Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Newest Challenger: Libertarian Michael Kielsky (w/Update)

I've not known the local Libertarian crowd to be overly fond of state Senate President Russell Pearce, which makes me wonder why one of their tribe appears to be jumping into the recall campaign in Legislative District 18. A move that will inevitably dilute the vote.

The guy's name is Michael Kielsky, a Scottsdale lawyer who has unsuccessfully run for Congress and County Attorney over the years. He practices in Scottsdale, but lives in Mesa.

Kielsky just filed with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office to raise money for an LD 18 state Senate seat run. 

I suppose there's an outside chance he may be filing in anticipation of next year's race in the same district, so I called his law office and left a message for him. If he calls back I'll update this post.

The election "cycle" he lists is 2012, but that's been the case with the other candidates as well.

I think it's noteworthy that Libertarian Andrea Garcia, who ran against Pearce in LD 18 in 2010, has opted not to run, and is supporting Republican Jerry Lewis, the only legitimate candidate so far. 

Indeed, when I spoke to her in July, Garcia was encouraging anyone other than Lewis to "stay away" from the contest

Mesa audiologist Tommy Cattey has dropped out, endorsing Lewis. 

Olivia Cortes, believed by many to be a Pearce plant despite her denials, remains in.

I wish I could say the more the merrier, but in this game, I think we all know it is not.

UPDATE: Well, I spoke with Mr. Kielsky this evening, and all you need to know is that he doesn't care if his candidacy adversely affects the recall, causing Pearce to be re-elected November 8.

Indeed, I believe Kielsky relishes his role as spoiler and will love any attention he can wring from the press and the blogs.

I'll follow up in a bit on some of the things he had to say, but I do so grudgingly, knowing that he will worship any scrap written about him.

It's a very sad state of affairs. He's a very poor representative of Libertarian ideals, and in running for state Senate in LD 18 he is betraying every Libertarian who has ever worked against Pearce's odious rule. 

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons