Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 14, 2008

Host: Ted Simons

Congressional and Corporation Commission Races

  • Learn what you need to know about congressional and corporation commission races in the upcoming primary from Arizona Capitol Times reporters Jim Small and Phil Riske.
  • Phil Riske - Arizona Capitol Times
  • Jim Small - Arizona Capitol Times
Category: Elections

View Transcript
Ted Simons
>>> There are heated primaries in congressional districts One and Five. Plus, eight Republicans and four Democrats are running for three open seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission. Here to talk about those primary races are Phil Riske and Jim Small of the "Arizona Capitol Times."

Ted Simons
>> Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.

Phil Riske
>> Good to be here.

Ted Simons
>> Phil, let's get started with CD-5. A lot of familiar names on the Republican side going against Harry Mitchell. Who is the strongest candidate?

Phil Riske
>> Right now it appears to be David Schweikert. He has about 800 grand in the bank, aggressive television campaign. And polls show now that he is the man to beat.

Ted Simons
>> It sounds like so many folks had certain areas of the district where they are strong. Is he strong overall or is that money the deciding factor?

Phil Riske
>> I think he is probably stronger overall than some of the other more located candidates. You know, Anderson has his on constituency in the legislature, as does Knaperek. You know money talks. It doesn't guarantee a win. His money seems to be well spent, and he has got good commercials and right now I would say he is leading.

Ted Simons
>> Does it look to you that the strongest candidate out of the primary would be the strongest candidate against Harry Mitchell?

Phil Riske
>> Probably so. I will give the caveat that I think that a gentleman by the name of Jim Ogsbury, an attorney, could be a sleeper. I say that because door-to-door campaigning in Arizona seems to be very successful. He has knocked on 20,000 doors throughout the district. You might watch for him. Whether David -- David will probably be given enough money because Harry is going to have at least $2 million going in. If he has enough money, he will probably be the strongest against the incumbent.

Ted Simons
>> Anyone in the G.O.P. side capable of beating Harry Mitchell?

Phil Riske
>> I don't think so.

Ted Simons
>> Why is that? Why is he so strong?

Phil Riske
>> Harry has got quite a history in that district's politics. He taught school for -- taught history for 18 years. He knows a lot of people. He was probably the most popular mayor Tempe ever had. What it comes down to when you vote for somebody, you end up voting for somebody you like. And Harry is loved in that district. So, no, I don't think he can be beaten.

Ted Simons
>> Is anyone loved or liked in CD-1 enough to get out of the Democrat and Republican side?

Phil riske
>> I don't know if anybody is loved or not. They're all newcomers. Some have run before. Renzi retiring because of the 35 felony indictments against him. I think that Ann Kirkpatrick, former state rep, is probably -- her opponents claimed that she will be the anointed one by the party. That is probably true. Most of the national and state money will go to her. She appears to be the Democrat nominee. The polls show that Cindy Hay and she will end up in the general. Both Kirkpatrick and Hay are campaigning against each other even though the primary has not been decided.

Ted Simons
>> They're that confident. Is this thing just a total toss-up?

Phil Riske
>> I think so. A 13% Democrat voter registration advantage, but the Democrats in that district are pretty conservative. Most of the national observers say it is a toss-up.

Ted Simons
>> Corporation Commission, it seems like everyone and their brother -- how many open seats, three?

Jim Small
>> Three open seats. Four democrats and eight republicans going for the seats.

Ted Simons
>> Who is the strongest candidate, start with the republican side since there are so many?

Jim Small
>> When you have eight people, it is tough to say who is going to be the strongest candidate. We have seen races like this before in the past and for other seats like that. Get out of the primary with 14, 15% of the vote, move to the general, because you split the vote in so many ways, you know, I mean, three of these eight people will move on. I think you would probably give the advantage off the top to representative Robson. He has a track record. He has a lot of money. He has been raising money for pretty much a year and a half now with his eyes on this race. He is running with a couple of other fellow lawmakers, McClure, Stump. You have Wong, John Allen another former lawmaker who’s running, and a slate, another team of three people. Rick Fowlkes, Hobbs --

Ted Simons
>> The Democratic side now has intrigue because you have clean election gaming going on. One candidate changed his name?

Jim Small
>> Sam George was well-known in the Arizona political circles ten, even less than ten years ago, five, six years ago as Sam Majenas was his name. Dick Mahoney, the former secretary of state, he was his top aide and worked on his gubernatorial campaign. He has a lot of history in politics in the state and some of it good and some of it not so good. There are a number of people who think that is part of the reason he changed his name was to leave some of that stuff behind and come back. He is running as a team with Sandra Kennedy and Paul Newman.

Ted Simons
>> This is going to be a very important election. The Democrats might push alternative energy requirements further and perhaps some of the Republican candidates will try to get rid of it all together.

Jim Small
>> Basically all of the Democratic candidates, all four of them say that they want -- what they did now was a baby step. A couple of Republicans have come out strongly against them.

Ted Simons
>> Very good. Thank you for joining us.

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