A Reader In Raul Grijalva`s District Says GOP Sold Out Voters Long Ago
October 20, 2010, 05:00 AM
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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.