Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Arizona's CD 9 Democratic primary

This morning, explorer David Schapira held a Donuts with David event in Tempe with more than 70 people to discuss his interest in running for the new Congressional district seat that is currently labeled Arizona's Ninth.

All indications are that the current Arizona Senate Minority Leader will decide to jump in the race before too long, but he was still clear that he has made no commitment to the endeavor thus far.

Citizens in the audience asked questions about issues, about the current state of affairs in the Arizona Legislature and about the hypothetical matchup with Kyrsten Sinema who has already declared her intent to run.

Schapira was graceful, poised and confident. I asked him if he would support the STOCK Act. Responding in the affirmative, he also indicated he intends to introduce legislation in the upcoming session (of the state legislature) to completely and totally ban gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers.

By the way, Schapira showed no animosity toward Sinema.  I wish I could say the same thing about Sinema. When I chatted (online) with her the evening before her resignation, she was not quite as graceful. She told me she believes a parody twitter account targeting her was the work of someone in Schapira's campaign. Perhaps my perception of negativity on her part can be attributed to the limited nature of chatting online (by typing, not skype-ing). Right now, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

However, during that online chat, Sinema did make one curious point. When I asked her to let me know if she became aware of any ALEC model legislation being introduced in the upcoming legislative session, she told me that she would be resigning her seat the following day. She specifically responded to my request saying,
I'll ask David Lujan to keep you updated since he's going to take my place.
To which I replied, "really? wow!"

Stephen Lemons, who blogs as the Feathered Bastard on the Phoenix New Times website already wrote up a piece on the drama on filling the seat Sinema vacated. In that blog post, Lemons says
Sinema is one of the PCs empowered to choose three candidates, and she's already endorsed Lujan.
I get it -- that Sinema would say who she would like to see replace her. But I still found it odd and awkward that she would be so direct about it. Let me be clear, at no time before she made that statement did she ask me to go "off the record." Certainly, if she had, I would honor it, as I have done with people on numerous occasions.

Anyway, Sinema got a head start on revving up the engine on her Congressional campaign. Schapira appears poised to make an announcement any time but probably is thinking about how it will impact the Senate Minority Caucus before doing anything drastic.

In the meantime, the LD15 PCs that make up the selection committee are slated to meet tomorrow afternoon. When I learn who is on the list that will be considered by the Board of Supervisors, I will let you know.

This much I do know -- David's volunteers have already taken the initiative to establish lines of communication with me. I don't see a "contact" button or link on Kyrsten's campaign website. So, I guess I have to wait for them to contact me. Both of them have a way to sign up for email updates, but that doesn't help get questions answered as they occur to me.

Of course, there could be other candidates in this race. Current chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, Andrei Cherny has been mentioned, but I don't know that he has said anything publicly about an intent to run. Neil Giuliano, former mayor of Tempe had thought about it but announced last month that he would not run this year.

The Arizona Eagletarian has not taken sides thus far. However, the race does interest me very much and I plan to be on the forefront of reporting on it to you.

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