The time has come... with early ballots out to voters and just 20 days remaining until the results come pouring in, we as Arizonans and citizens of the United States have a lot of tough choices to make regarding who will serve our communities in the next couple years and beyond. The following are my recommendations for the Arizona races:
United States Senate: John McCain
While I have never been a die-hard supporter of our incumbent senator, his opponents in this race lack the experience I am looking for in a US Senator. John McCain does, and his next six years in office should be much improved now that he has said he will no longer seek election to the presidency in 2012.
US Rep. District 6: Jeff Flake
I supported his challenger in the primary because I wanted a change in my district, but in the general election, Jeff Flake outshines all of his opposition exponentially in terms of how he approaches his representation of the 6th district. He will work hard for Mesa and Gilbert, and he deserves two more years to try to turn things around in Congress.
Governor: Jan Brewer
Brewer has been controversial over her support of SB1070, and if it weren't for that, she might be neck-and-neck with her opponent. Just the same, Brewer is willing to fight for this state against even her own party against tough odds to try to improve Arizona. I support that mentality.
Secretary of State: Ken Bennett
A tireless leader for many years, Ken Bennett's reelection to the #2 position in the state is virtually assured and vitally important. I can't wait to see him run for Governor in a few more years.
Attorney General: Felecia Rotellini
Rotellini was not my first choice for the AG spot, but she will bring an attitude of "can-do" to the position against her opponents obstructionism.
State Treasurer: Andrei Cherney
With promises to conduct audits of state systems, I believe an overhaul of Arizona's failing government infrastucture is necessary to help us rebuild the state stronger than before the recession. Cherney is the best bet in my opinion for the job.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: John Huppenthal
After reading both candidates' statements, I believe in Huppenthal's ideology of improving teacher merit pay and making sure teachers are actually working in sustainable environments. A substitute teacher myself, while his opponent may be a parent and teacher, sometimes you need a political mind for a political position, and Huppenthal should get results.
State Mine Inspector: Joe Hart
The incumbent Hart has done a great job for many years now, and deserves reelection to this post, which garners little attention at the ballot box or media, but is important to the State of Arizona.
Corporation Commissioner: Gary Pierce and Brenda Burns
The two I supported in the Republican primary election, I haven't changed my mind: Burns and Pierce will work to aid small business and promote healthy and sustainable business practices in the Arizona corporate market.
Maricopa County Attorney: Bill Montgomery
Virtually running alone, Montgomery is a respectable candidate with a long-term vision for making Maricopa County a safer place. His proven record of stopping crimes and his ability to work with all levels of local law enforcement make him the ideal candidate to fill the county's top legal spot.
Central Arizona Water Conservation District (vote for 5):
Tim Bray, Jim Holway, Karl Kohlhoff, Mark Lewis, and Sid Wilson
These five candidates have backgrounds and experience in dealing with water issues and conservation issues, all prerequisites for serving on this board. These five candidates, two of whom are incumbents to the board, are most likely to be able to continue to make smart decisions on how to manage our water usage into the foreseeable future.
Maricopa County Community College District: Jerry Walker
State Senator LD-19: Rich Crandall
State Rep. LD-19: Kirk Adams, Justin Olson
Clerk of the Superior Court: Christopher Rike
Justice of the Peace (East Mesa): Mark Chiles
Constable (East Mesa): William Taylor
Mesa Unified School District #4 (vote for two): Dave Lane, Michelle Udall
Judges (vote to keep all EXCEPT): Barker, Irvine, Aceto, Barton, Bassett, Bergin, Brotherton, Fenzel, Foster, Grant, Heilman, Hicks, Pineda, Reinstein
This is only my recommended guide for voters based upon my own opinions of the candidates and their positions after doing my own, independent research on each person. If my candidate choices match up with yours, awesome. I encourage each person to do their own checking of the candidates and come up with their own lists. Good luck to the candidates!