Posted by Michael Bryan
Richard Carmona, former Surgeon General in the Bush II Admin, announced two major endorsements from Pima County officials today: Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and County Attorney Barbara LaWall.
These endorsements are a forceful moves to establish Carmona's credibility against former Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Don Bivens, at least in Pima County.
Sheriff Dupnik says:
"I've been friends with Rich Carmona for years and have always admired his commitment to solving problems. Rich is a local and national hero, and I fully endorse his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Rich is exactly the kind of independent-minded Senator Arizonans want to see in Washington."
Barbara LaWall says:
"As our former Surgeon General and as a Deputy Sheriff, Dr. Richard Carmona has always been a strong supporter of and an exceptional friend to Pima County law enforcement. I'm very pleased to see that he wants to take his talents and dedication to Washington and I happily endorse his candidacy. Rich is an independent thinker, and his proven abilities as a problem solver are skills we urgently need to break up the existing partisan gridlock."
Recently, Carmona also pulled down the endorsements of all members of the Tucson City Council, including that of Republican Steve Kozachik. Carmona also has former Senator and current Reagent Dennis DeConcini's endorsement.
Defeated Arizona Representatives Harry Mitchell and Ann Kirkpatrick, and former Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party and Senate candidate Jim Pederson, are top-tier endorsements for Bivens.
I have yet to see much in the way of such influential support for Bivens here in Baja Arizona. One exception I'm aware of is Nancy Young Wright, former Arizona State Representative and Democratic candidate for Pima County Supervisor in District 1.
Bivens is not a Tucsonan, and Carmona is, so clearly Carmona could be expected to have an edge in Pima County. Given that Dupnik used to be Carmona's boss, and LaWall worked with him for years, these endorsements would be surprising if not forthcoming. It will be interesting to see if Bivens can counter with equally influential Pima County endorsements.