By Rob Haney, former Executive Director, Maricopa County Republican Party Executive Guidance Committee
It is highly unlikely that there will ever be another clean elections candidate for governor. In addition to the Herculean task of raising 5,000 $5 contributions to qualify for funding from the Clean Elections Commission, the amount that the candidate would receive is only $760,000.00. This amount of money is woefully inadequate when three of your opponents are spending 5 to 10 million dollars each.
There will usually be a conservative spoiler who will come into the race as an unlikely candidate. Frank Riggs was a late entry into the race. The former conservative California congressman moved to Arizona in 2002 and had been absent from the political scene for twelve years. He established neither name recognition or a political record in AZ, but his entry split the conservative vote. The united conservative front former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas had hoped to build was destroyed before it had a chance to develop.
Millionaires frequently attempt to buy an office for which by experience they are not qualified to hold. The “Go Daddy” executive Christine Jones was such a candidate. Through a multimillion dollar media blitz, she hoped to overwhelm her opponents and carry the vote. However, two other millionaires with political experience, Ducey and Smith, matched her spending, and she ended up in third place. She maintained she was a conservative, but her record belied her assertion. She was a fund raiser for McCain and was caught in numerous misrepresentations about her conservative credentials such as her claim that she prosecuted a case when she was actually only a law student.
It is extremely unlikely that a true conservative will ever defeat a Republican Establishment supported and funded candidate. The voters are not discerning enough to work their way through the Establishment generated media blitz. Only the small percentage of well informed conservatives know that Governor Brewer can not be trusted to carry the conservative flag. She has destroyed any legacy she might have had with them through her tax increases, her backing of Obama Care through Medicaid expansion, and her backing of the federal take over of education through her support of Common Core among other apostasies. But among the general populace, the support of a liberal media has her leaving office with a favorable legacy.