Jonathan Paton Enters Arizona’s CD-8 Race

Jonathan PatonIt’s official. After weeks of political speculation, State Senator Jonathan Paton has entered the Republican Primary in Southern Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. (Sonoran Alliance was one of the first to bring the story back in November.) We also received a good indication yesterday when State Representative Frank Antenori announced his intention to seek the Paton’s Senate seat.

With Paton’s entry into the race, the GOP primary becomes even more crowded as early announced candidate and front runner, Jesse Kelly,  finds himself in a race with a higher profile Republican. Kelly has already raised $250,000 and garnered the support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Congressman Trent Franks. Paton’s entry will bring Congressman Jeff Flake’s support to the race.

We can also expect the Pima County GOP faithful to be further splintered over Paton’s arrival to the race with some claiming he is the only Republican likely to defeat Gabrielle Giffords. However unlike time’s past in Pima County politics, the Tea Party movement has now become a prominent player in Tucson politics. Whether or not this group will mobilize behind a known commodity in Paton or back an outsider challenger in Jesse Kelly is the big question.

Other notable Republican candidates already in the hunt for Gifford’s seat included Brian Miller, Andy Goss and Tom Carlson.
CD-8 Candidates


  1. Need a quick legal reference here. (I’m too lazy to research this morning)

    The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that Paton will resign his Senate seat to focus on the campaign. That leaves a vacancy in LD-30 Senate. I would presume that the PC’s in LD-30 will nominate Frank Antenori as the front runner for Paton since Frank has already announced his intention to seek the seat. The PC’s nominate 3 names but since LD-30 bridges two counties(?) where do these names go? The Pima County Board of Supervisors would normally get the job but because it’s more than one county who gets final appointment? And, do you really think the liberal Pima County BOS will nominate Antenori – a die hard conservative?

    Let’s not forget that if Frank does get appointed, the PC’s now have to nominate someone to replace him in the House!

    Fun politics!

  2. So long, Jesse Kelly. We’ll see how useful that early announce and Duncan Hunter endorsement is now. Ha! Loser.

  3. Good coverage except for the part about Tom Carlson. He had to bow out in December because of his military obligations.

  4. Klute, Not sure why you have to be so rude. Anyone who throws their hat into a political race for the right reasons deserves respect.

  5. Because it was obvious to anyone paying attention that the GOP establishment was not going to support Jesse Kelly. When Greg Patterson started making noises over at Espresso Pundit, you could tell the fix was in. Paton is the establishment candidate, Kelly is the Tea Party candidate. And like the religious right, the establishment needs the Tea Parties to get to the polls, make the right noises, and scream at townhalls, but when it comes to sending a candidate to Washington to govern?

    Please. Kelly actually believed he had a chance, which was the funny thing. He started early, collected money, got endorsements, and that’s going to amount to exactly squat. Maybe they’ll throw him a bone – give him their support in one of the State House seats where he’ll be a perpetual backbencher, but ever so grateful for the sop, but that’s it – and the Tea Partiers will stumble around with the wool in their eyes and while at the same time pretending how bright and clear everything is.

    I’m not calling Jesse Kelly a loser. I’m just channelling the GOP establishment. Let’s call it a seance.

  6. Klute:

    Hate to say it, but this time you’re not far “off the mark”!

  7. Seems to me like it will be the McCain/Bush/Flake candidate (Paton) v. the Mark Levin/Franks/Pence candidate (Kelly).

    I actually wouldn’t want to be Paton in today’s political environment of distain for career politicians…..especially if JD Hayworth gets in to challenge McCain.

    Still liking Jesse Kelly’s chances.

  8. Great, another senator from LD 30. We know how this ends. I have heard Paton will stay in the senate for a few months just for good measure. Tim Bee redux.

  9. kralmajales says

    Yep…the entry of Paton reminds me of when Giffords entered in January to oust the “movement” behind Jeff Latas. Remember that viral movement that seemed to be everywhere but couldn’t deliver the votes.

    I see a few ways that Jesse can win this…I do. But what I also see is a big big fight coming in the primary. There is going to be a lot of pushing and shoving (metaphorically) in those tea party meetings.

  10. Walt Stephenson says

    I disagree with all of you. I don’t think any of the candidates will break Reagan’s 11th commandment. They will hotly debate the issue’s, put forth their bonafides and work hard at getting out the vote.

    A survey showed that 50% of the people that voted for Gifford’s did so because her husband is an astronaut. She got 30% because she is likeable. She now has a voting record that is not in step with her constituents so she is beatable.

    I think we need to spend less time worried about who is in the race and get down to the job of taking back CD-8.

  11. Gabrielle Giffords is a laugh. Oh, she’s so cute – and stupid. In interviews she describes herself as “Jewish” and a “Cowgirl” when the reality is she’s neither. She’s a flunkey of the anti-Israel J Street and is supportive of them. She voted for Obama’s 900 million to Hamas, while staying silent over Obama’s constant sticking it to Israel.

    Oh, yeah. She’s such a “Blue Dog” that she voted for Obamacare and its lethal provisions towards Seniors.

    As for the “cowgirl” thing, cutiepie has hardly been on horse, let alone know how it is to get up at 3 a.m. in the morning, shovel manure, feed and water and groom horses. My mother who is a TRUE Jewish Cowgirl and a Republican, could definitely teach little bimbo a thing or two.

    Furthermore, the majority of true Cowboys and Cowgirls would advise her to shove her approved voting record up her dainty little behind.

    Any of the Republicans running against cutiepie – and her “lost in space” hubby could beat her and will get my support. The one who wins the primary will get my active support. My mom’s too.

  12. Brad Crosley says

    I’m ecstatic that Paton is entering the race.

    My first priority is finding a Republican that can knock off Giffords, and Paton can deliver. Believe me, the Giffords camp is far more worried about Paton than it was Jesse Kelly (a good man who would most likely lose a tough district)

    Paton is a solid conservative and an electable Republican. May the best man win the primary, I certainly know I’ll gladly support either Paton or Kelly against Giffords.

  13. GOP Boomer Gal says

    Klute, Where do you get the impression that the Tea Partiers are anti-Paton? He was one of the first speakers at the inaugural Tucson Tea Party event on April 15.

  14. “Klute, Where do you get the impression that the Tea Partiers are anti-Paton?”

    I’m not saying Tea Partiers are anti-Paton, I’m saying Paton is pro-establishment. Look at Espresso Pundit today. There’s no greater voice for the GOP establishment zeitgeist than Greg Patterson, and metaphorically dropped his pants and dropped a load on Jesse Kelly.

    Look at the endorsements Jesse Kelly has racked up, all outside the mainstream McCain-Boehner-McConnell axis.

    Of course Paton’s going to speak at the Tea Party ralllies. He needs you. The establishment needs you. But that need ends at shuffling you into the voting booth to connect the little arrow to the candidate with (R) besides the name. Elevate one of you to office?

    Ha! Until they realized Scozzofava had no chance of winning, they lavished money on her (almost to the very end), and ulimately, it was the establishment that sank Owens (Scozzofava DROPPED OUT OF THE RACE and enough Republicans wanted to deny the tea partiers a seat in Congress they elected Bill Owens).

    The Tea Parties are being played like a 2-dollar fiddle. And this is just another example. Jesse Kelly is a pawn in the game, now sacrificed for the Republican establishment’s needs.

    Which I find *HILARIOUS*… It’s even funnier when the person the joke is being played on doesn’t even know it’s a joke!

  15. kralmajales says

    Gotta agree with Klute above me. There will be Paton folks all over this blog showing just how experienced and tough he is. Just like Huffman did…and just like Bee did.

    Kelly is out of the gate and has money. If he plays his cards right, he can win this, but do expect the establishment GOP…to come to his aid fast.

    First job for Paton, you better raise a lot of money fast son. If you don’t really have the chops in comparison with Kelly, you will be creamed for your lack of ability to deliver.

    And remember also, you have this budget around your neck, whether you run and hide now, or not.

  16. Welcome to the race, Sen Paton. While I can understand many people pointing to money raised and all that, it doesn’t always necessarily translate into electing the best candidate. This primary is still 7 months away and a lot can and probably will happen. If the criteria a person looks at when deciding whom to vote for is money, then they will most likely get what they ask for whether it be an “establishment” candidate or whatever.

    I can only speak for myself when I say that when I look at a candidate, money and prestige are the LAST things I look at. I’m more concerned with character, integrity, their stances on issues and if I feel they will do what they say they will do.

    I trust the voters in CD8 to be sophisticated enough to look past the pomp and circumstance and make their decision on the proper merits. This race isn’t a slam dunk for anyone and we candidates can only hope the wind is blowing our way when the time comes. Gabby, while a prolific fundraiser is by no means bullet-proof this time around. We will elect a new representative in November, I can feel that and I think you can, too.

  17. kralmajales says


    No you won’t elect a new Representative. Giffords beat your best, time and again. I think the intraparty turmoil is just going to make it easier…again…like when Huffman (backed by the establishment) went down to Randy.

  18. well, wecome Tim BeeII. Many people say that they vote for Gabby because of her cute personality, sorry in that area Paton cannot compete.

  19. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Gabby Gifford already defeat Jonanthan Paton years ago in a predominately Republican district for the AZ House seat? If that is true, why is he going to do this again?

Leave a Reply to suan Cancel reply