Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on September 15, 1996 · Page 4
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 4

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 15, 1996
Page 4
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districts lira for grabs JL O in November election iNew faces unlikely to shift balance of power By Martin Van Der Werf : Staff writer The balance of power is not likely 'to change much this fall in the Republican-dominated Arizona Legislature but the faces will. '! With the primary election over, it is now assured that there will be at least 20 new members of the Legislature next year. If more incumbents lose in the general election Nov. 5, and it appears likely that some will, turnover in the 90-member body could exceed 25 percent this year. Among other things, Arizona looks as if it will have its first female Native American lawmaker. Three Native American women won Democratic House primaries: Sally Ann Gonzalez of Tucson, Deborah Norris of Sells and Janice Chilton of Gisela. Two lawmakers who just left the Legislature in 1994 look as if they will be back: former Senate President Pete Rios of Hayden is virtually a sure thing to resume his old Senate seat. He has no opposition in the general. And Richard Kyle will likely retake his House seat in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix over token opposition. But for MacArthur-like returns, that's nothing. A Globe man, .Louis B. Ellsworth Jr., may set an all-time record for length of time between legislative terms. Ellsworth, a Democrat, left his seat in the House in 1962 alter four terms. Now, he is trying to win it back 34 years later. Arizona could also get two of its youngest lawmakers. Both Norris and Steve May, a Republican running for the state Senate from District z5 in central nioenix, are 24. Under state law, legislators must be 25 to take office. Both of them turn 25 after the general election but before their terms would start in lanuary. As they now stand, the Arizona Senate is made up of 19 Republicans and 11 Democrats; the House is1 38 Republicans and 22 Democrats. Judging by the results of the prjmary election and the wide disparities in voter registration between Republicans and Democrats in all but a few districts, that won't change much with the general election. The Democrats may pick up one seat in the Senate, and they hope to pick up as many as three seats in the House. ;But for many candidates, the outcome is already known. In the Senate, nine Republicans and four Democrats have no general-election opposition. In the House, 16 Republicans and five Democrats art assured of seats. Four other Republicans face Libertarian candidates in the general election. In those districts, the opposing party was knocked almost out of existence in the redistricting process. The number of registered voters favors one party by such a wide margin that the other party rarely even puts up a candidate. With that in mind, attention will be focused almost exclusively on four districts that can swing either way in the general election: - District 25 in central Phoenix will be a battle on both the House and Senate sides. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Cummiskey, 32, is considered the favorite, but he is vulnerable. A consistent sponsor of bills to change campaign financing, rein in lobbyists and limit the number of bills legislators can introduce every year, Cummiskey is considered to be sanctimonious by some of his colleagues. He is also not a favorite of lobbyists, who can wield clout when they open their purses for campaign contributions. Steve May, at age 24, is a newcomer to politics. He is vice president of United American Industries, which imports and markets herbal teas. He has been waging a pro-business campaign, but he said he has gotten surprisingly few contributions from lobbyists, who apparently are not convinced he can win. "I'm facing a real uphill battle," May said. "It will be a real upset if we win." On the House side, Democrats are aiming to knock off conservative Republican Bob Updike. Updike's wile, Margaret, ran as a Democrat in the primary and was trounced by incumbent Rep. Ken Cheuvront and attorney Christine Weason. Margaret Updike's campaign was built around bashing Republican plans for financing school education, plans that Bob Updike has mostly supported. Now, he is stuck having to defend them. Updike is also facing a challenge to his hold on the conservatives in the district from Republican Henry Thome. District 20 in west Phoenix has a heavy voter-registration advantage for Democrats, and the Democrats would like to make the legislative delegation solidly Democratic as well. That means ousting Rep. Bob Blendu, a stockbroker swept into office in the Republican tide of 1994. Rep. Kathi Foster, a 49-year-old homemaker, is likely to win reelection, and she is hoping to pull Elise Salinger, 54, a Spanish teacher, into office with her. Both Democrats are talking almost exclu sively about education issues in their campaigns. District 4 in the mining and mountain areas of eastern Arizona is wide open. There are no incumbents in a district known for the longevity of its representatives. Rep. Polly Rosenbaum, D-Globe, served this area for 45 years before losing to Republican Rep. David Farnsworth in 1994. She was 95 when she lost. Sen. Bill Hardt, D-Globe, is stepping down as senator after 28 years in the post. He is 89. And Rep. Jack Brown, D-St. Johns, a veteran of 22 years in the House, is seeking to move to the Senate. He is 67. Brown and Farnsworth, 45, a salesman, are vying to replace the venerable Hardt in the Senate. No Republican has ever represented this district in the Senate. The House race - is difficult to predict. Republicans Franklin "Jake" Flake and Debra Brimhall, both of Snowflake are taking on Democrats Chilton of Gisela, a tiny town near Payson, and Ellsworth of Globe. Flake is a rancher and top official in the Mormon church. Brimhall has experience at the Capitol as a voluntary lobbyist for the Eagle Forum. She spent much of the last session trying to persuade lawmakers to approve a ban on same-sex marriages. Chilton, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes of central Washington, is vice chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party and vice chairwoman of the Gila County Planning and Zoning Commission. Ellsworth, 76, left the Legislature in 1962 to make money, and he has done well. He now owns a bowling alley and used-car lot. He also owns two ranches and a lot he is trying to develop into a shopping center. District 13, the ritzy Catalina foothills area of Tucson, adds Republicans voters by the year, meaning Democrats will have a hard time holding on to both House seats. One of the House incumbents, George Cunningham, former chief of staff to Gov. Rose Mofford, is looking to move to the Senate. He is facing a strong challenge from well-funded Republican David Turner, but Cunningham is expected to provide the one Democratic pickup in the Senate, replacing retired Republican Patti Noland. On the House side, Andy Nichols, a Democrat, is favored to hold his seat. But one of two Republicans is expected to snag the other, most likely Scott Kirtley. Democrat Brian Fagin and Republican D. "Shane" are also in the race. There are several other races KEY LEGISLATIVE RACES These races for Arizona legislative seals could go either way in the general election Nov. 5. DISTRICT 4 (White Mountains, Globe-Miami, Payson, Casa Grande) SENATE Jack Brown, Democrat, St. Johns, has served 1 1 House terms. David Farnsworth, Republican, Snowflake, one-term incumbent. Comment: Winner will replace Democratic Sen. Bill yardt of Globe, 89, who held the seat for 28 years. HOUSE Franklin L. "Jake" Flake, Snowflake, Republican. Debra Brimhall, Snowflake, Republican. Janice Chilton, Gisela, Democrat. Louis B. Ellsworth Jr., Globe, Democrat. Comment: These two seats were vacated by Brown and Farnsworth to run for the Senate. Nominees emerged from crowded six-way Democratic and three-way Republican primaries. DISTRICT 20 (west Phoenix) HOUSE DISTRICT 13 (northeast Tucson) SENATE George Cunningham, Democrat, four-term House incumbent. David W. Turner, Republican, newcomer Comment: They are running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Patti Noland. Democrats could gain a - seat here. HOUSE Andy Nichols, Democrat, two-term incumbent Brian Fagin, Democrat, newcomer D. "Shane" Wikfors, Republican, newcomer Scott D. Kirtley, Republican, newcomer Comment: Republicans slightly outnumber Democrats in this district. One is vacant because Cunningham is running for the Senate. ,.,.. , ,. - $ S I 'RIP i3 Comment: Democrats have made knocking off Blendu a priority in this heavily Democratic area. Bob Blendu, Republican, one-term incumbent. Jules Dembinski, Republican, newcomer. DISTRICT 25 (central Phoenix) SENATE Kathi Foster, Democrat, one-term incumbent. HOUSE Elise Salinger, Democrat, newcomer. 7a 'l A I I 1 -TsrrTis Photo i -t j m 1 U available Chris Steve May, Cummiskey, Republican, Democrat, newcomer. one-term incumbent, was also in House for two terms. Comment: Cummiskey may be vulnerable because of his anti-establishment record. May has been courting lobbyists in that very establishment. Ken Cheuvront, Democrat, one-term incumbent. Christine Weason, Democrat, newcomer. Bob Updike, Republican, one-term incumbent. Henry Thome, Republican, newcomer. Comment: Democrats hope to knock, out Updike and replace him with Weason in a traditional Democratic stronghold. where there is a chance that a legislative seat will be captured by the opposing party. They include District 5, in Yuma and La Paz counties, where Democrat Harry W. Warrington faces an uphill fight against Rep. Pat Conner, R-Yuma, who is looking to move from the House to the Senate. The seat is being vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Buster of Yuma, who is running for Congress. In Tucson's District 14, a Republican, most likely Sharon Collins, may knock off Democratic incumbent Marion Pickens. In the northwest Valley's District 16, Democrat Robin Schneider is being touted by Democratic Party heavyweights, but she faces heavy odds in a bid to take out incumbent Rep. Jim Weiers and newcomer Linda Gray, who defeated incumbent Rep. Becky Jordan in the primary. In the long run, this will probably be known as the year that the Legislature turned over. A lot of veterans packed it in this year. Along with Hardt, other retirees were Sen. Manuel "Lito" Pena, D-south Phoenix, after 30 years; Sen. Peter Goudinoff, D-Tucson, after 20 years; Rep. Carmen Cajero, D-Tucson, after 24 years; and House Speaker Mark Killian, R-Mesa, after 14 years. Now, the longest-serving incumbents are House Minority Leader Art Hamilton, D-southwest Phoenix; Rep. Ben Hanley, D-Window Rock; and Sen. John Wettaw, R-Flagstaff. All have been in the Legislature for 24 years, and all are almost certain to be back. Soon, that kind of longevity, won't exist at all. Term limits approved by voters in 1992 will limit lawmakers to three terms in each body, and it will be new blood all the time. House candidate Norris, who owns a gift shop in Sells, said she found her first run for office exhilarating and her victory to be proof that anyone can win. A Navajo living on the Tohono , O'odham Reservation, Norris said, "This is the first time anyone from over here ever ran, so it was a real shot in the arm. The process is getting more open, I think, so maybe more people like me will be represented." iitp ieces registered knockout for some candidates -; HIT PIECES, fmm page Al t targets, the malice is hard to bear. '"Something has to be done," said Bob Edens, who was the subject of a last-minute hit in his campaign for a seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. "If it happened to me, it can happen to anybody ... it doesn't have to be truthful any more. They'll do anything they can to win the election." Rep. Ken Cheuvront's opponent in his central-Phoenix Democratic primary took aim at his sexuality with a hit piece declaring that Cheuvront is gay in bold-faced lettering. This despite the fact that Cheuvront has never tried to hide his sexual orientation. The mailing, paid for by Margaret Updike, backfired. Rather than turn off voters, it actually drove many to the polls to protest the tactic, said Cheuvront, who crushed Updike by nearly three to one. Cheuvront said one woman told him that she postponed a business trip to New'York to cast her primary ballot for him. '"We actually had people coming to the polls saying they came to vote against Margaret Updike," Cheuvront said. "I think there's a backlash happening." There was no such backlash against the hit pieces that detonated in Jordan's district. Gray, who says the misquote was an honest mistake on her part, won by slightly more than 800 votes in an election in which the top vote-getter in the field received 4,668 votes. Many candidates agreed that this year's primary introduced a new and more virulent strain of dirty campaigning. "To just Hat out lie and possibly change the outcome of the election and to get away with it is just amazing," said Rep. Sue Gerard, R-north-central Phoenix. She was hit with one negative mailing and later stood by helplessly as her District 18 opponent, Jerry Harris, falsely said that he had the endorsement of U.S. Rep. John Shadegg. "Even in politics, there ought to be a line," Gerard said. Another Republican, Ted Mullen in District 24, made the same false assertion in his campaign. Shadegg was so enraged that he called reporters to rebut both candidates' assertions. "I gave a favorable quote to Jerry Harris, but I did not endorse Jerry Harris, and I made it very clear I was not going to," Shadegg said. The salvo launched by Rep. Fulton Brock, R-Chandler, against his opponent, Edens, in the county supervisors race shocked even hardened political operatives. Brock said Edens had "resigned" his legislative seat in 1994 to avoid a conflict of interest resulting from a business deal. But he had not. And other assertions in the hit piece for example, that Edens had received a "questionable loan" also were false. Edens said he intends to sue Brock for libel. "For the people who don't know who Bob Edens is, they're going to have that thing in the background," thinking that he's a louse, Edens said. "Even if I win the lawsuit, I can't change that, and that's the hardest thing of all." Brock could not be reached for comment, but he has said that his mailing was based on information distributed earlier by Edens' campaign. Edens concedes that one of his campaign fliers erroneously stated that he had quit the Legislature in 1994. Bill Tierney, a political adviser who helped put out the hit piece on Edens, said Edens forced Brock to fire back by sending out a round of negative mailings earlier in the campaign. Whether a candidate could withstand the assaults depended on how vulnerable they were before the hit piece. "We just got hammered over and over again, and it had a cumulative effect," said Gerard, who won by only 32 votes. "They just chipped away at us." Hit pieces did not work against Reps. Jeff Groscost of Mesa and Jim Weiers of Glendale, both Republicans, who withstood a withering hit piece funded by a group of high-profile Democrats. That, too, appeared to have had the opposite effect, just as it did in the attack on Cheuvront. The victims of last-minute hit mail express shock at how little can be done about it, even when the mailings are illegal. The remedy for some of the violations is to require the person who mailed the piece to reissue it within 3Q days if it is missing information that is required by state law, such as the identity of the group that paid for it. Other remedies include monetary fines. "A lot of times there is really little that can be donet when they come out at the very end," said Karie Dozer, spokeswoman for Attorney General Grant Woods. Candidates whose campaigns were targeted this year are demanding stiffer consequences. . . "Nothing ever gets done about it," Gerard said. And the lack of consequences are only one of the' reasons candidates feel free to lie in the last days of a campaign, she said. Newspapers and TV stations also contribute to last-minute mudslinging by imposing an informal blackout on campaign reporting two days before an election, Gerard said. That gives candidates confidence that they won't be exposed. " "You guys play right into their hand's," she said.. "They know we don't have enough time to respond, and they know you won't, either." Scottsdale mayor chided for calling 911 whenever she gets lost SCOTTSDALE, fmm page Al organizational discontent in the Communications Division over your use of 9-1-1 to call the PD for non-emergency purposes," the memo said. Heidingsfield politely reminded Catnpana that 911 is for emergencies, and that the staff handles 99,000 emergency calls a year. . Campana, who was elected in April, acknowledged calling 911 a "half-dozen times in three or four months" because she was unable to get through to the Police, Department on non-emergency lines. "I'd say, 'I need the Scottsdale Police Department,' Campana said. "I'd say, 'This is the mayor, I can't find where I need to be.' " In his memo, Heidingsfield offered the mayor the use of three private police lines for those times when she gets lost. "It will eliminate employee turmoil and anxiety over protocol and spare you the possibility of abrupt responses during times of emergency," the memo said. The private lines are reserved for alarm companies to contact police and, on rare occasions, for city employees who need assistance. Scottsdale limits the number of employees who can use the lines, the chief said, but, theoretically, all employees have access. Heidingsfield said he knows of no other council member who has used 911 for directions. City records for April through August show that Campana used her cellular phone to call 911 at 2:01a.m. on Aug. 8 and at 6:03 p.m. on Aug. 14. She called other police lines, including the private lines, 12 times in the four-monthjperiod. Campana said she has sworn off calling 911 for directions. But she still calls the police if she needs help finding an address, and she considers it appropriate' use of police resources. "I only use it under duress," she said. Campana said she does have a map of Scottsdale and she knows her way around the city she's lived in since 1969. "I don't get lost in my city very often," she said.

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