The Arizona Republic ran with an article today that essentially explains how to win a legislative seat when there are two seats available and three candidates seeking to fill both. It’s called “single-shotting” and it can be effective if the strategy is followed correctly. By voting for only one candidate in a race for two seats, the vote for that one candidate is not “diluted.”

In my House race in 1994, I attempted to use it against two liberal Democrats in an evenly split district in Southern Arizona. It didn’t work but that’s only because I couldn’t communicate the strategy to the 30K + Republican voters at the time.

Now the Republic is doing just that for its Democratic candidates in LD-20 and LD-21. (If only I could have had that type of publicity from the local papers in my race!)

In the LD-20 race, Democrats seem to believe they can pick off either Jeff Dial or John McComish in the General Election through their candidate Rae Waters. Dial received the highest number of votes in the Primary while McComish barely snuck by Frank Schmuck. Waters, a former school board member, is also counting on Governor Napolitano to communicate to LD-20 voters to single-shot her past one of the Republicans.

In LD-21, Democrats are seeking to pick off Warde NIchols with Democratic candidate Pete Hettmansperger. Like LD-21, this district favors Republicans in registration but the Democrats are banking on an undiluted vote by Democrat voters and Independents.

My problem with all this is not the strategy involved but rather the liberal media’s effort to assist Democrats in carrying it out.

If any of these races had single Republicans running against two Democrats in a somewhat evenly split district do you think the Republic would be broadcasting how Republicans could get their candidate elected? I think not.


  1. I am not sure if I understand you DSW. However, Jim Weiers did his own ‘single’ shot effort in 2006 which left his GOP collegue in the dust – and the GOP lost one seat to the D’s in LD10.

    As I said maybe I am confused. Can you clarify?

  2. Single Shot says

    Dear Ron,

    Your confusion indicates you have not been exposed to the nuance involved in this post.
    It is highly possible that DSW is posting this as his way to foment Republicans to single shot without having to take the flack for suggesting it.

    This is a practice that when used by members of the same party against eachother is highly frowned upon but it happens all the time.

    The R’s have been doing this to eachother for a long time. Dems have less disagreements on social issues and do not seem to have the “real cowboy” vs “drugstore cowboy” squabbles our party does.

    I wish this would not happen but it does and in the end game all of the “unity” talk goes away and is replaced by whisper campaigns to single shot.

    It is not against the law but some would argue it is not good for us.

  3. Single Shot, thank you. So I understand that you just vote for one of the candidates – and don’t vote for the other GOP candidate? Wierd.

  4. You can also call it an act of “political survival” or “every man for himself.” Some secular humanists would also call it “survival of the fittest.”

  5. DSW,

    I thought conservative Republicans didn’t believe in Darwin. Just more evidence of the take over of relativism in our culture.

  6. Wouldn’t it better – and allow communities to be better represented in the legislature – to move to single-member House districts? When I first moved to Florida in 1980, we had multi-member districts and after we went to single-member seats, it seemed to everyone across the political spectrum that legislators were more responsive to the voters.

    Aren’t the two House seats per district a holdover from Arizona’s days as a low-population state? What’s the rationale for them, except to make redistricting the legislature a one-step process rather than a more complex two-step process?

    I am not looking this in a partisan way except that a single-member district would provide less chance of intra-party conflicts such as the ones you describe above.

  7. Great strategy if you are ok with letting your neighbor pick the second representative.

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