On Thursday evening, five of the 2014 Republican candidates running for Governor were gathered together in front of 105 avid Republican activists to plead their case.  Notably absent was the guy who seems to think he is the frontrunner and a shoe-in to win this, Doug "I-don't-need-to-come-to-a-stinking-forum" Ducey, the darling of the establishment Republicans like McCain and Brewer.

Here is AFA's take on the outcome:

Only two candidates stood out among the five who were involved:  Dr. John Molina and Christine Jones.  While Andrew Thomas was passionate with his responses, he revealed nothing new.  Yes, Andy, we know you got a bad deal from the activist judges and yes, we know you were vindicated. We know what you did while County Attorney and we know you are buds with Sheriff Aripaio.  And you are a good guy, but where were the new ideas to solve old problems?  It's fine to run on your past record but this is politics and you're a politician: what have you done for us lately?

Dr. Molina from Guadalupe, AZ, came off as a compassionate guy with strong social justice issues.  He's been a Republican for 13 years... or was it 14?  He claimed both during his remarks.  He is the former head of ACCCHS and as a result, is in favor of the medicaid expansion bill recently passed. He just doesn't think it was properly managed.  He was speaking to an anti-expansion crowd and we give him points for integrity in not moving away from his heart-felt views on this subject.  A soft spoken man, it was clear he's a sincere candidate with a heart and many of his answers were emotion based.  He focused many of his answers on the issue of diversity, not unexpected for an Hispanic gentleman from Guadalupe, AZ, one of the poorest areas in metropolitan Phoenix.

Christine Jones, a true citizen candidate who made the excellent point that she was the only candidate in the forum who never took a government paycheck, was clearly new to the process.  She missed some opportunities to set herself apart from others on the candidate panel.  Having said that, she made a couple of very good points no one else made: she does not NEED to run for office to advance a political career she has no interest in.  Her heart and chief interest is in Arizona's future and the people.  Her interest is to bring her accountant's experience and her very successful business experience to bear on the office of the Governor.  The second point she made effectively is that she came up in a hard-scrabble way in East Denver, focused on educating herself - not on the government's dime - so she could be totally self-reliant and believes excellence in education (her husband is a teacher) is the key to reaching that goal for everyone.  She has a special antipathy toward common core.

The other candidates, Sen. Al Melvin and Secretary of State Ken Bennett, comported themselves admirably and were perfectly competent in their responses.  They both have a track record for anyone who cares to research.  

In the end, the candidates present answered the questions just as one would expect and, except for the exceptions noted above, no creative thinking was on display.  But....

Where was Waldo aka Doug Ducey?  Huh?  Huh?

Many thanks to Maricopa Chair A.J. LaFaro for organizing the first Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

LD23 will be doing the second forum on October 17 in Scottsdale.  More on that in the Events tab in the next day or two.  Ducey has declined that invitation as well!

Video of first Governor's Forum: click here

Our thanks to A.J. LaFaro: Please feel free to post to your websites, facebook pages and distribute via e-mail.
My deepest thanks and appreciation to Mark Naufel, AZGOP New Media Director,
for making this video possible.
I hope you find it informative,
A. J.

Views: 711

Replies to This Discussion

Didn't get it on my calendar (senior moment/???) is the video posted anywhere?  thanks!!

Contact A.J. LaFaro, Maricopa County Republican Chair to find out if the video was archived.  You can find his contact info on the AZGOP site.

done & discovered the AZGOP list of county chairs & meetings was not up to date; nor was the list of LD chairs - AZGOP was notified by our county chair.

We have left a message for LaFaro to get an answer for you.  Stand by.

LaFaro will be getting that video posted in the next week or so, hopefully with a link for you.  We'll post that on this page as soon as we get it.

Well as well done as this rather informative opinion is, I'm surprised there isn't more seen behind the good qualities of Andrew Thomas as a solid candidate for Governor.  He uses his past as solid qualifications as to why choose him to be the Governor of this State. He has won the battles, he know how to stand on solid ground, knows how to face adversity and keep moving forward, and how to continue moving forward through thick and thin, and come out ahead no matter what.  He doesn't go down.  He's not down for the count, but knows how to get back up, brush himself off, look to the future with truth, realizes there will be obstacles ahead of him, but won't let obstacles become obstacles but will take down the obstacles and create apple juice out of the apples vs sour lemon juice.

To put Dr. John Molina out there as some great candidate is to say current Gov Brewer is a great governor who has given us nothing but SB1070 who was actually put out there due to Russell Pearce, not due to anything Brewer did.  She shoved down our throats Arizona Medicaid Expansion just like Pelosie did with Obamacare.  Why would we even think to have another mini Brewer.  This man believes in the Medicaid Expansion.  Of course he would, he was a head of AHCCCS at one time although it must have been over 25 yrs ago.  My husband and others I know have been there for the past 25 yrs and do not know who Molina is.  Just because he comes across with 'compassion' and is a registered Republican, #1 doesn't mean he's a Conservative Republican, and while I believe heavily in being compassionate, maybe even more better word 'passionate' about one believes, sounds a bit scary in that he may be what is considered a 'progressive' or in better terminology 'Liberal'.  They consider themselves to be 'compassionate' vs the uncompassionate republicans.  

Already you brought up the fact that he changes things in the middle of his talking points.  So, where is his stand on any issues.  We've had Andrew Thomas speak and he does provide what he will do as Governor.  I'm sure he did that as well at this forum.  We had other commitments, otherwise we would have either been there, or at least watched.  Sorry, but nix on Molina as a valuable candidate.

As far as Christine Jones.  Have met her, had her speak at our Tea Party, and got to speak to her for quite a while one on one afterwards.  This is when she wasn't sure if she was going to run for Governor or not.  We liked a lot of what she had to say, her strength, conviction, and the fact that she doesn't need to be Governor.  She is not in it for the money.  She stated it would be to help the citizens of Arizona.  i have one small fear that she may play dirty politics which I don't like at all.  This is just a gut feeling I got from our one on one conversation before she decided to run.  The fact that she is against Common Core is a good point in her favor.  I do know that Andrew is not for the medicaid expansion nor is he for Common Core.  He gets 2 points in that area.  I would think Christine is also not for the Medicaid Expansion.  

So in actuality we have 2 strong candidates - Andrew Thomas, and Christine Jones

While Ken Bennett is a nice guy, I'm not sure I totally trust him.  He hasn't handled the voting processes very well.  Seems to think we don't have a voter fraud problem when in fact we do. Even when presented to him, he ignored it.  This does not make for a good Governor in my estimation.

Have to admit I/we do not know a lot about Sen. Al Melvin.  Would need to do some research on Sen. Melvin.

Doug Ducey?  Well that's a horse of a different color.  I had written an op ed on our website shortly after he got elected as State Treasurer.  Had to do with where is our newly elected State Treasurer.  Called it The Wizard of Oz - Who's Behind the Green Door.  We were in the middle of strong and heated Budget issues and not hearing from Doug Docey at all.  

I liked him when he was running and even voted for him.  We both did (my husband & I).  Then he seemed to have disappeared.  First saw him at one of our LD20 meetings a few months ago.  Guess he was thinking of running for Governor so thought it best he get his name out there and let people see who he is.  Understand he doesn't show up in the office much and he seems to be a ghost State Treasurer. All we need is a Ghost Governor.  

Back to 2 valid candidates: Andrew Thomas, and Christine Jones.  Both against Medicaid Expansion, and Common Core.  Both wanting to make the State of Arizona better, wanting to give the people what they want, Defend our Constitution and State Constitution, and our Borders.  Both with good ideas on keeping taxes down.  

We, the Grassroots Tea Party Activists in Glendale are having Andrew Thomas speak next Wednesday Oct 9.  We are located at the Denny's Restaurant, 5161 W Thunderbird Rd Banquet Room.  Meeting starts at 6:30 pm.  Have questions, might want to show up Wed Oct 2 and ask there to get answers to what Andrew plans if he is elected as Governor of Arizona.

AFA reported our impression of the candidates at the time they  took part in the forum.  We did not endorse any candidate, "put anyone out there as some great candidate" nor comment on other appearances.  Dr. Molina and Christine Jones distinguished themselves simply because they didn't sound just like the others.  That is a fair observation, not an endorsement.

I watched this on the computer, thanks for sending the link to that.  This is an important race, this year more than ever.  I think for me, since I don't have a favorite, this was a very fair assessment of the candidates.  Francine R clearly has made up her mind but for those of us who have not, this gives us some info to start with.  You certainly did accurately describe Molina's appearance without prejudice either way, leaving it to us to do more work.  @Francine, everyone in AZ knows Thomas and I agree, he's a good guy but didn't give us anything specific or different from the other candidates.  Being a good guy is not the same as being a good governor.  I saw nothing in Jones that would suggest she would play "dirty politics" and in fact, I thought she came across as a very straight shooter.  I will definitely consider her.

ok where is the link U reference Jan?

It was sent to us a few days ago from AFA.   I guess it was just for live streaming.  I don't have it anymore.

Well well.  It seems anyone who has already picked Thomas is getting a little testy about this review of the forum based on an email I got.   These guys are all in the honeymoon phase so of course they are on their best behavior.  I sure missed the part about "putting Molina out as some great candidate". Maybe we didn't read the same review but from where I sit, Molina comes off as a liberal, getting a point for admitting he's in favor of ME that's hated by most everyone is sure no endorsement but is pretty fair.  This review does not warrant the accusations of AFA not being a conservative site.  To say that is just ignorant.  If this shapes up with the Thomas camp excoriating everyone who's not in that camp, it's not going to go well for Thomas.

Watch & learn....need to see what shakes out in the next couple of months and actually VET the candidates (assuming they will come talk to some of the TEA groups).  I'd like to see a forum where questions are NOT handed out in advance....and perhaps different for each candidate.



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