It didn’t take long for the dust to settle from Tuesday’s primary before several candidates declared “It’s on” for November’s general election.
On Wednesday, state treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny challenged opponent Douglas Ducey to a series of four or more debates and called on Ducey to “come clean” and “fully disclose his financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest.”
Ducey has a history of failing to file reports on time with the Arizona Corporation Commission and failed to pay property taxes on his Paradise Valley home for two years.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry Goddard is also chomping at the bit to take on Jan Brewer in public debates. Brewer has committed to one debate on Wednesday (7 p.m., KAET-TV) — which is required under the state’s Clean Elections law. But she laughed off Goddard’s request for six such debates, saying they’re not necessary because voters already know the two longtime politicians.
The well-spoken Goddard, a decided underdog in this conservative state, has much to gain from the debates. So don’t look for the Brewer camp to participate in any more than they have to.
“She’ll never (agree to more debates),” Goddard told Politico.com. “I can guarantee you she’ll take the one obligatory one and then duck for the rest of the campaign. I think it shows contempt for the voters and their right to know. Basically, I think that’s who she is. She’s not going to expose herself for the lack of a plan in any of these areas. How do you explain to the public that you’re a billion dollars out of whack this year and you’ve got no plan for dealing with the next $2 billion in hits?”
Brewer’s campaign thus far has been driven by SB 1070 and her willingness to take on Washington. That resonates well with Arizona voters. But there are many more issues facing the state — Goddard has already publicly called on Brewer to bring the state Legislature back into session to address the budget deficit. So it will be interesting to see how Brewer’s campaign strategy unfolds in the next couple of months.
Another Democratic candidate, Jon Hulburd, sent this shot across Republican Dan Quayle’s bow in the race for Congressional District 3:
“This election is now between Jon Hulburd and Brock Landers. It’s between a young man who fabricated a family, degraded women, and then tried to lie about it, and a small businessman and father of five who has been dedicated to his community.”
Hulburd was referring to two Quayle gaffes: First he denied then later admitted that he has written for the sex-steeped website that became TheDirty.com. The website owner says Quayle used the alias “Brock Landers,” the name of a fictional porn star in the 1997 movie “Boogie Nights.” Quayle also had a misleading campaign ad showing his wife and two young girls, with the words, “We are going to raise our family here.” He and his wife have no children; the girls were his nieces.
Hulburd vs. Quayle will be one of the more interesting Congressional races.
Quayle has name recognition (he’s the son of former vice president Dan Quayle). And the country seems poised to elect a more conservative Congress in the wake of Barack Obama’s big-budget ways.
But that’s a lot of baggage to carry into an election that has national implications. If the Democratic National Party throws a lot of money behind Hulburd and brings more national exposure to Quayle’s indiscretions, it’s a sign they sense this is a battle they can win — even in a conservative state like Arizona.