By Craig McDermott
…And I don’t mean the pizza place, either…
With the announcement that Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) will challenge John McCain (R-Warmonger) for the US Senate seat that he currently holds, expect current state legislators to look at the CD1 seat…and other, lower-level, electeds to look at running for the legislative seats being vacated by those looking to run for Congress, and so on.
And that’s not even considering the possibility of one or more additional members of Congress going after McCain’s seat (i.e. – Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) and/or Matt Salmon (R-CD5) ).
Nor does it consider the possibility of a political newby/unknown entering (and upending) a race.
And finally, it doesn’t factor in what the Supreme Court will rule in the case before it, where the Republicans in the Arizona Legislature sued to wrest control of the decennial Congressional redistricting process from the voter-created Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The USSC will issue its ruling on the issue in the coming weeks, and a ruling in favor of the legislature could result in a wholesale redrawing of Arizona’s Congressional districts.
A ruling for the lege will result in many Rs jumping into races for what they consider to be “safe” districts; a ruling for the status quo will result in more Ds running for “competitive” districts.
Among the names being bandied about (and as the US Constitution requires only that candidates for Congress live in the state, not the district, most of these people could be considered to be carpetbaggers of a mild sort):
Update on 5/26/2015:
– Catherine Miranda, Democratic state senator, has already announced that she is “exploring” a run for the CD1 seat. Her main claim to fame: she endorsed Republican Doug Ducey for governor in 2014, which probably won’t help her much in a Democratic primary.
– Andy Tobin, Republican former speaker of the AZ House, a former candidate for Congress, and current head of the soon-to-cease-to-exist Arizona Department of Weights and Measures
– Carlisle Begay, faux-Democratic state senator; had already been rumored to be considering a challenge to Kirkpatrick. OK, the only real question about his candidacy was if he was going to run as a D or an R…
– Ben Quayle, R former Congressman; last seen working as a lobbyist
– Adam Kwasman, R former state representative and candidate for Congress
– Frank Antenori, R former state senator and candidate for Congress
– Russell Pearce, recalled R former president of the state senate (who has been making noises about a political comeback of some sort)
– Kelli Ward, R state senator who’s exploring a challenge to McCain; she may decide that a run at a vacant Congressional seat is more viable
– Christine Jones, R former candidate for governor, who’s always in the rumor mix when there is an open seat
– Chad Campbell, D former minority leader in the AZ House of Representatives, who is widely expected to run for a higher office. The only real questions about that regard which office and when.
– Paul Babeu, R sheriff in Pinal County. Once considered a rising star among the Rs, he briefly ran for Congress in 2012. During that campaign, news broke that he is gay. End of campaign for Congress. Still working the nativist circles in the Republican Party, so he may be looking for another run at higher office.
– Jamescita Peshlakai, D state representative; unlike most of the people named about, she actually lives in northern AZ
– Chris Deschene, D former state legislator and former candidate for president of the Navajo Nation; widely respected and always on the short list of potential candidates in northern Arizona
– Ken Bennett, R former secretary of state and state legislator, he’s been raising his visibility recently; while he now lives in Maricopa County, he has ties to northern AZ
More dominoes will fall once the USSC renders its decision, so stay tuned…