Posts Tagged ‘Gosar’
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu dropped out of the race for Congress from Arizona’s 4th District and announced he would run for re-election as Sheriff.
His official reason is that his hand-picked successor is prohibited from running for office while being paid from an account funded by federal dollars. The real reason is that he realized he was going to lose and needed to save face.
It’s no secret that I believe he is unfit for office. I was one of the first to call for him to resign as Sheriff. I’ve questioned his use of official resources for campaign purposes, advised him to stop digging, discussed his lack of fiscal discipline and pointed out that the cover up is more politically damaging than the initial scandal.
So rather than do the right thing and walk away, he has wasted hundreds of thousands of supporters money running for Congress, only to then say that he was convinced by those supporters to abandon his Congressional run.
Many Pinal residents have asked me to stay as their Sheriff and continue this fight. Many worried that my voice and impact would be lost if elected as one of 435 members of Congress. I was elected because I listen and respond to the people I represent.
So let me get this straight. He runs for Congress because he was encouraged to “take the fight to Washington” and then blows a pile of contributors money and then says, oh, you’re right, why be one of 435 measly Congressmen?
The arrogance is stunning and disappointing.
[Disclosure – as of yesterday, my firm, DC London, was retained by Pinal County Sheriff candidate, Derek Arnson]
Yesterday, Congressman Paul Gosar announced that he is running in the new “River District,” CD 4, which is comprised of Yavapai and Mohave counties and parts of Pinal and Yuma counties. This move sets up a showdown with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (and potentially other candidates).
Gosar has the advantage of incumbency and having represented nearly a third of the district, in particular Yavapai County, the heart of the old District 1.
On the other hand, Babeu, as Sheriff, only represents a small portion of the new CD 4.
Babeu’s ambition for higher office has been obvious since right after he got elected to Sheriff of Pinal County in 2008. He quickly set out to establish a reputation of being tough on the border and sought the national spotlight – which wasn’t difficult given his good looks and how much more articulate he is than another anti-immigration Sheriff from Arizona.
However, at the end of the day, Gosar has the upper hand in a primary with Sheriff Babeu. Despite some of the chatter about Gosar’s staff, he has some very solid folks on board and will have top-notch political advice for 2012.
(For the record, Gosar is not a client of mine or my firm)
Additionally, Gosar has taken the lead in holding the Obama administration accountable for the outrageous behavior of the Justice Department and the execution of an ATF operation called “Fast and Furious.” Already, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke and the head of ATF, Kenneth Melson, have resigned and been reassigned, respectively, as a result, and when it’s all said and done, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder may end up resigning. And it was Gosar at the front of this investigation. Not bad for a freshman.
With Gosar having his strongest base in Yavapai County, it will be difficult for anyone to beat him in a primary.
While the rest of the nation focused on Iowa and the GOP nomination process, Arizona politics is running at warp speed.
State Legislator Kristen Sinema resigned her seat to seek the Democrat nomination for the newly drawn 9th Congressional district that encompasses parts of Phoenix, Tempe and Ahwatukee. It is considered a “swing” district that most believe leans Democrat.
Sinema is probably one of the smartest politicians in Arizona. She is witty, unorthodox and effective. And she is incredibly liberal.
It appears that Arizona Democrat Party Chairman Andrei Cherny is likely to jump into the race, as is State Legislator David Schapira. My money is on Sinema. But because she is so liberal, it makes it more likely that Republicans can win that seat in the general election.
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Obama’s campaign has continued to push the meme that Arizona is winnable. As you may know, I think they are smoking crack.
Here is a simple thought exercise: do you think that the Democrat nominee for the new 9th Congressional district would host a rally with President Obama in late October of 2012? Me neither. Point made.
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In the newly created 4th Congressional district – also known as the “river district” that takes in half of Pinal county, wraps up and around the Valley and includes Yavapai, Mohave, La Paz and part of Yuma counties – is creating a hotbed of activity on the Republican side. Congressman Paul Gosar is mulling whether to move to Yavapai County to run in this seat. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu announced he is running in that seat and Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce has expressed interest. This could turn into a slugfest in the primary, but it will be a Republican seat.
The new Congressional District 6 is likely to see a showdown between Congressman Ben Quayle and Congressman David Schweikert. That will be a race for the ages.
Speculation about what Representative Gabby Giffords does is just that: speculation. That situation warrants it’s own post, which I’ll do later.
Congressmen Grijalva and Pastor will be safe in their respective districts, which leaves the newly drawn 1st Congressional district. Former Rep. Anne Kirkpatrick is raising a ton of money there, but she will be in for an interesting primary against Wenona Benally Baldenegro, a smart (Harvard-trained lawyer) Native American who is running to Kirkpatrick’s left.
So the burning question is who will Republicans run in the new CD 1?