8 for 2008: Last night's primary gives us eight reasons why the AZ electorate is even stupider than previously thought
By Sarah Fenske
The results are in! Last night's primary settled a lot of hot political races. Now we know that it'll be Tim Nelson who takes on Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas this fall. Now we know that, thanks to State Senator Jack Harper (R-Surprise) trouncing his challenger, we reporters will still have plenty of crazy stuff to cover down at the Legislature. And, we know that even if Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross ultimately manages to hang onto her job, there are a lot of unhappy peeps in South Scottsdale.
But we also know, thanks to last night's results, that Arizona voters are absolute idiots. Our top eight reasons why are after the jump. (Trust me, we didn't have to think too long to put this one together.)
8. Susan Bitter Smith almost manages to pull off a primary victory. The former Scottsdale councilwoman sought the nod to run as the GOP candidate in the fifth congressional district by selling herself as a "true conservative" endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We're surely not the first people to notice that Bitter Smith is pro-choice -- and Arpaio is a moron. So how did Ms. Bitter Smith manage to get 28 percent of the vote, beating Laura Knaparek, Mark Anderson, and the choice of the Arizona Republic, Jim Ogsbury? Beats us. But at least she lost.
7. Joe Arpaio wins. Okay, so he was running unopposed, at least until this fall's general election. But why was he running unopposed? No brave Republicans were willing to step up? Cheap shot, we know -- but really, can you think of an elected official who better deserves the boot?
6. The wife beater waltzes to victory. Yes, 20 years have passed since the wife of State Representative Russell Pearce filed paperwork indicating that he'd physically abused her, and yes, 20 years is a long time. But it was still kind of appalling that Pearce drew 70 percent of the vote.
5. Sydney Hay is the GOP's choice to replace Rick Renzi. You'd think voters in the first congressional district would have learned their lesson after Renzi got indicted on a bunch of felony counts: no more carpetbaggers. Instead, they chose to nominate a mining lobbyist who's never lived in the district. Nice.
5. The "Solar Team" triumphs. People! We warned you about Sam George! But Dem voters nevertheless agreed to his plan to elect a slate of candidates, thereby narrowly knocking the one good choice in this primary, Kara Kelty, out of the race.
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3. Bob Stump, redux. Here's one for the GOP side of the Corporation Commission race. Top vote getter on the R side was a guy named Bob Stump. Did you know that the Bob Stump in question has literally no relation to beloved former Congressman Bob Stump? Didn't think so.
2. Sandra Kennedy wins. Okay, we have to stop talking about the Corporation Commission. But it must be noted that the Democrat who won the most votes is the one candidate the Republic didn't endorse. No, we don't always agree with the Republic, but in this case, they had good reason: Kennedy is, shall we say, not the brightest bulb in the box. Apparently that doesn't matter when you have a last name this good. (See: Stump, Bob.)
1. Turnout hovers at 20 percent. We had a bunch of interesting contested races, from Schweikert/Bitter Smith to Nelson/Richard, but just about nobody turned out to vote. Several people told us they were confused by the Labor Day holiday. Heck, one of our own editors admitted that she almost missed the date. How can anyone be surprised that we routinely end up electing a bunch of awful hacks?