Well, the new rumor being circulated is that Tim Bee is so intimidated by the piles of cash that Gabrielle Giffords has raised that he is reconsidering the race and may instead run for County Supervisor.
I don’t buy it. The field has been cleared for him, and all indications are that this will be a top targeted race. This means that Bee can count on national money and support which would give him, at the least, some level of parity with Giffords. Since he has no visible primary opponent, he can even put off raising money until early next year, obviating any need to resign his office.
Unless somebody actually declares against him in the primary. The word is that there are conservative activists who are tweaked about Bee’s cooperation with the Governor on the budget. He’s still pretty conservative, it’s just that he actually was interested in governing. Apparently, this is a crime against the legacy of Ronald Reagan and he must be stopped.
Even if it can’t prevent him from getting nominated, a decent opponent could force him to resign early to concentrate on fundraising. This would take him out of the legislature and they could get Senate leadership more to their liking.
That’s where Wayne Peate comes in. Dr. Peate had talked about running for congress before, but bowed out. This time, his name was brought up again by some conservative activists, including a fellow named Chris Baker. Baker is affiliated with the Club for Growth, an ally of RINO hunter Constantine Querard and worked the campaigns of Trent Franks, Sydney Hay and Randy Pullen. Both Baker and Querard are well known for supporting activist conservatives against more pragmatic (though not necessarily less conservative) establishment candidates. Perhaps Baker thought he’d have another head on the wall here.
Peate’s candidacy was quashed when local Republican pooh bahs let him know that they had picked their guy. Whether this means that the cranky wing of our local conservative establishment will look elsewhere or swing totally behind Bee is yet to be seen.
One interesting side note here is where Jim Weiers is in this whole thing. Weiers wasn’t exactly ecstatic that Bee didn’t support his budget, and couldn’t have been too happy about the press orgy that was thrown for Bee after the budget, largely written by the Governor and the Senate, passed. One Republican observer told me that Weiers is involved in looking for a candidate because he wants to force Bee out before his term is up, both punishing Bee and leaving Weiers a freer hand in the next session. Another Republican, one close to Weiers, told me that that is a load of hooey, and that Bee and Weiers are great pals. I don’t quite buy the great pals thing, but it would be crazy for Weiers to weigh in on the race. Weiers has already ticked off the Republican establishment in Southern Arizona over the Employer Sanctions Bill (Republican stalwart and key Bee backer Jim Click has all but vowed to take Weiers out), why antagonize them more by poking around in their hive?
NB – I put in the apian puns as a service to you, my reading public. I’ve got plenty more of them.