Arizona Senate Candidate James Molina Bails on Campaign; Props Are in Order

Arizona Representative Rich Crandall got some good news today: his only opponent in the District 19 state Senate race has ended his campaign.

In a statement released last night, Mesa businessman James Molina announced he was bailing on his campaign because his business' demands on his time are too much for him to be an effective senator.

See Molina's full statement after the jump.

"I'm certain that a number of people are surprised and disappointed by my decision, and I want them to know that I did not come to it lightly" said Molina in announcing his decision. "I still believe in the conservative ideals that brought so many of us together, like protecting taxpayers, reining in out-of-control government spending, securing our borders, and giving the voters a real say again in how our government should be run. But the demands of a growing business and the other demands on my time have made it clear that I would not have been able to perform my duties as a State Senator."

"So it is with a heavy heart and a deeply heartfelt apology to all of those who have sacrificed their time and treasure on behalf of my campaign and our cause, that I announce that I am withdrawing from this race."

If you're familiar with the Arizona Legislature, you know Molina's decision to not seek a job for which he didn't have time is props-worthy.

The senator he would be replacing, Chuck Gray, had a little trouble managing his time last year during heated budget negotiations.

In the final stages of last year's budget battle, Gray -- the Senate majority leader at the time -- took off on a Caribbean vacation, much to the dismay of Senate President Bob Burns.

Gray's not the only Arizona legislator with attendance issues.

Pam Gorman, now running for Congress, stormed off the floor of the Senate during budget negotiations last year and went on a Midwestern vacation.

She then had the audacity to send a New Times reader an e-mail saying, "Be careful when you ask people to do things you wouldn't do (like work 60 hour weeks at the federal poverty level) and then bash them for defending their right to be with their families for a few brief days or for putting in a few hours at their 'other' job that pays their mortgage. You sound like a fool when you do."

Crandall, now the lone horse in the District 19 Senate race on either side of the aisle, also has struggled with attendance.

Crandall was absent for more votes in the House last year than any other legislator, missing 66.5 percent of the house's 382 votes, according to a report from Cronkite News Service.

Crandall attributes his successful absenteeism to his taking a six-week contract job in New York that started last June.

Crandall, however, says he was there for all the important votes, and even flew back from New York twice to vote on things he felt were important to his district.

Check out a list of other legislators who don't seem to have enough time for the jobs you pay them to do here.

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James King
Contact: James King