They talk casually to each other before and after campaign events. They debate the issues, not each other. Mudslinging and cheap shots are nonexistent.
Welcome to the District 8 House of Representatives Republican primary, where five candidates ranging from moderate to social conservatives are vying for two seats.
In sharp contrast to the nasty District 8 Republican Senate race between Sen. Carolyn Allen and Rep. Colette Rosati, Rep. Michele Reagan, Jim Burke, John Kavanagh, Travis Junion and Carolyn Schoenrock are cordially looking for ways to separate themselves from the pack.
But while there is plenty of agreement among the candidates — the need to secure the border, support of school vouchers, a statewide water management plan and a desire to make English the official language in Arizona — differences are starting to emerge.
The top two vote-getters in the Sept. 12 primary will face Democrats Stephanie Rimmer and William Sandberg in the Nov. 7 general election to represent most of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Rio Verde.
The former Scottsdale councilman and Scottsdale Healthcare’s chief medical officer has the support of the business and medical communities.
Of the $5,463 in donations reported on the physician’s June 30 campaign finance report, $1,000 came from the Arizona Medical Association.
Burke supports the idea of universal, governmentsponsored health care for Arizona residents, along with increasing the supply of physicians and nurses.
He said the problem is not a quick fix.
“I understand the complexity of health care,” Burke said. “It’s not a single answer.”
Burke also said there are appropriate times for a city to condemn property for private use, which his opponents do not agree with.
But eminent domain should not be abused, he said.
“I want to make sure all avenues are exhausted and it’s a truly special need for the city,” Burke said.
Junion is 24 years old — he turns the required minimum age of 25 in October — and just graduated from college last year.
Despite his age, he is confident.
He calls people personally to ask them to vote rather than relying on a taped message.
He put up 50 campaign signs around town, then announced at the end of a Tribune-sponsored debate earlier this month that he would take them down because residents told him they were tired of seeing such signs.
Within a week, they were gone.
“I want the job more than anybody else,” Junion said.
Junion has worked as a political consultant on a number of other campaigns.
A self-described “bona fide fiscal conservative,” Junion sees himself as part of the next generation of Republican leadership.
Junion, along with Kavanagh and Schoenrock, are Clean Elections candidates, which means they are using public financing to run their campaigns.
Kavanagh talks about illegal immigration more than the other candidates. He named it his No. 1 and No. 2 issue. It’s on his campaign signs.
And he touts the endorsements of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, arguably the state’s most outspoken anti-illegal immigration legislator.
Kavanagh has a weekly radio show about illegal immigration. He also has a Web site dedicated to illegal immigration: www.protectazborder.com.
Kavanagh wants to make it a crime to be in the country illegally, allow local police to make arrests, and penalize any business that knowingly hires illegal immigrants.
“I don’t just go and campaign that I’m against it, I’m working on it,” Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh, noting Burke’s position on eminent domain, said condemning land for private use is “un-Republican, un-American.” Kavanagh and Schoenrock both oppose abortion.
Reagan acknowledges she’s no shoo-in, despite serving two terms, having by far the most money — $42,715 as of June 30 — and a well-known Republican political name. (She is not related to Ronald Reagan.)
She has high-profile endorsements from Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, and the backing of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.
After graduating from college and moving to Arizona, she worked in the family business, Fastsigns on Central, until the company was sold in 2001.
Since being elected to the House a year later, her focus has been on helping small businesses by limiting government regulation.
During her last term, she served as chairwoman of the House Commerce Committee.
“Government should want business to succeed and should be encouraging growth,” said Reagan, adding that far too often, government takes the role of stifling business.
Schoenrock does not hide the fact that she is new to campaigning for office.
She sometimes passes on questions at debates or just agrees with the other candidates.
Her platform is antiabortion, pro-marriage and pro-family.
Schoenrock said she wants to stop wasteful spending and encourage greater personal responsibility.
Schoenrock is president of her homeowners association and has been active as a District 8 Republican precinct committeewoman.
Schoenrock said she was encouraged to run by Rosati.
“Colette (Rosati) called me up and said she was running for Senate and felt I was capable of running for House,” Schoenrock said.
When asked by e-mail about whether she played a role in Schoenrock running, Rosati wrote: “I am focused on running my own race for state Senator.”
The candidates JIM BURKE
Scottsdale City Council (1992-96).
Other experience: vice president and chief medical officer, Scottsdale Healthcare (1991-2006); family physician (1982-91).
TRAVIS JUNION Age: 24. Political experience:
Betsey Bayless for Governor, field director (September 2002); Scottsdale Deserves Better, Vote No on 300, grass-roots coordinator (March 2004); grass-roots and media coordinator at Hamilton, Gullett, Davis and Roman.
Fountain Hills Town Council; Lafayette, N.J., Town Council.
Other experience: director of administration of justice studies and forensic science, Scottsdale Community College; retired Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department detective sergeant.
Residence: Fountain Hills.
Arizona House of Representatives (2002-present).
former part-owner of Fastsigns on Central.
CAROLYN SCHOENROCK Age: 46. Political experience:
Other experience: HOA president and board member; administrative assistant. Residence: Fountain Hills.
On TV What: Tribune debate, District 8 House of Representatives When: 2 , 6 and 9 p.m. Monday
Channel: Scottsdale CityCable 11