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Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is also making a go at CD1, but insiders aren't giving him much of a chance these days. Look for Sal to lose big in the CD1 GOP primary, then come back to make a strong run at Phoenix mayor in 2003.
Beyond CD1, the speculation for any shake-ups extends toward 2002, when we'll have additional seat(s) in Congress. Look for Groscost to go after the East Valley's new seat and state Representative Ken Cheuvront, a Democrat, to eye a central Phoenix district, if one is created.
Governor --Jane Dee's term isn't up 'til 2002, but the speculation about this race began last fall, the day after she was elected. Matt Salmon and state Senate President Brenda Burns are GOP favorites; current Attorney General Janet Napolitano and PR guru Alfredo Gutierrez are among the would-be Dem contenders; and former AG-cum-radio jock Grant Woods could pick any party.
I've also heard some reruns mentioned: Democrats Terry Goddard, Paul Johnson and Sam Coppersmith. They're all smart, capable guys, but really, someone should create a committee that interviews candidates who've lost a major election in the past decade and make them explain what they'll do differently this time and why they deserve to have party volunteers lick their envelopes.
Otherwise, it's time for these folks to recruit some fresh blood.
One potential candidate who hasn't worn out his welcome on the campaign trail is Democrat Louis Rhodes, former head of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, who's now on a two-year fellowship at the local offices of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rhodes is a self-effacing guy with a keen wit and a statewide base built during his years with the ACLU. He's my choice as dark dark DARK horse.
Mesa --Mayor Wayne Brown announced recently he won't run again. Top contenders for his spot include conservative councilman Keno Hawker, former councilman/lawyer Pat Gilbert and city activist Kirby Allan.
Part of the reason for all the jockeying and eyeing of upper offices on the part of Arizona pols is the fact that term limits will kick out most of the Legislature next year. That, combined with the recently passed Clean Elections initiative, could potentially offer open seats at bargain prices.
Toss in the 2000 redistricting and you've got the potential for a whole new political landscape, with lots of wanna-be landscapers.
The speculation and handicapping are only just beginning.
Contact Amy Silverman at 602-229-8443 or at her online address: firstname.lastname@example.org