This week, the local Democratic Party, who apparently didn’t get the memo that writing in a mocking tone is my department, sent out a press release bragging that not only has the entire Democratic slate filed (unless you count the unendorsed Joe Flores and whackjob Marshall Home), but that no Republican has. Local Republican flack Sam Stone took the bait and assured the world (or at least the Weekly) that, yes, the Republicans will file a full slate.
Of course, his assurances came with an implication that the Democrats were planning to file a lawsuit. This will be followed later, no doubt, by fresh allegations of ACORN busing in illegal aliens and ominous questions about Paul Cunningham’s birth certificate. (I haven’t seen it, have you?)
The thesis of the press release is that, despite the Tea Party explosion last year and a pretty relentless hammering of everything City of Tucson by our local press and the folks in Phoenix, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of an electoral cyclone that is destined to sweep Democrats from office.
This goes a bit beyond whether or not the Republicans can file their signatures today or not, it’s who they’ve gotten to run. You’d think with all of the bluster from the other side, there would be no shortage of Republican candidates.
Instead, you have a Ward 1 race that is so far uncontested by the Republicans. You’d think that given the current occupant of that seat is Regina Romero, a favorite target of local radio roleros because of her liberalism and closeness to Raúl Grijalva, there would be someone, somewhere. Well, not quite.
Then there is Ward 2. Long time local politicos would be hard pressed to name the last appointed councilmember that even managed to win a primary, much less go on to re-election. You’d think that that would have made Cunningham a ripe target, especially considering he represents a fairly Republican area. Despite all of this, it wasn’t until the end of March that Jennifer Rawson pulled papers. Her sparsely attended anouncement indicates how unexcited local Republican pooh-bahs are about her chances.
And in Ward 4, oh, they actually found a real candidate in Tyler Vogt. Okay, that’s one.
Then, in the mayor’s race, well there you have a primary, albeit with two flawed candidates. Even though the local Republican establishment seems to be swinging (slowly but inevitably) behind Shaun McClusky, one has to wonder how excited they are about him when you hear that Republicans like Rick Grinnell are trying to push Democrat-turned-Independent Pat Darcy’s candidacy.
Oh, by the way: the pathetic story that is Ron Asta’s campaign isn’t over yet. Word is he’s been contacting firms to get paid signatures. He’s been running since late February, but he apparently is far enough behind to have to pay for signatures. I have my doubts that the guy will qualify.
Back to my point: it’s one thing to feed tales of a broken city government to eager reporters, whine about taxes or spout off tea drenched platitudes on local radio stations, it’s quite another to put your name out there and competently offer an alternative vision to the voters. Our local Republicans don’t seem to be ready to do that.