Gila Courier

Steve Yarbrough joins Weiers and Adams in contest to be Speaker

September 12th, 2008
Arizona Capital Times has a lengthy article detailing the contest for Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. Kirk Adams of District 19 in Mesa has long been interested in being Speaker. He has a pretty conservative record and is running for the speakership on a platform making the house a more effective branch of government. The Capital Times outlines some of his changes here:

To reverse the course that has seen Democratic budgets two years in a row, he is proposing placing policy above politics, decentralizing power from the speaker’s office and utilizing the resources within the caucus. Relying on the status quo, he said, won’t make the Republican-controlled House a co-equal branch of government.

Current Speaker, Jim Weiers, is from District 10 in NW Phoenix. His platform is simple. He has the experience. Here is what he told the Capital Times:

That experience will be even more paramount, Weiers said, given that legislators are staring into the face of a third consecutive budget deficit, and possibly another one in the following year. He touted his experience in addressing shortfalls, dating back to his first stint as speaker when lawmakers faced budget crunch after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Steve Yarbrough of Chandler/Queen Creek District 21 is running on a similar sounding platform as Adams. According to house rules the two top vote getters will face off against each other so it is not possible for Weiers to know off the two competitors in a single ballot where the reformers split the vote.

If Weiers loses his bid for another term, he will be denied a truly conservative Republican caucus (if the Republicans succeed in holding most of their seats and keeping the majority.) Given the budgets of the last few years and the influx of new candidates in the house, the Republicans may vote for something different.

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Zerull now ahead by 50 votes

September 7th, 2008
There are updated numbers for the nail biter in District 26 as of Sunday, September 7 at 4:22 pm. Marilyn Zerull is now winning the second place slot by 50 votes over her fellow Republican Trent Humphries. All of the updates since the initial numbers on election night have gone here way. It looks like Marilyn will join Vic Williams on the Republican ticket for District 26 house.

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The Arizona Right Report tonight

September 7th, 2008
The Arizona Right Report will be on this Sunday from 8:00 to 9:00 pm. Listen at KFNX 1100 am or stream live over the internet at The Arizona Right Report web site.

Tonight’s lineup focuses on the state legislature. Guests scheduled for Sunday, September 7th are:

Representative John McComish, LD 20
Senate candidate Al Melvin, LD 26
House candidate Frank Antenori, LD 30
House candidate Steve Montenegro, LD 12
Representative Jerry Weiers, LD 12
House candidate Jeff Dial, LD 20

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Zerull now ahead of Humphries

September 5th, 2008
Update – The Arizona Daily Star covers the story. Their figures are slightly out of date, as Zerull is now 42 votes ahead of Humphries.

Update – According to the latest numbers posted at as of Friday 9:01 pm, Zerull is now 42 votes ahead of Humphries for the second slot.

Sonoran Alliance is reporting that Marilyn Zerull is now 10 votes ahead of Trent Humphries in the District 26 Republican house primary.

At this time there does not appear to be any other changes out of Southern Arizona. Al Melvin is currently ahead of Pete Hershberger by 1,121 in the District 26 Senate primary. In District 30 Republican Frank Antenori has pulled further ahead of Doug Sposito and is now in second place by 458 votes.

Democrat Daniel Patterson is still beating out incumbent Tom Prezelski by 244 votes for the number two slot in District 29.

The numbers are available at the Secretary of State web site.

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Harper is backing Verschoor

September 5th, 2008

State Senator Jack Harper

State Senator Jack Harper has announced his support for follow Senator Thayer Verschoor as President of the Arizona Senate. We know there are a few other Republicans who will be backing Verschoor but do not have a total count. The results of the general election will also determine exactly how many Republicans will be in the chamber to support Verschoor.

Harper states:

During Verschoor’s tenure in the State Senate, he has risen to the rank of Majority Leader, while maintaining a fiscally and socially conservative voting record. While involving rank-and-file Republican members in the process, he has not bowed to liberal ideas of a few in the Republican Caucus.

It looks like the Governor’s budget might not be crafted in the State Senate in 2009.

On a similar note I have heard that Arizona House Speaker Jim Weiers believes that he has the votes to serve again as speaker. If we have any more details we will update the story.

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McComish pulls ahead of Schmuck in LD 20

September 4th, 2008

House Republican Majority Whip John McComish has pulled ahead of Frank Schmuck. Initially Schmuck was ahead of McComish for the second house seat from District 20. Maricopa County is not showing McComish ahead by 72 votes as of September 4th at 5:16 pm.

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Primary update

September 4th, 2008
Maricopa County still has 43,000 ballots to count, many of them provisional. Sonoran Alliance has a summary of close races that could possible change as the remaining ballots are tallied.

Pima County has 14,000 ballots remaining. Three contests could possibly change when the additional votes are counted. The closest one is for second place in District 26 house race. Trent Humphries is only 128 votes ahead of Marilyn Zerull for one of the two slots. This is the one race that is possibly close enough to change, possibly. In District 30 Republican Frank Antenori has 229 more votes than Doug Sposito. In District 29 Democrat Daniel Patterson is 264 votes ahead of incumbent Tom Prezelski for the second house slot. Who ever wins will go on to face challengers in the general election.

If Zerull wins out over Humphries the change would not be that great as they are both fairly conservative. Antenori was well outspent and much more conservative than Sposito. A flip here would be a big change. Patterson is very active in environmental matters and Prezelski was a party insider. There would not be a huge shift if they switch but Patterson would be an interesting legislator, he hunts and has a fairly good NRA rating. Most of the remaining ballots should be counted by Friday but since it is Pima County don’t hold your breath.

The numbers can be checked on the Secretary of State web page.

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Arizona Primary results

September 3rd, 2008
Most of the votes are in and counted and Tuesday, September 2nd was a big day in Arizona. Several incumbents were unseated and for the first time in 36 years a Hershberger will not be in the legislature. Here is the headline (more like head-stuck-in-the-sand-line) from the Arizona Republic.

The Arizona Capital Times got it correct though. Newcomer Steve Pierce beat incumbent Tom O’Halleran in the District 1 State Senate race. Pierce is more conservative than O’Halleran. In District 26 Al Melvin beat longtime house member Pete Hershberger, who was trying to move up to the senate. Since Hershberger’s father was appointed in 1972, one of the family has been in the house. Melvin is also much more conservative than Hershberger. Pierce has a good shot of winning in his largely Republican district. Melvin has a tough race on his hands but only lost by a few hundred votes two years ago.

Jack Harper survived another challenge from a more moderate candidate in District 4. Thayer Vershoor won over the conservative Eddie Farnsworth. Rusell Pearce succeeded in his bid to be the GOP nominee in District 18 after a barrage of negative attacks. These three have a good chance of all winning the general because they are in strong Republican districts.

There were also some surprises in the State House races. Trish Groe is out in District 3 as Doris Goodale pulled in more votes. In District 12 newcomer Steve Montenego beat Robert Blendu, who was trying to move to the house from the senate. Jeff Dial came in first in District 20 and Frank Schmuck took out incumbent John McComish. McComish is the current Majority Whip so his loss is even more of an upset. The two most conservative candidates won the District 30 GOP primary. David Gowan finally mode it past the primary on his third try. If he wins in the primary he will be one of the more conservative members of the house. Frank Antenori pulled out a slim win over more moderate Doug Sposito. Both have a good chance of winning the general in the largely GOP district. Gowan may be slightly vulnerable if the party decides not to stand behind him.

There was a big upset on the Democrat side as Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson edged out incumbent Tom Prezelski in the District 29 primary.

This primary cycle may be the high water mark for conservative Republican in Arizona because Clean Elections matching funds may no longer be available due to a court challenge. Espresso Pundit explains how the program worked to help the right wing of the party.

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Rifle and Pistol Assoc rankings

August 30th, 2008
Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association (ASRPA) has published their candidate ratings. An A rating is pro-gun on down to an F for anti-gun. I have reprinted their ratings below. If you have any questions please contact ASRPA.

REMEMBER, this chart is just a guide. Based on a candidate’s actions, responses to questionnaires, statements, attitudes and other available information. Incumbents are also rated on their performance, including leadership posts, usually giving us a more accurate “grade”. National and Congressional ratings may vary from those of national organizations.

This chart lists CONTESTED PRIMARIES ONLY, and will be updated and corrected as necessary, up to PRIMARY ELECTION DAY, 2 Sep. 2008 Updates: Be sure to check E-mail

A = Very good, strong pro rights & interests
B = Good, usually supports rights, interests, might not oppose additional restrictions.
C = Sometimes supportive of rights, interests, may support more restrictions
D = Would support more restrictions, little or no support.
F = Strongly opposed to your rights, interests, and/or shooting sports, hunting, etc.
W = Waiting for more info. Input from members welcome.
? = No reply. Probably hostile or indifferent to your rights and interests.

CONGRESS Ratings are ASR&PA only. Includes how well they (would) protect AZ from DC

CD 1 (D) Brown (?) Kirpatrick (D) Shanker (?) Titla (?) (R) Hall (?) Hansen (A-) Hay (A) Livingstone (A)
CD 5 (R) Anderson (A) Bitter Smith (A) Gentry (?) Knaperek (A+) Ogsbury (A) Schweikert (A)
CD 6 (D) Gramzaio (W) Schneider (W)
CD 7 (R) Chewning (A) Sweeney (F)


(D) George (W) Kelty (W) Kennedy (F) Newman (D)
(R) Allen (A) Fowlkes (A) Hobbs (W) Mcclure (A) Robson (A) Stump (A) Swapp (W) Wong (F)


1 (R) O’Halleran (A) Pierce (A)
4. (R) Harper (A+) Zerby (?)
18 (R) Gibbons (?) Pearce (A+)
22. (R) Farnsworth (A+) Vrschoor (A+)
26 (R) Hershberger (F) Melvin (A)


2 (D) Chabin (?) Deschene (?) Haughwout (?)
3 (R) Goodale (?) Groe (A) McLain (A)
6 (R) Bouie (?) Crump (A) Seel (A)
10 (D) Clark Lovejoy (?) Thrasher (C)
12 (R) Blendu (A) Montenegro (A) Weiers (A)
14 (D) Campbell (?) Meza (F) Valdez ( )
16 (D) Campbell (?) Doss (?) Miranda (D) Munoz ( )
18 (R) Ash (A-) Court (B-) Henderson (?) Middlebrook ( A)
20 (R) Dial (A) Mccomish (A) Schmuck (C-) Swann (?)
22 (R) Armer (?) Biggs (A+) Brown (?) Hendrix (A)
23 (D) Bond (?) Bustamante (B) McGuire (A) Pacion (?)
26 (R) Humphries (A) Williams (B) Zerull (A-)
27 (D) Cajero (F) Kromko (D) Lopes (F)
29 (D) Carbajal ( ) Cruz (?) Guerra (?) Heinz (?) Patterson (B) Prezelski ( F) Puig (?)
30 (R) Antenori (A) Gowan (A) Collins (A) Sposito (A)

Serving the rights and interests of Arizona’s responsible firearms owners PO BOX 40962 MESA, AZ 85274-0962

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Judge strikes down Clean Elections matching funds

August 30th, 2008
A federal judge has struck down the matching funds provision of the Arizona Clean Elections program. Despite the finding, matching funds will continure through the end of the primary. Then the judge will examine the issue for the general election.

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