In the 1990s I represented District 26 in the House of Representatives. In 2000, most of District 26 was combined with pieces of Districts 18 and 24 to form a huge Republican swath from Central Phoenix through Paradise Valley and Arcadia to the Scottsdale boarder. The whole amalgamation was rechristened District 11.
Republican have been buzzing for the last couple of years over the events in District 11. A few years back, a Conservative Republican named Rob Haney worked incredibly hard, recruited a ton of Precinct Committeemen and was elected District Chairman. Unfortunately few folks realized that one of his big priorities was trying to embarrass John McCain. He actually managed to get the District 11 Republican Party to vote to censure McCain.
As my mom always said. "That's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." Well District 11 just lost an eye. Representative John Allen was defeated by two Republicans in the Primary and one of those Republicans was defeated by a Democrat in the General Election. For the first time in at least 30 years, District 11 is represented by a Democrat in the House.
Someone needs to straighten things out and Fife Symington has announced that he is running for the District 11 Chairmanship.
Symington and I met for coffee at the Starbucks in the Scottsdale Seville to discuss his race.
Espresso Pundit. "You developed this shopping center, didn't you?"
Fife Symington: "Yes and this one never failed. It's a great project."
He went on to enthusiastically explain zoning issues, drainage problems and the other details that it took to get the project built. I asked about the District 11 race.
EP: "You are a former Governor, why are you running to be Chairman of a Legislative District?"
FS: "I'm a grass roots guy. When I was Governor, we took Government on the road. I like to get out and meet people."
EP: "Have you been attending District 11 meetings?"
FS: "No, I've just moved in from District 8. I'm a legal immigrant. I have a lot of connections with District 11. My father in law John Pritzlaff represented the District and I lived in it for many years."
EP: "Why are you running?"
FS: "I'm upset that we lost a legislative Seat. Don Hesslebrock is the dead body in the room. We need to retake that seat. A District Chairman's duty is to hold the District together. If the District Chairman just participates with his own agenda, it depresses the vote. The Chairman has to keep the family together.
EP: "What about the folks who are Republican Precinct Committeemen but worked on Janet Napolitano's Campaign?
FS: "When you jump ship and back a liberal Democrat, there are consequences. There's a price to be paid for that." Symington added, "Janet will lead us off the cliff. But by then, she will be long gone."
We talked a bit about the recent elections and the coverage then a question dawned on me.
EP: "Do you subscribe to the Republic?"
FS: "No, and my life is much happier."
EP: "Where do you get your news?"
FS: "I read Espresso Pundit and I have a vast email network. I read the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and the Weekly Standard, and occasionally, I read the New York Times."
EP: "Any closing thoughts?"
FS: "I'm still young enough. I've still got life and energy in me and the whole District 11 could benefit from my experience."
EP: Thanks for meeting with me.
FS: Thank you Greg.