Rarely does anyone show appreciation to ordinary citizens who put themselves out to run for public office.  There is probably no more under-appreciated group of patriots.  Today, we celebrate and thank the following candidates for their willingness to get in the game.  It's not, of course, whether one wins but rather whether one shows up.  Imagine where we would be if no one ran!  These fine men and women showed up and we appreciate and applaud them, whether we supported them or not.

Kelli Ward put herself out there for the Senate seat when putting yourself out there against the never-ending McCain machine takes real fortitude.  Anyone who has ever run for something like even a district seat or President of an HOA knows what it takes to face a critical public.  It takes guts because the possibility of defeat is always there with the hope of victory.  Thanks to Ward for giving so much! 

Senator Steve Smith stepped out of his comfort zone, the state Senate, to run for Congressional District 1. This is the most difficult district to run in since it covers just about half of the geography in Arizona!  In that district, you just can't get there for anywhere due to mountains and wide open spaces.  Steve has been ranked one of the most conservative public officials in Arizona.  Citizens in that district sacrificed a chance to take that seat away from the democrat.  Dirty politics at the last minute, Democrat-style, took him down.  Now, the candidate who engaged in that is crying foul when her opponent attacks her.  Go figure.  What goes around sometimes comes back around pretty quickly.

Sergio Arellano ran a credible campaign for Congress in CD3.  We had a hard time supporting him due to his connection with AZGOP.  However, after a lengthy interview with him, we were convinced he would do a good job in that seat, even an amazing job relative to the job being done by the democrat, Raul Grijalva, who spends most of his time at his favorite DC bar.  Any Republican who tackles that seat is a champion in our view.

Also, we appreciate the effort of Sandra Dowling for following her conscience in CD8 to run against an incumbent.  This is another instance where dirty tricks took the wind out of a candidate.  Her opponent must have know it was sheer folly to challenge Ms. Dowling's signatures in court.  It was a failure in that there were more than sufficient signatures, but it cost Ms. Dowling a lot of campaign time and money, most likely the goal of the incumbent.  We would like to see Republicans act like Republicans scream about.  Winning fair and square must be more rewarding.  We give high fives to Ms. Dowling for running.

And in CD9, Dave Giles spent tons of time and treasure to win his race for Congress.  We know he has tremendous talent for the job he sought.  This is one race it's a shame there couldn't be two winners.  How sweet it would be to take this seat away from the Democrat who feels entitled and who is also in deep legal trouble coming his way.

Thanks to Ken Bennett for running for governor.  He knew it was a long shot to start late and take on a McCain candidate in Gov Ducey.  He knew it would be difficult to get the signatures and even harder to get the Clean Election $5s.  He accomplished both.  He was doing just fine in private life, but he gave voters a choice.  We will never know what would have happened if he had the money the Gov had to make his case.  Thank you, Mr. Bennett, for the time and effort you put forward.  We were all cheering for you.

Arizona Secretary of State, Michele Reagan, was also taken down by deceitful politics.  What happened to "let the best candidate win?" It wasn't so hard for her to decide to run for re-election since she was the incumbent.  However, we applaud her for facing up to the mischaracterization the liberal media threw at her.  Yes, she made some mistakes.  The problem is, much of what she was accused was fake news.  About half of what her opponent advertised was also fake and he knew it!  Reagan has always responded to our messages and questions, usually the same day.  We truly appreciate a government official who does that.  It's rare.

Thank you, Dr. Robert Branch.  At this writing, there is still confusion whether that race was properly run due to the massive failure of the democrat Recorder (you can read more about that in the Watching the Elections section).  Only 249 votes separate these top two out of  572,236 votes counted.  We doubt anyone will have confidence in this outcome.  Dr. Branch was running his very first campaign.  Unless you have done it, it's impossible to know what it takes out of a candidate to run for the first time., especially statewide.  So a special thanks to Dr. Bob!  You ran one of the best first-time campaigns we've seen.

Thanks, also, to Jim O'Connor and Eric Sloan for running long shot campaigns for Az Corporation Commission.  To our knowledge, both were first time candidates.  The failure is in not trying, regardless of the outcome.  We need more citizen candidates to run.  We didn't support either of them except that it takes guts to face rooms full of strangers.  Voters are always better off with a contested campaign and these guys gave it their best.

In LD13 Senate, AZRA member, Brent Backus, is well qualified for that seat.  He was up against a well funded establishment candidate.  We particularly thank him for keeping Don Shooter out of the way.  We hope he gives it another try in two years.

LD20 candidate for Senate, Charles Loftus, was the best of the best.  We feel happy to have had some time with him to see what a good guy - and very intelligent - he is.  Unfortunately, he spent the last few weeks of the election season out of the country.  We expect to see him on the campaign trail again.

It was heartbreaking to see Randy Miller, Senate in LD21, come up a bit short.  We doubt voters have any idea what a great candidate they passed up.  When there is a candidate this qualified who loses to a... uh, hmmm, another candidate, we have to wonder: were voters awake in that district?  To us, this was a no-brainer.

There is something about the west side voters who seem not to prefer the best candidate in the race.  Clair Van Steenwyk, who has run in several campaigns, came in second against an incumbent. Van, as he is known, knows more about how government is supposed to work than most folks.  He would have made his district proud.

The biggest shock to our system was the loss by Darin Mitchell in LD13 House.  Mitchell was an incumbent and one of few who remembered what he was there to do.  He was in line to be Speaker of the House about which we were happy because it's been a long drought for conservatives in that position.  Again, crazy district 13 voters gave up a great opportunity.  We are told McCain toady, Jonathan Lines, participated in buying that seat for Tim "I never show up" Dunn.  Believable, given what we know about Lines! Conservatives in that district are so down in the dumps,  they have to look up to see the bottoms of their shoes.  Us, too!

Ditto for the loss by Julie Willoughby, the sole conservative running in LD17.  LD 17 has not been known for electing the best candidate for a long time.  Conservatives are in the minority even though Republicans are  in the majority.  Sad.  We thank her for being involved in her government.  

These candidates went where most of us fear to tread.  We are all better because they made the effort. Our heartfelt thanks to each of them.  As the saying goes, "Those also serve who only stand and wait." John Milton, 1608-74)  from the sonnet, When I consider how my light is spent.  We wait for the next election season to see more of some of these candidates on the campaign trail again.

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The truly sad part, Patricia, of this low number is that the majority, or should I say just over half of those who cast ballots, were allowed, by those of us who know the good from the marginal and bad, to go to the polls misinformed or uninformed on who it is they should be voting for and why. This seems to be a continuing story here and elsewhere across the country. Here in Arizona the McCain faction runs the Party and because of that their candidates get the spot light and are put ahead of better candidates for all the offices. The "Party" elite pick the winners and we don't get involved enough to defeat them. I guess it is easier to complain than to solve the problem. I have some suggestions for changing this but it needs to be done at the Party level not from a position of weakness complaining in a hands off non participation attitude. If we can get enough good people to participate on a regular basis we can change things. If we let the bad people run it they will do so for their benefit and not for the good of the country or the people of Arizona as they have proven time and again.

Changing the mindset of the Party is a long term goal, however if all who know the Truth would only get out and tell their neighbors, friends and yes donate to the candidates as well as put signs in their yards and stickers on their windows, this in how it could work. I don't believe we'll ever fix the party without getting people in office as at present those in office are controlled by the Party, Lobbyists and PACs, this is how it is and will stay unless those who complain start taking an active part in fixing it with giving to the Constitutional Candidates who haven't quit as of yet.
God Bless You; Van 

This Primary is what made AZ Purple!!!! We had some terrific conservative Constitutional candidates and the public didn't vet candidates. 

I agree we had some real Constitutionally minded candidates at State & Federal Level, however couldn't compete with the $$$$$$$$$$'s given the PURPLE GANG OF INCUMBENTS, and therefore lost, most voters have no idea who is who and unless you have the $$$$$$$$$'s to send them at least enough Information to just Inform them of say Your Name and What You'll stand for they only see your name on a sign or the ballot, while the PURPLE GANG sends out mailers by the fistful with monies donated to them and PURPLE PACS, if anyone ever wants to get any of this type of candidate elected it's going to take a concerted effort of supporters to Raise $$$$$$$'s or it just won't happen, hope it does. God Bless You All; Clair VAN Steenwyk 

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