There are ten candidates in the race for the GOP nomination to succeed conservative John Shadegg in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District. Based upon what the candidates say at forums across the district, you'd think all ten are conservative leaders. Such is hardly the case.
In all honesty, there is only one candidate in the race who is a proven conservative who has been tested and passed and that's Senator Pamela Gorman. Gorman led the charge against her own party's Governor (and the State Chair of the AZ GOP) in opposing a $3 billion tax hike in the middle of a recession. That pissed off the Governor and the "go along, get along" GOP establishment.
Gorman has led the charge in toppling the state's taxpayer-financed election system. The taxpayer-financed campaign system would have dumped $1.4 million into the Republican Governor's campaign and paid a lot of cash to insider consultants. Those folks aren't too happy with Gorman.
And Gorman is the ONLY candidate in the race who has introduced and passed affirmative pro-life legislation through the Legislature. She's the only legitimate candidate in the race with a conceal carry permit, and along with being an avid defender of the 2nd Amendment (100% NRA voting record), shoots a pistol. Gorman's passed on the love of gun sports to her teenage son (who is on the NRA Youth long-range rifle team).
And she's also fought against crony capitalism and corporate welfare. Whether it be special tax credits for this solar energy firm or special interest legislation for that company, Gorman has been one of maybe two conservatives who have said "No." That makes some of those insider crony capitalists unhappy.
Pamela Gorman is an attractive, articulate, principled conservative that drives the left crazy and is willing to take on those in her own party (especially those who claim to be conservative) who refuse to control spending or want to increase taxes.
Among Gorman's "legitimate" opponents are the following:
Ben Quayle. He's a cute kid. Just passed the bar exam, bought a house, got married and no doubt got a dog to create the perfect "Congressional candidate." No one heard of him until a few months ago when Daddy pulled out his rolodex, raised a ton of cash from the typical GOP establishment and hosted fundraisers at his home, at the home of President George Herbert Walker Bush's in Houston, C Boyden Gray's home in Washington, DC. You get the idea. No one in Arizona even knew the kid lived in Arizona. They will know after he spends a couple million bucks trying to buy a Congressional seat. What will he say when his Wall Street chums or C Boyden Gray calls and says "we need a little favor."
Vernon Parker. Vernon is a darling of some because he's an African-American Republican. He would say that he's a conservative (they all claim to be conservatives now) but his experience consists of working as a government bureaucrat and then creating a business fueled by taxpayer dollars that allowed him to get wealthy and live in one of the richest neighborhoods in all of Phoenix (it's the same one as Vice President Quayle). He launched his business (allegedly while still a government bureaucrat) with a $1.2 million Small Business Administration deal funded by the taxpayers. Best I can tell is that Vernon's job is to have taxpayer dollars fund government contracts for him to teach others how to handle government bureaucracy. The other focus of his business is helping other people secure taxpayer dollars in the form of grants and loans to fund their businesses. Hardly the background of a conservative. He brags about his humble upbringing and I'm glad he "made it" but Gorman had a pretty humble upbringing and was on food stamps as a child, won a scholarship to college and worked her way through school. She just doesn't think that qualifies her to win a medal or be in Congress.
Jim Waring has most recently been a Senator in Arizona and is by all accounts a pretty good guy. He has never really distinguished himself as a legislator. He likes to call himself the "hardest working legislator" but he's never really done any heavy lifting on the legislative work side of the job. No, his work has been campaigning for a Congressional seat that might one day open up. Well, one day has come and bland, milquetoast Jim Waring who is a John McCain loyalist and former staffer is ready to assume the the throne and be a bland milquetoast Congressman for the next 20 years. He'd fit right in in Congress. Sometimes it seems like there is a farm somewhere growing 50-something white, male, milquetoast Republicans who would rather die that stand on principle against their own Republican leadership that has gone astray.
Paulina Morris, if you look at her Twitter identity, is a "Goldwater conservative". That's an interesting interpretation of what the fiscally conservative Goldwater legacy actually represents. While Gorman received the third highest ranking of any legislator from the actual Goldwater Institute, Paulina Morris was a state government bureaucrat who supported sending the $3 billion tax increase (that Gorman opposed) to the ballot. Taking it a step further (and in order to secure support from all the public employee unions), she lobbied the voters to pass the largest tax increase in Arizona history (it was described to be "for the kids"). Gorman was the only one to officially oppose it on the record as a ballot initiative. If you look at Paulina Morris' website, you won't see any mention of "abortion/pro-life/reproductive rights" because Paulina doesn't want folks to know that this "conservative" is a strong supporter of abortion on demand and is the secret stealth candidate of the pro-abortion movement to win a conservative Republican seat.
The last candidate I mention here is barely on the cusp of "legitimate candidates." Sam Crump moved to Arizona a few years ago and announced to political operatives that he moved from California to be a member of Congress. He actually worked for Pamela Gorman's opponent on her first House race. Gorman ran against a RINO Republican who claimed to be a conservative but increased taxes. She kicked his political butt and Sam made amends eventually running for the House himself. Well, Sam won a seat in the House and then announced he was exploring a run for Attorney General and changed his mind and announced he was running for reelection to the Arizona House, before the Congressional seat opened up and he announced that he was ready to accept his birthright and run for Congress. Problem with Sam is that like the RINO Republican he first supported when he got here, he was the leader of a big, special-interest coalition to raise taxes in California. He was a paid advocate for the tax-hikers. He didn't mention that when he came to Arizona and recently when it was revealed he basically said "I oppose taxes and will do so, but I only supported the one in California because my friends did." Well, I think we can do better than that, Sam.
That's it. Those are the mainstream, legitimate candidates in this race. And Pamela Gorman comes out far and away as the best candidate. She's the only person in the race who doesn't only say she's conservative, but actually has a record to prove it.