AZ-03: Phil Gordon Won’t Run

From the Arizona Republic:

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has announced that he will not run for the seat of retiring Republican Congressman John Shadegg.

The two-term Democratic mayor had weighed whether to enter the race for the Republican-leaning Congressional District 3, which includes the northern portion of Phoenix, parts of Paradise Valley and far north suburbs. […]

Gordon added that as he considered a congressional run, he received “exciting” encouragement from power brokers in Washington D.C. as well as from Republicans and Democrats in the Valley. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

and the chairman of the committee aimed at getting Democrats elected to Congress had approached Gordon about the seat.

Gordon, who had been gauging runs both as a Democrat and as an independent, may have been a strong general election candidate, but as a John McCain Democrat, may have had some problems getting through a primary against wealthy attorney Jon Hulburd. You’ve gotta figure that DC Democrats are a bit bummed — not because they think that Gordon would have been a reliable vote (I believe a recent commenter described him as “Bobby Bright with Joe Lieberman’s personality”), but because of the opportunity to draw some Republican fire away from more vulnerable Democrats. Still, Hulburd, with his personal wealth and strong fundraising prowess, may be able to accomplish that task.

RaceTracker Wiki: AZ-03

12 thoughts on “AZ-03: Phil Gordon Won’t Run”

  1. I think we had a shot with Gordon, and don’t really have a shot with Hulburd.

    That being said, Gordon would not have been reliable and Hulburd at the least will draw funds from the GOP.

  2. In 2000, Phoenix made up about 600,000 of the districts 640K residents. The proportion has dropped a bit, as a disproportionate amount of the new growth in the district has been in areas like New River and Anthem that are outside of the city limits (for now). But yeah, in general, people take for granted how conservative much of Phoenix is.

    And any event, while Gordon wouldn’t be first in line to join the Progressive caucus, comparing him to Bobby Bright is ludicrous. For how much of a headache he makes himself, he’s actually not bad on policy, especially for a city that is at best moderate. The markedly more Democratic Tucson has a Republican mayor, and I’m rather worried that Flagstaff (!) is going to elect a center-right independent in our election next month.

    That Joe Lieberman comparison on the other hand…

  3. Ann Kirkpatrick won AZ-01 with John McCain on the top of the ballot outperforming Obama by 12 points and the Republican underperforming McCain by 14 points.  Granted, the GOP will likely have a better recruit than AZ-01 of 2008 and it is very common for self-funders to have less bang for the buck, but I wouldn’t write it off yet.  

  4. That race is almost certainly going to a runoff in May.  I expect the center-right candidate to make the runoff, along with one of the two leftist candidates (including the incumbent mayor).  Whichever leftist candidate makes the runoff is likely to win that, too.

    I suppose if the incumbent mayor limps out of the primary she could lose to Haughey (the center-right candidate), but from everything I’m seeing, the mayor has no support and will be lucky to break 20% in the first round.

  5. Mayors stay in office by making a scene every…single….day to get on the evening news. It’s how they maintain a profile and it usually means fighting with every other politician in the state. Just ask the ever octocontrarian Marty Chavez who fought with Gov. Bill Richardson/AG Bruce King over red light cameras and then-Congressman Tom Udall over his “fair hair.” Jeez ex-Mayor Marty, try making a friend for once!

  6. Maybe I’m just feeling really pessimistic, but I feel like Pressler is winning the sign war in neighborhoods that Kelty would have to win like Southside (admittedly I haven’t been to a couple of Dem strongholds like Sunnyside super recently). I think Haughey pulls through in first place but doesn’t get the majority, Kelty and Pressler split the liberal vote, but that Pressler edges her. Then what if Kelty’s voters either don’t show up or some of them switch to Haughey as the anti-incumbent choice?

  7. tells me that signs don’t give any indication of who’s winning a race.  I saw this first hand in 2006 in MD-Sen, where Allan Lichtman won the sign war in the Democratic primary en route to finishing sixth.

    Haughey will certainly get first place in the primary — if he doesn’t, he’s going to lose the general in a blowout.  The question is by how much he wins the primary, and who makes it into the runoff with him.  The scenario you suggest is certainly possible, and I think Presler is a weaker GE candidate than Kelty is, but my gut feeling is that very few people actually support Presler.  Most of this has to do with coalitions.  The progressive coalition in Flagstaff is 100% lined up with Kelty.  Since 1996, I’ve only seen one progressive or quasi-progressive candidate in Flagstaff win without the backing of the coalition: Joe Donaldson, the mayor Presler defeated two years ago.  I could be wrong, but I don’t get the sense Presler has the political chops Donaldson had.  Do you?

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