The battle between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Vernon Parker over Arizona’s new 9th Congressional District will be close.
That’s about where most predictions begin and end.
But while the outcome remains a toss-up, recently released primary election data can offer clues to the tactics that each campaign may employ to try to win the race.
Like a summer monsoon that barely whispers a warning before unleashing a downpour, the fight over the solidly Democratic, though culturally diverse, Legislative District 30 has erupted in recent weeks.
Fierce back-and-forth attacks between Democratic Sen. Robert Meza and his challenger, longtime Hispanic-community activist Raquel Téran, both Phoenix residents, have become a weekly occurrence and range from petty to severe.
Meza claims Téran has been illegally coordinating with unions, the Democratic Party and outside political groups, and even says one of her volunteers raised Meza’s sexuality while canvassing, which Meza said is completely inappropriate. Meza is openly gay.
Meanwhile Téran says Meza has harassed her volunteers. One Democratic activist, who doesn’t live in LD30 and who said she is not connected to Téran but prefers her in the race, has requested a probe into whether Meza has been illegally pocketing campaign cash over … Read More »
Last year, Jose Borrajeros, a spokesman for the Arizona Latino Republican Association, recorded a robo call implying Mesa residents could vote for a woman accused of being a sham candidate in the recall election of state Sen. Russell Pearce.
Earlier, Constantinos “Dino’’ Eliades, the association’s vice president, collected signatures for the woman, Olivia Cortes, who dropped out of the race after a judge found she had been recruited to draw votes away from Pearce’s opponent.
Now, the association is playing a key role on behalf of Pearce in his primary campaign against Republican Bob Worsley.
While the first round of campaign finance reports paints a limited picture of the closely watched primary race between former Sen. Russell Pearce and his Republican challenger, one thing is clear: Newcomer Bob Worsley is getting the hometown support, while the former Senate president is left wanting.
An inspection of contributions made to each from within the Southeast Valley district shows Worsley besting Pearce by a margin of 25-to-one. When all contributions are counted, Worsley holds a six-to-one margin.
Worsley has received $16,890 in individual and political committee contributions since announcing his candidacy in March of this year. Of the $16,655 that can be traced to the contributors’ address, $7,495, or about 45 percent, comes from inside LD25, while $9,160, or about 55 percent, comes from outside LD25, mostly from Gilbert, Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Meanwhile, Pearce received $2,585 in contributions between February and … Read More »
The race to fill the open congressional seat in Arizona’s sprawling 1st Congressional District has become an expensive one, with nearly all of the money coming from elsewhere.
Democratic former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has raised more than $1.3 million since launching her campaign to regain the seat she lost in 2010.
And Republican Jonathan Paton has collected $543,000.
But a closer inspection of their campaign finance reports reveals that only a small slice of their swollen war chests has come from within the district those candidates hope to represent.
Of the campaigns’ itemized contributions, which track those greater than $200, only 1 percent of Paton’s contributions — and only 10 percent of Kirkpatrick’s — comes from inside the expansive rural district.
The low median income in CD1, particularly among the Native American communities that comprise a quarter of the district’s population — and the fact … Read More »
Pete Hanlon likes to save a few bucks when he can. So when the 44-year-old Phoenix resident walks down the dairy aisle, he keeps an eye out for the yellow tags advertising a discount, in return for scanning his plastic grocery discount card.
On one recent trip, he saved $10 on a $90 purchase.
And while Hanlon said he figured the store was keeping track of what he buys, he didn’t realize that — for a hefty price — that sort of detailed consumer data is being leveraged by political campaigns trying to decide whether Hanlon is someone they should target as a persuadable voter or even to hit up for a contribution.
“I remember as a kid hearing that when we grew up we would have bar-codes on our arms that would be scanned before we could buy anything,” Hanlon said. “It … Read More »
Though Jerry Lewis was cautious about saying exactly how important the Mormon church was to his campaign, the political newcomer’s upset win over Senate President Russell Pearce largely relied on a quiet, grassroots effort among Mesa’s faithful.
As the final results of the Nov. 8 recall election became clear, Tyler Montague, an integral campaign insider for Lewis, revealed how vital early support was among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Yes. I can finally say it. From the beginning, we went to stake presidents and bishops to get their support,” Montague said of high-ranking Mormon members.
“I heard someone call it the ‘Mormon Fall,’ and I think that totally fits,” he said, comparing the recall election to the mass protests in North Africa and the Middle East known as the “Arab Spring.”
Their approach: Offer a simple choice to the … Read More »
Records from the past three legislative sessions point to a simple truism of the citizen-legislature model: The shorter the session, the better the attendance.
By keeping a 100-day session — the length prescribed by legislative rules — 27 of the Legislature’s 90 members voted on every bill that was brought to the floor, and only one lawmaker missed more than 20 percent of floor votes.
The figures show a slight improvement from 2010, when four lawmakers missed more than 20 percent of their chamber’s floor votes and only 25 members voted on every bill. That session went 109 days.
But in the 2009 session, which ran 170 days and ended on July 1, there were 21 lawmakers who missed more than 20 percent of their chamber’s floor votes and none voted on every bill.
In addition to the length of the session, House Republicans … Read More »
Placing the “I” word in front of Redistricting Commission doesn’t mean it’s really independent.
And the five commissioners — Democrats Linda McNulty and José Herrera, Republicans Richard Stertz and Scott Freeman and independent chairwoman Colleen Mathis — who soon will begin redrawing the state’s legislative and congressional district boundaries, are about to find out that politics, like desert sand in the summer winds, infiltrates everything, no matter what adjective modifies their group.
Politics, of course, is mobilization and persuasion, the handshakes, backslaps and wagging fingers in the opponent’s face. But the seeds of politics are in the unlikeliest of places: on a piece of paper. For it is the mission of the IRC, written in the Arizona Constitution, to satisfy six standards of electoral theory, and two of them are on a collision course: “communities of interest” and “competitive districts.”
Already, Hispanic activists … Read More »
Once employed for such mundane issues as inmate transfers, natural resource management and state boundary definitions, interstate compacts have suddenly become the latest tool for legislators looking to buck the federal government on a slew of controversial topics.
The interstate compact bills proposed this year address issues ranging from firearms regulation and endangered species protection to denying citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants and blocking the new federal health care mandates.
This year, nine bills propose interstate compacts, a stark contrast from only four interstate compact bills that were proposed during the four previous years. Only one of those became law. All of the current interstate compact bills are aimed at challenging the federal government’s authority in some arena.
If they’re passed in Arizona and signed into law, they’ll then need federal approval to go into effect.
For Arizona lawmakers like Sen. Sylvia … Read More »