The campaign of would-be U.S. Senator J.D. Hayworth confirmed today that it has hired Shane Wikfors, the blogger behind sonoranalliance.com, to serve as its field director.
Hayworth, the former radio gabber, is trying to unseat John McCain in the GOP primary.
Even as it confirmed Wikfors' hiring, the Hayworth campaign, fronted by PR man Jason Rose, squashed speculation that it had also signed on Rachel Alexander, the blogger behind www.intellectualconservative.com. Rose confirmed that the campaign had spoken to Alexander, but that she wouldn't be coming over unless she leaves the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
Alexander, a deputy county attorney, is handling her boss' high profile -- and ludicrous -- racketeering claim against county officials. We're told, although we have yet to get confirmation, that County Attorney Andrew Thomas put the kibbosh on Alexander's plans to work for both the County Attorney's Office and Hayworth's campaign.
We sent Alexander a message seeking comment. We'll let you know if we hear back.
Meantime, the Wikfors' hire could prove something of a coup for the Hayworth camp -- and not just because Wikfors is undoubtedly an excellent field director.
No, under any circumstances, an attractive piece of what Wikfors brings to the table is that he's the administrator of one of the town's most widely read conservative blogs. The Sonoran Alliance relies on anonymous contributors for much of its content. Wikfors, as the only name identified with the project, controls who gets to post (and sometimes outs the IP addresses of sock puppets who disagree with his contributors, too).
So far, the Web site has been a strong voice for Hayworth. Sonoran Alliance recently posted clips of Hayworth's speaking engagements, details of his statewide tour, and a press release needling McCain about his quip that Mesa's Leisure World is really "Seizure World." And that's just in the last two days.
To Wikfors' credit, however, lately one of the site's anonymous contributors has been sounding the battle cry for McCain, too. We're also told that Wikfors did disclose his relationship with the Hayworth campaign in the comment section of one recent post. (You can see it if you scroll down here.)
And, as Rose points out, Wikfors' enthusiasm for Hayworth predates his hire: "I've rarely someone join a campaign that's as excited about the candidate as this guy is."
Suffice it to say, you can expect more pro-Hayworth posts from Wikfors, who posts under DSW. And should Rachel Alexander ever leave the County Attorney's Office and join the Hayworth payroll, well ... at that point, you can really expect things to heat up.
"This has the potential to the most exciting race in the country," Rose told New Times. Alexander or no Alexander, we'd have to agree with him on that.