Hey all. Sorry for the lack of post-primary posts. I’ve been suffering a wicked cold since this past weekend and have mostly been bedridden. Except when I briefly and miraculously recovered for a TV appearance on Channel 12 Tuesday evening to argue with Shawna Bolick about Romney’s chances with women prior to Ann Romney’s speech. I still feel crappy but I’m forcing myself to sit upright and watch Mitt’s acceptance speech this evening.
I do want to congratulate all the Democrats who won their primaries in AZ and express strong confidence that we’re going to win a lot of races this November. We’ve got a good chance to have a Senator and a 5-4 D/R Representative split and that is awesome. Things are looking positive for the Legislature too, with the new districts being somewhat more competitive for Democrats. As you probably know, local political establishment honchos and MSM people are very interested in the state races and most of them seem to think the key to a less embarrassing and more functioning Legislature lies in electing more “moderate” Republicans. To that end, a general (wrong) consensus has developed around Tuesday’s primary results that, indeed, the Arizona Senate is on a “centrist path” now due to the outcomes in some GOP races:
Under the tea party’s influence, the GOP economic agenda sometimes took a backseat to battles over abortion, contraception and gun rights.
Once again, that’s just straight up baloney. The Republican majority found it just as easy to rubber stamp the ALEC written pro-business anti-worker and consumer bills as they do all those Center for AZ Policy social conservative ones. So give me a break.
Sen. Rich Crandall’s 4-point win over Rep. John Fillmore in the East Valley was key to ensuring the next Senate will remain focused on job creation and the economy, said Senate President Steve Pierce, R-Prescott.
An independent committee called the GOP Victory Fund poured more than $83,000 into the Crandall-Fillmore race in District 16, according to reports filed with the secretary of state. The money went to support Crandall, one of the Senate’s more moderate members, and to defeat Fillmore, who is aligned with the tea party.
Retaining Crandall was important, he said, not only because of the Mesa lawmaker’s focus on education, but because Crandall has focused on economic issues. Pierce said that although he raised money for the committee, he had no say in its spending decisions.
Another telling race for the future of the state Senate was businessman Bob Worsley’s victory over Russell Pearce in the GOP primary in Mesa’s District 25. Pearce had declared the Senate the domain of the tea party when he was elected president in the wake of the 2010 elections. Voters removed him from office last fall in a recall election and, on Tuesday, thwarted his comeback bid.
Much as I’d be happy to see Republicans in the AZ Legislature stop obsessing over people’s private lives this upcoming session, I’m not exactly keen on them doubling down on craptacular right wing ideas about education and the economy either. And while it’s always nice to see Russell Pearce told to go pound sand, I would hardly call the guy who beat him, Bob Worsley, a moderate. I’m rather tired of the descriptor “businessman” used to imply reasonableness and pragmatism in a politician. Worsley seems like an amiable guy, much like Jeff Flake, but as with Flake his views on a lot of things are pretty extreme. He and Russell Pearce answered their Center for Arizona Policy questionnaires identically.
If you want to moderate the Arizona Legislature, the answer is obvious: Elect more Democrats. There are five competitive districts out of the 30. Imagine if all of the Senate seats went to a Democrat, leading to a split body. Democrats would have a stronger voice and, most importantly, run some committees. Cathi Herrod and those Goldwater Institute dorks would be more sidelined and maybe some stuff that would actually help most of the residents in the state would get done.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, and an adventurous streak led me to join the Navy. I moved to Arizona in 1997 after serving 10 years in the Navy to work in semi-conductor manufacturing. I got involved in national and Arizona politics in 2003. I ran for 2006 State Senate in Ahwatukee and was a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I now live in North Central Phoenix with my boyfriend, Mark, and our three dogs. I've been blogging for Democratic Diva since 2007 about local and national politics with a strong emphasis on women's issues.