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From: Mike T. in Tucson, AZ [email him]
Re: Patrick Cleburne's blog item Democrat Professionals think Reconquista Rep. Grijalva in trouble!
As a resident of Arizona's Arizona's 7th Congressional District, and a former Republican, I appreciate your article on the possibility of Ruth McClung's victory over Raul Grijalva, but I wouldn't hold your breath.
It is true that we've seen the first TV for Raul that we have ever seen during an election year, which does seem to indicate the Democrats are somewhat concerned. [See Vote por Raúl Grijalva para Congreso]. But, truthfully the odds are stacked against Ruth. First of all, the district was specifically drawn for a "Hispanic candidate"—demographically 55 percent Hispanic and more than 60 percent Democratic. On top of that Mr. Grijalva has a 30 year track record moving up the ranks in Pima county politics, through the school board and county board of supervisors; a lot of people owe their past and future political careers to him.
The Republican Party sold the voters of this district down the river a long time ago. I actively supported the first candidate against Raul in 2002 and in those days we couldn't even get President Bush to say our candidate's name on a swing through the state! Since then they have fielded one lackluster candidate after another.
In one election year, I supplied a question to a debate between the candidates sponsored by a Tucson paper. My question was: "Why does Tucson have a statue of Pancho Villa occupying pride of place in its downtown?"
The Republican candidate that year, Ron Drake, first looked confused, then suddenly he blurted out "Diversity! That's why it's there—diversity!" Raul's response was, "I don't have a problem with it". Naturally Mr. Grijalva won in a landslide that year, too.
I hope I am wrong and Ruth pulls out a victory—but from where I sit in the old pueblo, it seems like business as usual.