Revolving Door in LD5 as Candidates Get Set for 2010

With State Representative Bill Konopnicki term-limited out of the State House of Representatives and State Representative Jack Brown appearing to be ready for retirement, its a three-ring circus for the 2 House seats in LD5.  Republican State Senator Sylvia Allen is firmly established on the Senate side, and the GOP has additional reasons to be happy, because LD5 is one of two districts where the voter registration numbers continue to move dramatically towards the GOP.  Republicans had traditionally had success getting elected in the district (Jake Flake was the Senator before Allen) with support from conservative rural Democrats, but many of them have been re-registering as Republicans, converting a deficit of more than 5,000 voters into a new GOP majority.

Western Brenda

Brenda Barton

One solid Republican candidate is Brenda Barton who resides in Graham County.  She and her husband have been involved in the Arizona Republican Party for years and Barton has deep roots in the district.  According to her bio, she is a 5th generation Arizonan, which can pay big dividends in districts where everyone seems to know everyone else.  Barton has also been endorsed by Sen. Sylvia Allen, which is a major boost given that Allen makes her home in Navajo County, which is the most-populated of the LD5 counties.  Two Democrats have filed:  Bill Shumway and David Rodriguez, but Rodriguez has filed just a $500 threshold committee and may not stay in the race.  There is also a great deal of speculation that the Democrats in the district will be trying to get Jack Brown’s son to run, hoping that a familiar last name will give them a chance to hang on to a seat there.

Becky Nutt

Becky Nutt

Where is gets strange is on the Republican side where Bruce Olsen filed to run, then later dropped out in order to change his registration to Libertarian and run for Governor.  The third GOP candidate was Becky Nutt, who recently announced at the Goldwater Institute dinner that she was dropping out of the race because she was 23 days short of the residency requirement.  Nutt’s cell phone number had a Colorado area code while her most recent address appeared to be San Marcos, Texas.  Her husband Richard ran for County Supervisor in Greenlee County as a Democrat in 1998, finishing 4th in the field of four, before apparently moving to Colorado.

GOP county leaders are looking for a solid running-mate for Allen and Barton that will help the Republican Party realize its longstanding ambition of securing all three LD5 legislative seats.  Provided they are successful over the next few months, there is every reason to believe that the GOP will pickup a State House seat in this newest of Republican majority districts.


  1. Conservative First says

    That’s a big hat. Is she conservative? If Allen is supporting her then she must be, but I’d like to learn more. Come on Sonoran Alliance, link us to her website or something so we can do our homework. Still, if Allen’s likes her, she’s gotta be conservative. Any ideas why the voter registration numbers moved so much? And where is the other district where the numbers have so moved?

  2. John Wayne says

    I have heard that David Cook (R-Globe) is going to get in the race for an LD5 House seat. He ran for Gila County Supervisor against a longtime Democrat incumbent and even with an overwhelming registration disadvantage he came extremely close to upsetting her. He is a solid rural conservative.

  3. Obviously John Wayne hasn’t heard Mr. Cook openly tell folks that he’ll continue the voting traditions of Bill Konopnicki, just engage David after he’s had some adult refreshments.

    He’s proud of the fact that Konopnicki’s operatives are courting him to enter the race. David’s ego is all over this attention and he isn’t shy about his boasting either. Too bad his bankers have their doubts about his financial stability.

    Of course the key to his “only election experience” is that in-spite of spending literally more than $12,000 dollars on a county supervisors race… he still lost.

    Operative word there? $12,000 Looser.

  4. Conservative First says

    If you’re going to capitalize it to draw attention to it, you need to spell it “Loser”, not “Looser”.

    That said, anybody who wants to spend our money like Wild Bill Konopnicki is probably not really conservative.

  5. John Wayne II says

    …Quick pull out the thermometer it is impeding your brain functions. David Cook is smart enough to accept the support of Republican elected officials in his District like the late Senator Flake; Senator Sylvia Allen; or Rep Konopnicki. Overcoming a nearly 30 percent registration disadvantage with only 12k is a feat not a flop. Only a “loser” would go around LD 5 isolating themselves from Republican elected officials. David Cook is a leader – look at the positions of leadership he has served in as a volunteer. All of these are in areas very important to LD 5- Natural Resource issues; tribal relations; stronger families; more freedom. It looks like you don’t really know him very well.

  6. Nice try at spin…

    The support you cite would be forthcoming from any Republican official even if they were supporting Bozo the Clown with an “R” after their name or David Cook over a Democrat.

    Unfortunately Senator Flake is no longer with us to debate your point or to fully expand on his thoughts on Mr. Cook. Senator Allen is openly supporting Barton. And the RINO you mention is term limited and should retire with grace.

    Would you like to see pictures of Konopnicki campaigning in 08 with Jack Brown and the Democrat who beat David Cook??

    Some support. As I said, Loser (with thanks to Conservative First)

  7. Conservative First says

    John Wayne: I’m totally cool that you like and support David Cook. If he’s a real conservative, I’d support him too. Colista obviously disagrees and that’s okay too. Still, trying to attribute support for Cook from a dead man who can’t defend himself and a Senator who has only declared support for a different candidate seems weak to me.

    Losing a race isn’t a disqualifier from running and winning and doing well in office. Lots of good elected people have lost their first race. Is Cook even running for Legislature yet? If not, let’s relax on beating him up or building him up for now. No sense debating the merits of someone who isn’t even a candidate.

  8. YOUR INFORMATION IS DEFECTIVE. Representative JACK BROWN IS RUNNING for his last 2-year term. And NONE of his sons are interested in the job.

  9. Conservative First says

    Thanks Beverly for the good news! Brown should have lost three elections ago but Konopnicki teamed up with him against Sylvia Allen and the GOP lost by a few hundred votes. Same deal last year as well. Without Konopnicki to bail him out, and with the GOP registration advantage that the post talks about, it will be good to send Brown packing in person! Oh happy day!

  10. Taking bets that Jack retires within two weeks after the session closes in May 2010 and the county board of supervisors appoints his son as his replacement within a week after Jack’s retirement – after the deadline for filing candidate petitions?

    That’s how the Democrats do it. No Primary race, straight to the General.

  11. You got to be kidding says

    Anyone who knows Barton knows she is a Democrat dream come true. She could not win a race for dog cather.
    Cook on the other hand is an excellent choice. He is smart and can win IF HE runs.

    Konopnicki is our BEST choice for CD 1. He is the ONLY one who can beat Ann. He also has a perfect record for rural AZ. He voted for the largest tax cut in AZ history. He is right to life, strong second ammendment and has cuts taxes 5 different times.

    Brown is running. I was him in Show Low and he is teaming up with another Dem and if the best we can do is Barton they will win two seats.

    GREAT job! Please do not let the facts get in your way.

  12. Conserrvative Observer says

    “… I was him in Show Low ” so now we know who you are. Thanks. We know now too what you are as well.

    Folks reading this can now draw their own conclusions. And please, specifically define “a perfect record for rural Arizona”.

  13. gop watcher says

    Curious how the one filed candidate, Becky Nutt who can’t run because she’s delinquent in her legal residency in Arizona contiues running inspite of the law. A candidate who isn’t supported by any elected official, including Senator Allen.

    And someone who isn’t in the race is promoted by someone clearly a Konopnicki supporter who stratigizes with Jack Brown.

    Why not deal with the filed candidate who the democrats will challenge and give the boot to rather than fighting each other?

    Republicans should unify and stop the politics of personal special interests.

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