Billy Kovacs Congressional Kickoff Snubs Lifelong Democrats


Billy Kovacs at June 2017 campaign kickoff

Billy Kovacs officially launched his congressional campaign at a bar in Tucson, snubbing lifelong Democrats who were meeting at the exact same time, four miles away.

The kickoff was held in the student drinking district of the city with a crowd of 200 people. It was short on specifics and long on his slogan, “new voice…new direction…new generation of leadership.”

Kovacs repeated the slogan as he addressed attendees for two minutes. He made some kind of comment about Congressional District 2 being “not Democratic, Republican, or a swing district.” The crowd of young, old, men, women, mothers, children and friendly dogs loved it.

On the plus side, Kovacs is tall (6 foot 5), handsome, age 30, skinny and self-effacing. He’s running a youth-oriented campaign targeting Millennials, who sat out the last election. To his credit, he has visited 40 cities in the district and talked to people “who haven’t seen a Democrat in 10 years.”

His approach makes sense. If you’re a Johnny-come-lately, you should listen more than you talk. But it would have been great to hear what he thinks about:

Climate change

Medicare for all

Senior citizens

Repeal and replace Obamacare

the Tucson economy

Funding the A-10

…you know, current events. He’ll have to address these points if he’s going to win against a woman Air Force fighter pilot who’s backed by donations from warmonger John Bolton to car dealer Jim Click.

To support Kovacs:,, Email:

Meanwhile, Democrats met up the road

Congressional District 2

Because I’m an elected precinct captain, I had to move on to the regular meeting of Democrats in legislative District 9. It was taking place ten minutes away at a local church building.

Candidates make a point of appearing there for the “2-minute talks,” where they can promote their campaigns to lifelong Democrats who actually vote.

Katie Hobbs, candidate for Arizona Secretary of State
State Senator Katie Hobbs

For example, speakers included Katie Hobbs, a candidate for Arizona Secretary of State. She argued persuasively that the Republican incumbent has bungled handling state elections, costing voters confidence in the system. Hobbs is the Arizona Senate minority leader and a former state representative.

That’s when I wondered where Billy Kovacs was. Maybe he’ll come around because it’s early in the campaign.

The meeting attracted 160 people (and only 30 seniors like me). Comfortingly, it began with the Pledge of Allegiance before an American flag.

State Senator Steven Farley
State Senator Steven Farley

One report mentioned state Senator Steve Farley, a familiar face at these meetings, who is running for Governor. He is facing Arizona State University professor David Garcia in the primary. Like Kovacs, Farley intends to meet voters in person.

Another report urged Democrats to sign the Save Our Schools petition, which supports our neighborhood schools and will defeat vouchers in Arizona. The group needs to collect 10,000 signatures by July 31. Their next event is on July 9 in Phoenix, a happy hour with LD28 Rep. Kelli Butler, Phoenix City Council candidate Kevin Patterson, and Madison School Board member Scott Holcomb.

Susan Bickel reported that a whopping 600 people have become precinct captains in Pima County — up from 140 in January! She has done a totally awesome job of creating a network that Democratic candidates can rely on. Help her by sending her an email offering to become a precinct captain (PC). If you’re already a PC, offer to be an LD9 territory coordinator.

Rep.-Elect Pamela Powers Hannley
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

My heroine, state Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, said there was a huge demographic shift in Arizona last month: we are now 50% women and majority Latino. This will make a big difference in the 2018 elections.

Highlighting the change she said, “I hear women with gray hair talking about not getting equal pay for equal work,” she said. “Men are talking about being raised by single moms.”

The closer for the evening was UofA Sr. Associate Research Scientist Jeffrey S. Kargel (who is a new PC in LD11). He reported that Arizona is now the #1 place in the US to experience the pace of global warming. We just went through the longest +115 degree streak in history in Tucson.

“Our high temps are a glimpse into the future,” he said. “The climate here is changing fundamentally. We used to get 5-7 day heat spells. Now we get heat spells for weeks.”


  1. A millennial that thinks he can win without the senior vote will be a failed candidate. The older voters always vote. The younger voters are not consistent. So good luck with your campaign. Hopefully you will learn to bring the big tent party together. Snubbing is a bad move.

  2. I once wrote an out of touch post on Facebook, which drew the rather humorous response: “Lordy, Lordy, Bobby’s over forty.”

    I cringe when fellow boomers condescend to millennials.

    • its not the size of the dog in the fight it is the size of the fight in the dog. bernie sanders shows us us old farts still have it. however! for every bernie sanders their are a thousand hillary clintons nancy pelosis and in our own state fred duvals and ann kirkpatricks running their ego trips as democrats. this is what I would do if I ran for governor as an old codger. pardon all undocumented convicted of using false id’s to get a job. demand the prosecution of those republiscum in legislature who voted to cutting funding for access so people died when their operations were not funded. also lead the people in this state to put an initiative on the ballot to make it a crime to prevent a citizen of arizona from registering to vote or voting. demand the legislature or initiative force internet companies to pay all of the taxes and fees that retail stores have to pay so they can compete on a level playing field. and thats just for starters and I am 68 years old. how many millennials are ready to do the same?

  3. I think that Kovacs has hit on a key failure of past elections, which is that younger voters do not want to vote for candidates that are similar in age to their grandparents and great grandparents.
    As much as we love them, our values are often more progressive. We need to look to the future, we need to wisdom of our elders and they do need to mentor the next generation of representatives, but its time to pass the baton.

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