Asta Be

Carolyn Classen has a good catch over at her blog where she reports the possible mayoral candidacy of Ron Asta. Asta would be running as a Republican.

As Classen tells us, Asta was on the Board of Supervisors some time during the neolithic era. He spends his time these days as a consultant and radio talk show host.

Back during his first stint in electoral politics he was a Democrat, serving on the Board of Supervisors from 1973 to 1977 on a board that included other “blast from the past” names like Joe Castillo, Sam Lena and E. S. “Bud” Walker. He also made what now could be called his first run for mayor back in 1983, when he was defeated by Lew Murphy.

He was well liked by neighborhood activist types back then, but when out of public life he became a consultant for some of the same developers and business interests those same activists were fighting when he was in office.

I don’t know if Asta’s decision hinges on whether or not Bob Walkup runs. My money is on that he doesn’t run in either case. Being out of public office for as long as he has means that he doesn’t get any of the benefit of goodwill from recent public service, but he does get the bad of all of the old stories circulating again (look for the “steak in the pants” story to get a new airing).

Plus, is Tucson really ready for a mayor named after Nick and Nora’s dog?

9 thoughts on “Asta Be

  1. Oh, Carolyn, this is good…
    He was busted for trying to shoplift a steak by shoving in down his pants….

    Can’t wait to see how the Weekly plays this up…

  2. The story was that he couldn’t get a job and was really down on his luck politically (out of office) and at El Rancho Market on Speedway he got caught putting a steak in his belt to steal from the store. Bad choice.

  3. The more interesting part of today’s story is that Asta is considering running as a Republican. Back in the late ’70’s, he was the de facto leader of the upstart Democrats in the party. The guy who led the crazies, and pioneered walking streets and campaigning with shoe leather, rather than using the “machine” system. His people led the charge that unseated the old guard Democrats. There was chatter that he could run for Governor because he was so popular and supposedly unstoppable. However, he proved to be stoppable and was defeated for re-election despite a good record of public service after being cast as against jobs and growth. He started out as an urban planner. Asta was known as a “wild child” in private/public affairs. Now he’s a Republican????

  4. The steak episode occurred before the mayor campaign. The mayor campaign was viewed as his redemption from the steak episode as he earned a respectable number of votes.

  5. We think Ron should go hide under a rock! Eventually his remains should end up in a private landfill in Pinal County.

  6. It’s not like it’s likely the poor guy would win, but let’s all pile on, ok? The equally silly Fred Ronstadt is also reportedly mulling a run, and lots of Republicans around town are already in love with the idea of Steve Kozachik running for Mayor. (Run, Forest!)

    Seriously. “Mayor Kozachik.” (Come on, say it!)

    I personally think Asta ought to associate himself with the burgeoning private-sector downtown revitalization, you know, like with ten-story tower the electric company’s building and all that great retail space we’ve been hearing about. Maybe he could partner with nightclub developer Luke Cusack, who recently opened “A Steak in the Neighborhood.” Cusack and Asta are both Republicans, and let’s face it: they’re both classy guys.

    They could re-name that restaurant “A Steak in the Pants,” and make it Asta’s campaign HQ. And they could do promotions where Jon Justice could broadcast live. And the modern-day Tucson Republican would eat that shit up.

    “A Steak in the Pants.” On Congress. On 104.1.

    Just watch.

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