by Jim Nintzel
Well, I guess that time spent interviewing Vernon Parker last month was kind of a waste of time...
Parker, the mayor of Paradise Valley, has abandoned his gubernatorial ambitions to pursue the congressional seat that U.S. Rep. John Shadegg is giving up this year. That's going to be a crowded primary, seeing how at least three state lawmakers are already lining up for it. But, as Tedski points out, at least Parker won't have to worry about actually solving the state budget mess. Instead, he and other Republicans will just have to concentrate on being the best at raising money and beating up on Democrats.
We're not sure how much this affects the dynamic of the gubernatorial primary, for two reasons:
1. We're still not sure what U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver will say about whether Clean Elections matching funds will be in play this year;
2. We're still not sure how much the political newcomer, Buz Mills, will dump into his campaign. We've heard that Mills, the gun-range owner and NRA guy who has already put $2 million into his campaign war chest, is willing to spend a lot more in the primary.
Also in the hunt for the GOP gubernatorial nomination: incumbent Jan Brewer, state Treasurer Dean Martin and attorney John Munger, who is releasing his own budget plan today.