Last week, state Rep. Jonathan Paton filed papers for an exploratory committee to prepare for a run for the state Senate seat in District 30 in 2008. Paton, who is in his second term in the House, can’t come right out and say he wants the job, because Arizona law would require him to resign if he announces before January.
Incumbent District 30 Sen. Tim Bee, now serving as Senate president, is being forced out by term limits and is expected to challenge Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords next year. That pesky resign-to-run law also prevents him from announcing his plans, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bee announcing an exploratory committee of his own in the near future.
The other member of the District 30 delegation, state Rep. Marian McClure, has hit her term limit in the House, but rather than face Paton in a primary for the Senate seat, she’s considering a run for the Arizona Corporation.
That leaves two empty House seats in District 30. Among the Republicans considering a run:
• Sharon Collins, who has previously run for the Legislature and mayor of Tucson. Collins now works for the Arizona Department of Education.
• Frank Antenori, a former Green Beret who unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for the District 8 congressional seat last year. Antenori now works for Raytheon.
• Knothead David Gowan, who works as a Sierra Vista magazine distributor. Gowan, a two-time loser who has relentlessly battered McClure in his previous unsuccessful bids for the District 30 office (in one debate, he accused her of supporting “sodomy”), is as conservative as they come, except when it’s financially advantageous to him to take government money; he’s happily accepted bundles of Clean Elections dollars.
• Doug Sposito, a Sonoita-area homebuilder who also sought a House seat in 2004.
More in next week's Skinny!