Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Now that the final vote has been certified for the 2012 general election, it's time to look over the horizon to the 2013 Tucson City Council elections. (I heard you groan). No incumbents have officially announced for office — that will come after January 1. No challengers have officially announced for office.
Karin Uhlich (D) Ward 3 is expected to seek reelection to a third term on the council.
Richard Fimbres (D) Ward 5 is expected to seek reelection to a second term on the council.
Steve Kozachik (R) Ward 6 – eh, I don't know. During his 2009 campaign against incumbent Ward 6 Democrat Nina Trasoff, Kozachik occasionally made statements that indicated he would only serve one term. More recently, however, he has indicated that he will seek reelection.
But here is where it gets tricky. Kozachik has made a habit of siding with the Democrats on the Tucson City Council and he has frequently been critical of Republicans in the Arizona Legislature and Republican Party leadership for being "too extreme" and authoritarian towards the City of Tucson (he is absolutely right). Kozachik has also endorsed Democrats running for state and local offices — a big no-no in party politics. He has infrequently threatened to reregister as an independent.
These are the kinds of things that get you an ideological purist Tea Party primary challenger in the GOP primary. If Kozachik stays in the GOP, I fully expect that he will be primaried by some rabid ideological purist teabagger.
So will Kozachik reregister as an independent? Or, as unconfirmed rumors I have heard from some Democrats (I suspect wishful thinking), will Kozachik opt for the full monty and reregister as a Democrat?
If Kozachik runs as an independent or a Republican, then the Democrats had better put up an attractive and viable candidate for the Ward 6 council seat. Kozachik faces an even chance that he would lose a GOP primary, given the war on RINOs being waged by rabid ideological purist Tea Party types. In a three-way race as an independent in November, a viable Democratic candidate would be favored to win with the vote splitting – Tucson is still a Democratic town after all. Kozachik needed those anti-Democrat Tea Party voters to win his election in 2009 who will not vote for him in 2013.
I fully expect to see more of the secretive "dark money" independent expediture committee attack operations from the far-right that we saw in the Pima County Supervisor races this year, e.g., “Restoring Pride in Pima County,” “Arizonan’s for a Brighter Future,” and “4 Tucson,” clients of Tagline Media.
Pima County Attorney Barbara Lawall has been assigned the task of investigating complaints filed by Republicans Mike Hellon and Stuart McDaniel, and Democrats Nancy Young Wright and Sharon Bronson alleging illegal coordination between these allegedly independent expenditure committees and the Republican candidates for the Pima County Board of Supervisors whom Tagline Media also represented. Those complaints need to be resolved, and prosecuted where appropriate, to clear the decks of the bad actors behind these "dark money" groups in the Tucson City Council election.
Of course, there is always more "dark money" from the usual suspects of Jim Click and Bruce Ash, who can be relied upon to form new independent expenditure committees, or to revive one of their old ones in the Tucson City Council election.