Here's a letter from Randy Pullen.
As an elected Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 11, I am well
aware of the efforts of the Grassroots Arizona PAC to unseat Rob Haney as
the District Chairman. I found it interesting to read your interview of
Fife. I know Rob and Fife quite well and count them both as friends. The
plan for Fife to run against Rob was in the works well before the general
election and was part of a well orchestrated plan to seize control of LD11.
The effort fizzled out in the primary when Grassroots Arizona PAC failed to
elect enough of their Precinct Committeemen in a multitude of contested
precinct races in the district. If someone is interested in learning more
about the Grassroots Arizona PAC and why their only interest is in LD11
Republican Party elections, I suggest they can search the Secretary of
State's website to learn who the founders and supporters are.
Fife states his decision to run for Chairman is based on Don Hesselbrock
losing his race for the Arizona State House; although, Fife's name had
already been placed in nomination in LD11 two weeks before the November 7th
election. Don lost a very closely contested race for a number of reasons,
none of which could be attributed to the lack of effort by our Precinct
Committeemen. The Democrats had a very good candidate; there was a lot of
single shot voting going on amongst Republican Adam Drigg's supporters; The
Arizona Democratic Party spent a tremendous amount of money on legislative
races, easily outspending the Republican Party; and Democratic legislative
candidates rode the coattails of Janet's reelection victory. On top of
these issues, I have not even mentioned the national issues, which resulted
in the loss of the senate and house to the Democrats and spilled over into
local state races.
Also, this is not the first time that LD11 has gone Democratic. One need
only look to 2002 when LD11 went for Janet Napolitano and effectively cost
Matt Salmon the governorship. Since that loss in 2002, Rob has worked very
hard to build LD11 into the strongest Republican grassroots district in the
state with over 400 Precinct Committeemen. Isn't that what district chairs
are suppose to do?
Fife was right in supporting Rob in his calling attention to the precinct
committeemen in LD11 who publicly supported Janet Napolitano in this past
election. While it is certainly all right for a citizen who belongs to
either party to vote for whomever they so desire in the voting booth, it is
not OK for an elected precinct committeeman to publicly support a candidate
of the other party. These Precinct Committeemen should have had enough
respect for the party to which they claim allegiance to resign their elected
position before declaring for Janet Napolitano. After all, as Precinct
Committeemen, they have access to a tremendous amount of confidential
information provided by the Republican Party.
In closing, I am confident that Republicans will regain the lost LD11 house
seat in 2008 along with a number of other legislative seats around the
State; as well as congressional districts 5 and 8.
Arizona Republican National Committeeman
UPDATE from Greg: Several folks have commented that Fife got in the race before Hesslebrock lost. I don't find that to be inconsistent with his statements in the interview. It looks to me like Symington may have decided to get into the race before the General Election, but Hesslebrock's loss is a good example of why he's running.