Quayle Likely Loss in Arizona House Primary Today
Believe it or not, there are still primaries going on to determine party nominees for this fall. Today is Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma and Vermont. We obviously won't know Alaska for a long time yet, but Congressman Don Young will likely dispatch all his challengers. He has represented the state for over 40 years as its sole member of Congress. Vermont gets only one congressman (and two senators) as well. While there were Republican primaries not much attention is paid. If we win the Senate or House seat in Vermont, then it will be an electoral wipe out of the Democrats. In Oklahoma there was one run-off battle for retiring Democrat Dan Boren's seat (remember, he's a relative of Paul Ryan's wife) which should go Republican. The differences were minor and more personal.
Arizona was the action for today. For Senate, Congressman Jeff Flake was presumed to be an easy winner. Then a businessman poured 6 million of his own money into the race attacking Flake as a Washington insider who broke term limits pledges and favored open borders. Jeff switched his immigration position (he's a Ron Paul "open borders" person). At the end of the day, he is swamping all his opponents with about 67% in a four-way race. But could face a tough race in the Fall, complicating Republican chances to win the Senate.
In a race of interest to many from this area, Dan and Marilyn Quayle's son Ben had won a seat in Congress in 2010. With Arizona adding a seat in Congress after the new census, the new districts removed Quayle from his district and into a more marginal one. He decided to run in the more Republican district which included 2/3 of his old district but further opened the carpet-bagger tag (already a problem with Indiana ties). Another Republican congressman lived in that district (also a freshman) but who had been a state legislator, was an aggressive campaigner with lots of local connections, and very smart. Ben is very young and still learning. Everyone assumed he'd lose by a wide margin since the Tea Party, Club for Growth, etc backed the other guy.
Not only are the Quayles friends but my former chief of staff Renee Howell (Hudson) is Ben Quayle's chief of staff. I'm sure she maximized everything they could do because she is a terrific fund-raiser and aggressive campaigner. But it was uphill all the way.
Quayle has been behind by about 4000 votes all night and it is unlikely he can pull it out.
Congressman Paul Gosar, another freshman, was challenged by a Club for Growth candidate but defeated him rather handily (nearly 20%). In other words, another night of Republican in-fighting with mixed results for establishment versus "outsiders."