By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
...First, the big news: Rep. Chad Campbell, Democratic leader in the AZ House, announced his decision to not seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.
His statement, via Facebook -
It’s been no secret that for the last few months I have been considering running for Governor of Arizona. Our analysis, as well as independent polling, confirms that I would be in a very strong position if I entered the race. I have talked with Arizonans across the state about the need to move Arizona in a new direction. We must focus on job creation, improving our education system and instilling transparency at all levels of government. However, there are other issues that need to be considered outside of purely political factors when deciding whether or not to run. It is with these considerations in mind that I have decided to not run for Governor of Arizona at this time. This decision was not made lightly. I need to focus on my family and other new business opportunities that will allow me to improve communities not only in Arizona, but also across the nation. To the countless number of people across Arizona who have encouraged me to run, I cannot thank you enough. While I look forward to serving my last year in the Arizona Legislature as the House Democratic Leader, this decision by no means marks the end of my public service. I will continue looking at all options in the future to determine how best I can serve Arizona.
Campbell's departure from the race leaves Fred Duval as the only "name" Democrat in the race. While there is still time for someone else to enter, it's going to have to be soon.
Note: I didn't have a "favorite" in the projected race, but I thought, and think, that a robust primary at the top of the ticket would benefit all Democratic candidate by generating interest and media coverage.
...Human Rights Campaign and other groups announced their plans to support an effort to repeal the state's constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage.
From the Arizona Daily Sun, written by Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services -
Hoping to create a change in attitudes, various civil rights groups are taking the first steps today to convince Arizonans that letting gays wed would be a good thing.
The education campaign being launched comes just five years after 56 percent of those who went to the polls voted to put an amendment in the Arizona Constitution defining marriage in this state as strictly between one man and one woman. But supporters of rescinding the ban contend there are Arizonans who can be convinced — if not now, then by 2016 — to support repeal. And they say there already is evidence of a sharp change in public attitudes.
For example, Wisconsin in 2006 passed a similar amendment,” said Paul Guequierre, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, one of several groups involved in today’s event. “And yet this past year (they) elected their first openly gay senator in history.”
Irony alert, from the same article (emphasis added) -
But Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, said supporters of gay marriage are reading far too much into last year’s election of Baldwin, a seven-term member of Congress who edged out former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.
“I would not say that the voters of Wisconsin elected that senator because of her sexual orientation and that reflects a change in attitudes,” Herrod said. “People judge candidates on the basis of their qualities, where they stand on the issues.”
I wonder if Ms. Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Theocracy Policy, actually understands the significance of what she said, because for the first time in, like, EVER, I find myself in agreement with one of her statements.
...A candidate with a last name that's famous in AZ politics has entered the race for the Republican nomination to the Arizona House of Representatives in LD 25. Mesa school board member Michelle Udall has opened a committee for a run.