes our way, we Republicans know we must ultimately unite to win. Knaperek is viewed with negativity by many who abhorred her unseemly tactics.

  14. It will take approximately $500,000 to mount a serious challenge. Only 1 or 2 candidates mentioned can raise that amount of money.

    The district will definitely go GOP next election just like it did when JD beat Karan English after she beat Doug Wead two years prior. For Dems to win in that district, it is an anomoly. Keep in mind that 2008 will have essentially no statewide campaigns and no Senate race so all the money will be focused on key congressional races.

    CD 5 is a fairly conservative district with a contingent of strong social Catholics (City of the Lord) in Tempe who vote staunchly on the life issue and pockets of evangelicals scattered throughout Scottsdale. Any candidate with experience in the fiscal arena will garnish the fiscal conservative vote.

    On another CD race, stand by Ken Bennett. Your congressional district may be calling very soon. GOP donors be ready to write some checks for the special election!

  15. Despite the number of pro-life Catholics and evangelicals in the district (which I think is pretty negligible, CD-5 leans more libertarian than social conservative), the key is Independents, which overwhelmingly voted for Mitchell and as trends have shown are leaning more and more Democratic.

    You need a moderate candidate that can pull those Indys back to the GOP, not someone who can consolidate a base that has no chance at taking Mitchell’s Tempe/ASU/Independent/GOP crossovers coalition of voters.

    Whether or not this district swings back to Republicans also has a lot to do with the national mood, which is looking pretty bad for the GOP.

  16. The Bumble Bee says

    How about Espresso Pundit, Greg Patterson? A-ha-ha-ha-ha! Just kidding.

    I would bet a brazilian dollars that Hugh Hallman is polling like crazy, but that he’ll decide in the end to run again for mayor for the 2008-2012 term. In 2012, redistricting will open up one or two more congressional districts, and the kids’ll be older. But you KNOW that Barbara Sherman is whispering in his ear that he should whack Harry NOW.

    Knaperek has been bested not only by Mitchell, but also by Meg Burton Cahill and by a couple of whippersnappers barely old enough to not smoke in a bar. Plus, her whole gestalt screams “gorgon”. It would be fun to watch Harry mosey over her on his way to the finish line.

    Nobody ever heard of Ogsbury. Nobody ever heard of Renzi, either, until…. (of course, he has a little TOO much name recognition now)

  17. Gorgon lover says

    Give me a break! Knaperek is the salt of the earth. She has always been honest and worked hard to do what is right for the right reasons. To be criticized for losing a district that the Republican Party helped ensure turned Dem, is as low as you can get.
    Even Randy helped Harry over the years.

  18. roderick parker says

    Knaperak is the type of person who rhymes with witch…

    Lets hope she gets her butt kicked by Mitchell again if she chooses to run.

  19. Sense-n-Ability says

    Geez – who could possibly be behind all the nasty comments about Laura Knaperek? Who would so viciously accuse her of “attacking” Randy Pullen by merely pointing out the simple truth that Randy donated to Harry Mitchell’s campaign? Could it be the same people who ran Pullen’s vicious lying attack campaign against Lisa James? Hey, Randy – call off your dogs and stop beating up fellow Republicans. And if you haven’t stopped giving to Democrats, now would be the time to do that Mr. Chairman.

  20. No one worked harder on this site to impress the virtues of Lisa James than I; but the time for it to end was in January. The continuation of that ugly fight will not serve our party or ANY candidate if it is the template for success in the future. One side will always hold contempt for the other and we will be a house divided.

    Laura Knaperak is a fine person and a solid candidate should she even consider exposing herself to further venom in the name of public service. And if you think she was so bad with her letter, perhaps the degree of counter measures just weren’t as overt. At least she had the guts to sign her name and be forthcoming with her position. To this day Pullen supporters are name calling and deriding solid conservatives who have worked hard for years in the party, based on the James support they voiced. This is not conjecture; I have first hand knowledge of negative repercussions toward James supporters by some who were very much a part of the Pullen camp and his current establishment.

    If certain transgressions are worthy of forgiveness and others not, who decides? How do we know which is a forgivable sin? Is donating to Dems OK but supporting another Republican in an intra-party contest not OK? Is filtering PC appointments of James supporters OK but speaking your mind (with factual back-up) isn’t?

    Enough already. When spite would motivate the desire to see a conservative lose to an incumbent liberal, that is when a reality check is in order and priorities have gotten tossed. When hard working and giving Republicans are shut out because they supported the unsuccessful candidate in a 4 point defeat, who is being served?

  21. Observer says


    You say the time for this infighting to end was in January, and then you proceed to list perceived grievances as if to justify continuing the infighting. If turnabout is fair play then here it goes.

    What about the James supporters who have pledged to “box Randy Pullen in”? What about the James supporters who are in the process of setting up a “shadow party” to run money through? Should I continue?

    It runs both ways.

  22. Let’s be specific and clear; the point of my post was in response to the name calling of Laura Knaperak and the expressed wish that she be defeated by a liberal. If that is a productive attitude in light of the originating post, I am really out of line. But, if developing ideas about an electable candidate among the conservative ranks is the purpose then the name calling and polarization has no good purpose.

    To the other issue; there is a clear and present divide concerning the ideology and leadership of Arizona Republicans. I would never consider myself to be a liberal or even a moderate. My views have been previously established. However, because of my public support for Lisa James I have been wrongly identified as not being a “good Republican”, yes that was the phrase, and others where admonished to steer clear or they too, would be labeled. The recent accounts of defining a profile that determines acceptable or unacceptable Republican status and then holding individuals up for measurement have become too numerous to list. The party chair race is just a very obvious symptom of the much larger ailment. If private individuals are not free to support the candidate that they believe best suits the job, then what is this all about anyway?

    Some may choose not to participate in the current party organization based on the manner and style of leadership and then some have been isolated or pushed out. Should those people, their time, talent, and treasure be left out of the possibility of successful Republican efforts? Weekly, I receive countless numbers of requests for money and support, all from various Republican organizations. Do they compete for my dollars? You bet. Do they all offer a different pathway or my personal priorities to be identified and applied? Yes they do. Are they in opposition to the goals and objectives of the larger organization? Absolutely not. Recognizing a need and meeting that need is not the same as deriding others to establish your own superiority. If other efforts do emerge and it solidifies the base of support for the candidates and the party is it a bad thing because one person, or machine, cannot take credit for the success? I thought this was about a belief system and a purpose that was greater than our own egos. Maybe that is where I am wrong.

  23. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Good grief, I go away for a while and when I return I’ve got pages of Ann going on about the State Chairman’s race again? There is like 10 paragraphs there on the basis of “we should quit talking about this”? Whatever… Enough with the time warp!

    This seemed to be a conversation about potential candidates for the CD5 seat. On that basis, it is fair and reasonable to point out that Knaperek burned lots of bridges with her actions in the James-Pullen race. Maybe other people burned bridges with their actions too, but so what? That doesn’t change the fact that Knaperek burned a lot of bridges with folks that used to like her. Since she would be looking at an uphill race anyway, the loss of that portion of her old base is a mortal wound. She can’t win. The other folks Ann seems to be talking about don’t appear to be potential candidates for CD5.

    I’d look for Laura to run for Corporation Commission or carpetbag into LD20 or something. Why she has to keep running for something is beyond me. Some sort of disease that afflicts politicians. Perhaps she feels that there are no other good candidates in the state so she needs to run to save us all? Maybe she just likes being elected to something? Who knows…

  24. Observer says

    Let’s see:

    Knaperek has lost two races in the last, what?, 5 years. Granted, she is in a swing district, and the Mitchell loss is one thing. But going down against Ableser and Schapirra? Not exactly a sign of strength. It’s time for Knaperek to move on.

  25. Ogsbury is the best GOP candidate…the complete package…the whole enchilada. Lets get behind him now so we that next fall we can oust Harry Mitchell and his Hillary-Nancy-Teddy K big government buddies.

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