Haven’t We Been Through This Already?

In 2001, a so-called “businessman” from out of state showed up on the political scene claiming he wanted to run for Congress. He was replete the requisite cowboy boots and jeans – apparently out of staters think we are all a bunch of cowboys – and splashed around a lot of money to win a seat in Congress. His ties to the state were minimal at best – he had gone to college here but hadn’t lived in the state for over 20 years. That Congressman was Rick Renzi. Most political followers know the rest of the story.

Now comes news that another “businessman” is looking to do the same thing. Call it Renzi-redux if you will. Jim Ward announced he was running for Congress stating in his press release that he has traveled the district listening to residents to “get a sounding as to the viability of his candidacy” (get a sounding?). That was probably a smart move on Mr. Ward’s part, given the fact that according to property records, he’s only lived in the district and the state for a little over six months. But fair is fair, our Constitution places no resident requirements on running for Congress.

But the topic of this post isn’t really about Mr. Ward. Apparently he thinks that his long time residence in the Bay Area of California is sufficient to understand the needs and concerns of Arizonans. I’m not here to question that.

What I’m wondering is what it is about Arizona that seems to attract these types of candidacies from out of staters? Why do out of staters think they can come to Arizona and despite having very little connection represent our views in Congress?

Do we come off as that small time? A place where someone can show up and splash a little money and be considered a credible candidate to represent our views despite having little to no real ties to the state?

I’m curious what Sonoran Alliance readers think. Feel free to comment.


  1. Oberserve says

    The attempted total domination by McCain and his people of the Arizona Republican Party “crowds out” the natural surfacing of new potential leaders who should be coming up through the state house, senate or other positions and then running for Congress, such as in this case.

    The McCain folks have created a leadership “vacuum” due to their scorched earth, “it’s either me or my folks or NOONE”, operating policy.

    People who are not McCain insiders or who are opposed to McCain have to spend all of their time on working not only against Democrats, but also against McCain & Co. to gain wins in AZ in public elections.

    Within the party, non-McCain insiders have to spend their time countering the McCain & Co earth-scorchers’ efforts in order to keep the party alive, thriving and growing.

    Where does that leave time for honest, hard-working, non-lifetime politician Republicans (who have real jobs) to run for an office like Congress? Only in very rare instances and one we haven’t seen in a while.

  2. RepublicansRNODifferent says

    Same question I’m asking this Ward guy.

    “Who are you and why are you here and why do you think you are better than our own home-grown Republicans?”

  3. Huh? What does McCain have to do with anything? Do you bay area people really think we give 2 cents about what our do nothing Senator does. Do you really think that Sonoran Alliance is some sort of apologist for Juan McCain that you wrote that dribbel, Observer?

    It just proves how out of touch you are bay area. We’ve seen this before with candidates and we don’t need your carpet bagging, know nothing, out of touch RINO self here in CD5.

  4. Is the AZ GOP so bereft of local leadership that it would welcome another carpetbagger??? Who needs another suit from another state?

  5. Oberserve says

    Rachael, what are you talking about? The SA article asked a question. I posted an answer. And yes, there is a link. That’s why carpetbaggers come here.

  6. Three does seem to be a trend and for whatever reason seems to be tilted toward Republicans, though not sure if there’s an ideological connection. We have McCain, obviously, Doug Wead who parachuted in to run (and lose) against Karan English in the early 90’s, JD Hayworth (though he at least had a few years under his belt), now this Ward fellow. On the D side you have Napolitano, who like JD at least toiled a few years in the vineyards before running for statewide office. Are there more, or are we exaggerating the trend?

  7. Basil St. John says

    Well, Bill, there’s McCain…

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