Ciscomani Headlines GOP Breakfast, LD-17 Candidates Forum

VIA SBINSIDER REPORTING| July 14th, 2024

Juan Ciscomani, incumbent Congressman from CD-6, and Sheriff Mark Lamb were the favorites of the Republican crowd that gathered at Mtn. View ballroom for a light breakfast and speeches June 29th, by Mark Lamb, candidate for Senate, Ciscomani and his challenger Kathleen Winn.

Ciscomani made a powerful case that CD-6 is a very competitive district and he is best positioned to hold it. The national Democratic party has targeted his race as a potential flip to take over Congress and have announced that outside money will be poured into the race. (In 2022 Senate race, Mark Kelly spent $79 million and his challenger Blake Masters spent a paltry $14 million.) The district is a plus 3 GOP district-nearly a toss-up. Winn tried to make the case that she is the real conservative and can bring the base into the fold against the Democrat. The primary is July 30th.

Lamb, is running against Kari Lake. Lake has Trump’s endorsement and has steadfastly refused to campaign in Pinal County. Lamb made the case that he is a proven conservative and more importantly, has been elected twice while Lake lost her only race. Perhaps Lake’s campaign has made the calculation that Lamb will win Pinal County anyway but their polling shows Lake and her likely November opponent Congressman Gallegos in a dead heat.

A multitude of other candidates were invited on stage to give a one-minute pitch to the audience for the July 30th primary including SaddleBrooke’s own Douglas Wolf, the current Pinal County Assessor. Wolf told the audience he would be honored to be re-elected but if Donald Trump calls and needs a VP, he would have to take the job-to much laughter.

Pinal County Sheriff Lamb

LD-17 State Legislature Forum

Tuesday, July 9th, the SaddleBrooke Republican club hosted a candidate forum for the LD-17 race. The district is a targeted district for flipping by the state Democratic Party with Governor Hobbs pledging $500,000 to elect a Democrat which could change the legislature from a one vote Republican margin to Democrat control. With Hobbs in the Governor’s office, the panoply of conservative legislation would be at risk, from gun rights, low taxes, strong property rights and parent’s school choice.

Editor’s Note: LD-17 includes SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch and then covers Oro Valley and Marana in Pima County.

The State Senate

The most contentious race is a re-match from 2022 with former Senator Vince Leach, taking on Senator Justine Wadsack. Wadsack has effectively courted the right-wing of the party, being a member of the Senate Freedom caucus. She has stirred up controversy with some of her public pronouncements, infuriating the Democrats which prompted a recall which quickly fizzled.  Leach was elected in 2014 to the House then to the Senate and is a budget hawk. He chastised Wadsack for overspending, bringing a state deficit (Wadsack pointed out that she was a No vote on the budget this year.) Leach contends that Wadsack barely squeaked by last election and he is better positioned to win due to his focus on fiscal issues. Wadsack countered with her many endorsements by conservative groups and in her next term, Wadsack would focus on reform of the state process for dealing with child welfare cases-she decried the current lack of due process for parents.

Leach has been campaigning hard with text messages and direct mail, with the theme that “something is weird” with Wadsack. Wadsack and her Housemates have blanketed the district with their lawn signs.

Vince Leach

Senator Justine Wadsack

The State House

The current officeholders are Rachel Jones and Cory McGarr. Both were elected in 2020 and are members of the House Freedom Caucus. Their challenger is Anna Orth. All three live in Oro Valley where Wadsack is a Realtor and McGarr works in pest control. Orth is a graduate of both the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University with a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology.

The State House voting takes the top two vote getters in November. This year, the Democrats are running Kevin Volk as what is called a “single-shot” candidacy trying to come in 2nd place in November, whihc would likely flip the House to the Democrats.

Orth believes that she is more electable (she lost to Jones and McGarr in 2022) due to the far-right records of the McGarr and Jones. In the forum, many of Orth’s answer were meandering and sounded unfocused while Wadsack and McGarr were direct and on point. McGarr frequently framed his answers with his sense of first principles, asking if any proposed bill was Constitutional first, second the proper role of government and if Yes to both, is it good policy? He was clearly the crowd favorite.

Cory McGarr

Rachel Jones

Anna Orth

About 70% of SaddleBrooke resident vote by mail in the primary. Election day is July 30th and the mail in ballots are the first counted and those results announced at 8PM.

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