By Elisha Dorfsmith
It’s that time of year again where I get to post my choices in the upcoming election and you get to yell at me in the comments section of my blog if I don’t choose your candidates. I always appreciate the discussion so all comments are welcome.
As A registered Independent I will be voting in the Republican primary this year but I am also taking sides in a few Libertarian and Democratic races.
I don’t have my sample ballot yet so I am listing the races in the order I think they will appear. If I leave a race blank it means I’m not interested in it or it is not a contested race. The Republicans once again skipped most Coconino County races this year so you won’t see me talking much about Judges and other County offices.
Please keep in mind that the views expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the groups or individuals that I work with.
That said, here are my picks for the August 26th, 2014 Primary Election:
I hate to start things off without making a commitment but I cannot find one Republican to support in the primary for Governor this year. All of them fail miserably when it comes to personal freedom and liberty.
This is one of those times where I really wish Arizona had a Nevada style “None Of The Above” option on the ballot. I’d be using it quite a bit this year. Since we don’t have that option, I will be leaving the Governor part of the ballot blank and will be proudly voting for Libertarian Barry Hess in November.
Arizona Attorney General
The Republican Attorney General primary pits scandal ridden incumbent Tom Horne against former director of Arizona Department of Gaming Mark Brnovich. Republican leadership is so disgusted with Horne that even Governor Brewer has endorsed his competition. I have heard Brnovich speak and he is clearly a supporter of the Prison Industrial Complex and the War on Drugs.
To say that Brnovich is a few degrees better than Horne is true but that’s not saying a whole lot in the context of looking for a liberty candidate. I may vote for Mark Brnovich in the primary just to see Horne lose but I’d rather vote for None Of The Above if that option was available.
I can only hope that a write in candidate will run as a Libertarian before the July 17th deadline and give me a choice in November. Otherwise, the Dem may find me sending my protest vote their way.
Arizona Secretary Of State
The Arizona Secretary Of State race is arguably the most important race on the ballot this year. The Secretary Of State is in charge of overseeing elections, voter registration and campaign finance which is critical for fair elections.
That’s why it is so disturbing that the two Republican frontrunners (Michelle Reagan and Justin Pierce) both worked hard in the State Legislature to limit voter choice and keep third party candidates off the ballot. They tried every dirty trick in the book to make sure elections would swing the Republican way. This is unacceptable and those two will never get my vote.
That leaves Investment Fund Manager Wil Cardon as the only candidate worthy of a vote in the Republican primary. If Cardon does not win the GOP primary I will be voting for the Democrat in November.
I didn’t have to research the candidates for very long to see that Jeff DeWit is the only candidate I can support for Arizona Treasurer. DeWit has a finance background and degrees in business administration and accounting. He says that the job of Treasurer is to manage the state’s finances rather than use the office as a partisan political soapbox. I like that.
The other two candidates are career politicians with extremely partisan backgrounds.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
This race once again features a scandal ridden incumbent and he is facing relative newcomer to statewide politics Diane Douglas. Douglas has served on the Governing Board of the Peoria Unified School District and is strongly opposed to top down federal programs like No Child Left Behind and Common Core.
I had the opportunity to talk to Douglas at a recent campaign event and we had a great discussion about the benefits of homeschooling and the freedom parents should have to be able to choose which education model best fits their child. She’s not a polished politician and maybe that’s what I found appealing about her.
I’m happy to cast my vote for Diane Douglas in the GOP primary this year.
Arizona Corporation Commission
Dark money is pouring into just about every campaign imaginable in Arizona and the four Republicans running for two open seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission have all received funding from companies and industries they will regulate. This is disturbing to say the least but dark money in campaigns is a whole different story that deserves a closer look at a later time on my blog.
For now, I am going to have to choose the lesser of the evils and vote for Vernon Parker and Lucy Mason. Both Parker and Mason are opposed to additional property taxes for rooftop solar and both support Net Metering where utility customers with solar panels get credit for the excess electricity they send back to the grid.
I realize that these are complicated issues and there is an argument to be made on both sides but looking at it closely, I have to say that I believe Parker and Mason are on the right track here.
In November I will be voting for Libertarian Doug Marks for Corporation Commission.
Congressional District 1
“I’m going to fight to reign in the NSA and protect your right to privacy.” — Gary Kiehne
There are three Republicans running for Congress in CD1 and only Gary Kiehne is worthy of a vote in the primary. Kiehne has expressed a lot of concern about America’s interventionist foreign policy and the loss of civil liberties and freedom here at home. He also supports auditing the Federal Reserve and has warned people on the campaign trail about the dangers of an article V Convention that at least one of his Republican competitors is pushing.
As legislators, the other two CD1 Republican candidates fought hard to keep third party candidates off the ballot, failed to report gifts and trips from lobbyists, and are both career politicians.
Gary Kiehne is a concerned citizen with private sector experience wanting to make a difference and he has my full support in the Republican primary in CD1 this year.
Legislative District 6
The Republican State Senator and Representatives in LD6 have run out of “get out of jail free” cards. When they were first elected they claimed to be liberty candidates and I tried to do damage control for them but they continued to fail the cause of liberty time and time again.
It has become clear that they don’t know what true liberty is. Their attacks on third parties, support for an Article V Convention, and support for the Prison Industrial Complex gets them a vote of no confidence from me this year. I will be leaving this section of the primary ballot blank.
In November I will be casting a protest vote for the Independent and Democratic candidates in LD6.
Flagstaff Justice of the Peace
No Republican candidates are running for Justice of the Peace in Flagstaff but in the Democratic primary I am happy to support Warren Sanford. I have had the opportunity to hear Sanford speak at multiple events and his platform of Restorative Justice and belief that non-violent offenders do not belong in prison is very impressive. His views should appeal strongly to liberty minded people who are tired of the prison industrial complex.
I am also happy to support Libertarian Kevin Morrow who is a write in candidate running for Justice of the Peace. As a write in candidate he will need at least 13 write in votes from Libertarians and Independents who choose to vote on the Libertarian ballot. If he receives enough write in votes in the primary, he will be on the November ballot.
Morrow’s philosophy is right in line with Libertarian values and I encourage everyone voting on the Libertarian ballot to write Kevin Morrow in.
I put this here as a placeholder since so many people are interested in this race. Only two candidates are running for Mayor including incumbent Jerry Nabours and that means this race will not be decided until November. Stay tuned after the primary for my November general election picks!
Flagstaff City Council
“I have been told by some people that I can never win running as an independent. I KNOW this isn’t true , it just may be harder. The families and citizens of Flagstaff are interested in solutions not more partisan squabbling.” — Jeff Knorr
Eight candidates are running for three open spots on the Flagstaff City Council including the three incumbents who currently hold those spots. While I have the opportunity to vote for three candidates, I will ONLY be voting for one and that one candidate is longtime Flagstaff resident Jeff Knorr.
Knorr is a local contractor with a passion for affordable housing and giving back to the community. He has volunteered his time with various charities in Flagstaff and his goal is to seek common sense solutions to the problems that come before the City Council.
As a registered Independent, Knorr has no ties whatsoever to any political party so we don’t have to worry about partisan politics coming in to play. I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of partisanship guiding and pressuring the people who are supposed to represent us.
There are few candidates that I donate money to but I was happy to donate to the Jeff Knorr campaign and I plan to donate again. I have had the opportunity to talk with Knorr on multiple occasions and he understands and values freedom and liberty and will listen to the concerns of his constituents. I’m proud to have his bumper sticker on my car and his campaign sign in my yard.
Flagstaff City Council Candidate Jeff Knorr has my vote on August 26th.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Libertarian Kevin Morrow has filed paperwork to run as a write in candidate for Flagstaff Justice of the Peace in the August 26th primary. As a write in candidate he will need at least 13 write in votes from Libertarians and Independents who choose to vote on the Libertarian ballot.
Morrow currently serves as a commissioner on the Flagstaff Board of Adjustment and works as a traffic manager for a small local radio station (where he also does a political talk show once a week).
Morrow says the biggest principle of his candidacy is offering voters a choice on the November ballot and not letting this be a one party election (only two Democrats are running this year and only one will move forward after the August primary).
Morrow’s guiding principles and views include: