Home > Uncategorized > My Choices For The November 4th, 2014 Arizona General Election

My Choices For The November 4th, 2014 Arizona General Election

By Elisha Dorfsmith

The Arizona primary is over and now that the dust has cleared it is time for me to make my recommendations for the general election in November. Some of these recommendations were easy and some I have agonized over for months before making a choice.

Republicans are not going to like most of what I have to say about their candidates. I have already been asked by several people to put my differences aside and support the Republican party line. I simply cannot do that. I tried to be a team player once before and longtime readers of my blog know how that turned out.

Truth is, Republicans only want me when they need me and when you play their game all you do is compromise your principles. I’m done playing games. I have a clear reason for my choices this year and I am sticking to them.

Arizona Governor

There are not many opportunities for me to enthusiastically mark my ballot for candidates I truly support but I’m happy to say that the Arizona Governor’s race is one of those rare times. I will proudly be voting for Libertarian Barry Hess.

I’ve known Barry Hess for several years and over that time we have had countless discussions on liberty issues and what it means to truly stand up for freedom. Hess is a principled candidate and one of the few true liberty candidates on the November ballot. I encourage everyone to visit his issues page on his website and vote for Barry Hess for Arizona Governor in November.


Barry Hess and me at a campaign event in 2010.

Arizona Secretary Of State

“There’s a real good reason the Republican Party is losing members faster than any other party or group; and it’s because the out-of-touch Republican Party ‘leaders’, don’t actually oppose fraud in our elections—they want to institutionalize it…and you can quote me on that.” –Barry Hess, Arizona Libertarian Party

HB2305 was created to make sure Republicans maintained their power in Arizona by limiting voter turnout and keeping third party candidates (especially Libertarians) off the ballot. The bill easily passed the Republican legislature and was signed into law by Governor Brewer.

When a broad coalition of groups successfully collected enough signatures to put the bill on the ballot for voters to decide, Republicans in the legislature suddenly voted to repeal the law. Some applauded the move to repeal as a sign the GOP had come to their senses but most of us knew better. Republicans were only repealing HB2305 so they could bring all or part of it back in the next session. If voters had voted to reject the bill, all of it’s pieces would be off the table and the GOP would be forced to try something else to hold onto their offices.

Anybody want to guess who the author of HB2305 was? That’s right, the author of HB2305 was Republican Secretary of State candidate Michele Reagan. It is amazing that Republicans expect us to vote for someone to be in charge of Arizona’s elections who wrote the most one sided election law in Arizona history. The whole thing would be laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

The choice in this race is obvious. I will be voting for Democrat Terry Goddard for Arizona Secretary of State.

Arizona Attorney General

I was very pleased to see Mark Brnovich take Incumbent Tom Horne out in the primary. Brnovich was undoubtedly an improvement over the scandal ridden Horne and Arizona Republicans made the right choice to clean things up. That said, Brnovich is not a true liberty candidate and his support for the failed drug war and the prison industrial complex is very concerning.

I will not be making a recommendation in this race. If you support Brnovich or his Democratic opponent Felecia Rotellini please post your reasons in the comments section and try to win me over. For now, I plan on leaving this race blank on my ballot. 

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

I was happy to see newcomer to statewide office Diane Douglas do so well against her seasoned opponent in the GOP primary. 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 a while back 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 so appealing about her.

I’m pleased to cast my vote for Diane Douglas in November.

Arizona Corporation Commission

Republicans had the opportunity to choose two fairly decent candidates for Corporation Commission but instead they cast their ballots for the two candidates who are owned and controlled by the industries they are supposed to regulate. The amount of dark money that went into the primary was unprecedented and it won’t stop pouring in until election day in November.

Since I cannot in good conscience vote for the two Republican choices, I will be voting for Jim Holway and Sandra Kennedy.

Congressional District 1

I predicted in previous posts that establishment favorite Andy Tobin would win the GOP nomination for Congress in CD1. The big surprise was how well Gary Kiehne (who I supported) did in the race. Tobin only won by a few hundred votes. Kwasman, as expected, did poorly.

Several people in the AZ GOP have reached out to me and asked me to give my support to Tobin now that the primary is over. I had to laugh at the idea. If Tobin’s support for HB2305 (a bill that tried to keep Libertarians off the ballot) was not enough, he has expressed support for militarized police and his campaign manager has gone out of his way to mock anyone concerned about the growing police state as conspiracy nuts.

I am convinced that Andy Tobin will lose to Ann Kirkpatrick. I personally will be sitting this race out. Wish I could vote “none of the above” to send a stronger message that I don’t like either candidate.

Legislative District 6

Republicans are waiting to see if they have enough support in the legislature to bring back HB2305 (also known as the Voter Suppression Bill). If Barry Hess has a strong showing in the Governor’s race, they will be even more determined to bring back the push to keep Libertarians off the ballot. Republicans across the country see Libertarians as a threat and are trying every bullying tactic they can think of to hold on to their power.

I have made the case on social media sites that the Arizona Senate needs to be split if Libertarians want to maintain ballot access in coming years. This is not about picking the best candidate (neither really impress me), it is about the very survival of the Libertarian party in Arizona. With a split senate, the chances of Republicans bringing back HB2305 decrease exponentially. I believe the key to this split is Independent Tom O’Halleran.  For this reason, O’halleran will get my vote in November.

That brings us to the LD6 State Representative race. I have talked with people in the Libertarian party as well as Independents and Republicans who value third party options on the ballot and through those conversations we have come to a consensus to not vote for ANY candidate who voted for or supported HB2305. The Republicans must learn their lesson and this is a lesson they’re going to have to learn the hard way. You simply do NOT treat voters like you own or are entitled to their votes. In order to help teach the GOP a lesson, I will be voting for Democrat Lanny Morrison in LD6.

Bob Thorpe and Brenda Barton both voted for HB2305 and both of them still defend the bill to this day. If it is brought back they will undoubtedly vote for it again. Thorpe and Barton both know how I feel about HB2305. Barton has blocked me from her facebook page for questioning her vote for the bill. Thorpe has asked to be removed from all of my mailing lists. That’s not the best way to treat concerned constituents if you want their vote.

Flagstaff Justice of the Peace

I was very happy to see Libertarian Justice of the Peace candidate Kevin Morrow receive nearly four times the required write in votes to qualify for the November ballot. Since the Republicans didn’t put up a candidate for this race, Morrow will face Democrat Howard Grodman in November.

Morrow is a true liberty candidate and his philosophy is right in line with Libertarian values. I especially encourage supporters of Warren Sanford (who lost to Grodman in the Democratic primary) to line up behind Morrow because they will find much in common with his common sense approach to justice.


Superior Court Division I

When an off duty cop sexually assaulted a woman at a local bar, the judge on that case gave the officer a slap on the wrist and the victim a lecture blaming her for allowing the assault to happen.  That judge is Republican Jacqueline Hatch and she is up for re-election this year. I don’t really need to say more. I expect Flagstaff to join me in voting for Democrat Brent Harris for Superior Court Division I.

Flagstaff Mayor

When Flagstaff Liberty Alliance put forward a resolution supporting local food we found support from just three members of the Flagstaff City Council, Jeff Oravits, Karla Brewster, and Mayor Jerry Nabours. Thinking back over the past two years, I can honestly say that every time I approached the mayor about an issue he was more than willing to listen to my concerns.

Since the Flagstaff City Council is supposed to be non-partisan, it is refreshing to have a mayor who is an Independent and not beholden to any political party. Contrast that with his opposition who is a Democratic insider and seems to walk the party line.

The mayor has followed through on many of his campaign promises including focusing on core services and examining waste in the City budget. We don’t always agree but I am happy to once again be voting for Mayor Jerry Nabours in November.

Flagstaff City Council

I was very disappointed that Independent Jeff Knorr did not sail through the primary and find his name on the November ballot. I am now stuck with six partisan candidates for three open spots on the City Council. After reviewing all of the remaining choices and narrowing them down, I have concluded that I can only vote for one candidate in November. I will be voting for Mark Woodson. Woodson’s vote against the recent “use tax” sealed the deal.

Ballot Measures

Prop 122

Proposition 122 is strongly supported by my friends at the Arizona 10th Amendment Center and gives Arizonans more power to push back against unconstitutional Federal overreach. I supported a similar bill a few years ago and I will be voting YES on Prop 122.

Prop 303

Prop 303, also known as the Right To Try law allows terminally ill individuals to try experimental prescription drugs that are in the early stages of testing and have not yet been approved by the FDA. This is just common sense and people with serious medical problems should have the right to choose if they want to take the risk or not. I will be voting YES on prop 303. Much more information on Prop 303 can be found here:


Prop 304

The State legislature has done a miserable job over the past few years and now they’re asking us to vote to raise their pay in November to $35,000 a year. Now granted, there is a decent argument for raising pay for legislatures. The argument says that it would encourage more “normal” people to run for the position. Good or bad arguments aside, giving lawmakers a raise at this point will be taken as a reward for “doing a good job” and we all know that didn’t happen. I will be voting NO on prop 304.

Flagstaff Unified School District Tax Override

Years ago I was the poster boy against school overrides and I can’t even begin to tell you how much hate mail I received after that article was published. To this day, the Daily Sun still contacts me every time there is a proposed override and I refuse to give them the gratification of using my quotes out of context against me.

The Arizona Constitution requires the state to provide education. If the state fails or the schools mismanage the funds it should not be up to property owners to pick up the tab. Anybody remember what happened last time Flagstaff approved an override? For those who missed it:


Sorry FUSD, I will be voting NO.

Coconino County Sales Tax Hike

Coconino County has decided to jump on the bandwagon and call for a sales tax increase for County roads. The scare tactics have reached a fevered pitch and they’re saying if the tax hike doesn’t pass many roads will have to return to dirt.

Meanwhile, the County gives out $1.2 Million in bonuses while the Supervisors waste thousands of our tax dollars on personal pet projects and $210 steak dinners.

I will be voting NO on the Coconino County sales tax hike.

City of Flagstaff Sales Tax Hike

There is strong bipartisan support for Flagstaff’s proposed sales tax hike for roads but the text of the proposal is very vague and in my opinion, open to interpretation. It mentions roads but it also mentions facilities. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t worry about the funds being mismanaged but give me one good reason to trust government at this point.

My feeling is that as long as Flagstaff can afford to pay Councilmember Evans salary at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association they have money to blow and don’t deserve another voluntary cent from me.

I will be voting NO on the Flagstaff sales tax hike.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 5, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Well thought out, Elisha. You’re to be commended. I think for the most part you have written my own recommendations for the Statewide races (though I am favoring Felicia for AG–she impresses me with her candor and her good sense, and Jeff Dewitt (R) for Treasurer) and your take on the propositions. I also look forward to seeing Kevin Morrow as Flagstaff JP. On your local races, I will trust your well-reasoned judgement. I will note that in order to vote responsibly, you may want to encourage your readers to default to (on the write-in line), writing in N.O.T.A. for every single race–unless they actually support a particular candidate. This is responsible voting, and it will humble a lot of candidates to see how thin their actual support is–this will make them far more responsive to their constituents. I also agree that any candidate’s support for HB2305 should be an absolute deal-breaking–it should be a litmus test in this particular election. Thanks for your support, I will continue to do my best to be worthy.

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