The Tucson Weekly reports that Councilman Kozachik has “walked back” his proposal to skip the 2013 elections, dismissing the whole thing as some kind of thought experiment. So it appears that there will be an election next November, and the Council seems to think so too. As of last week, all three incumbents whose terms are up this year, including Kozachik, have filed to run for re-election.
This means that there will be little suspense on the Democratic side. Perhaps some crank or chump backed by Republican money will emerge to challenge somebody in the primary, but basically, the Democratic ticket is now in place.
Significantly, no Republicans have yet come forward. Again, this does not mean that none will, and there is plenty of time at this point to do so. Formerly relevant Frank Antenori, for example, assures us that he has recruited a candidate to run against Kozachik, but is not ready to reveal his name. He assures us that this individual is “well liked by both Democrats and Republicans.”
Of course, there is absolutely no good reason for Antenori to keep this man’s identity a secret, and plenty of good reasons to make it public. This, coupled with the fact that Antenori is claiming that someone who is “well liked” by Democrats would ever have his stamp of approval makes it likely that he is fibbing at least a bit.
Antenori’s imaginary friend notwithstanding, Republicans face a perennial difficulty beyond the Democrats’ 2 to 1 registration advantage. The sad fact is that there seems to be a dearth of talented Republicans within city limits available to run for council. In 2009, for instance, the party resorted to randomly calling registered Republicans at home to recruit a candidate for Ward 5. On those rare occasions that they have run good candidates, they have actually done well, but for the most part their field has been mediocre.
Speaking as a Tucsonan, and not a partisan Democrat, the Republican tendency to scrape up anybody they can find, regardless of their experience or standing in the community, just to be a name on the ballot, is rather insulting and shows a certain contempt for our town.
On a related note, a few weeks ago, Antenori announced the formation of a non-profit for the purpose of exposing “waste, fraud and abuse.” There is no sign thus far that it exists any more than his phantom candidate does. The project is called the “Foundation for Accountable and Responsible Government.” This sounds suspiciously like the “Foundation for Law And Government,” which children of the 80′s such as myself will remember as the benefactor of “Michael Knight, a man who does not exist.”