by Jim Nintzel
The morning daily's Rhonda Bodfield, in today's political notebook, picked up the story we broke last week in The Skinny about Rep. Frank Antenori's meetings with members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors in his pursuit of the state Senate seat now held by state Sen. Jonathan Paton. (Paton is stepping down later this year to challenge Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.)
Although the first-term Republican lawmaker said he wasn't "trying to threaten anybody," Antenori told us that the supervisors would be wise to select him for the Senate slot because he was sure to win it in November anyway: "I think the Board of Supervisors would much rather have a guy in the Senate that has been working with them than a guy who is working against them. I think they'd rather have a happy Frank Antenori rather than an angry Frank Antenori."
That story got picked up by the online Arizona Guardian. In an interview with reporter Dennis Welch, Antenori let the supes know that they'd be sorry if they didn't pick him for the job: “Why am I going to bust my ass for someone who screwed me over?” Antenori wondered.
Rhonda reports today that Republican Marian McClure, who held a House seat for eight years before geting termed out in 2008, is also interested in the Senate appointment, but she's a bit behind the times with that one. MClure told us on Friday that she won't seek the appointment, but will instead try to run for the seat in the August primary. That's probably smart politics, since she'll be able to sidestep what's sure to be a messy session with a lot of unpopular votes to solve the budget mess.
We also hear that among the names that may get forwarded by LD30 GOP precinct committeemen to the Pima County Board of Supervisors are two former lawmakers from the area: Rancher Bill McGibbon and golf pro Randy Graf.
Other dominoes are falling in Legislative District 30. With Antenori giving up his House seat, four Republicans are getting ready to run in the August primary for the two House seats: Rep. David Gowan, who now holds the second seat in LD30; Doug Sposito, who unsuccessfully ran for the LD30 House seat in 2008; Ted Vogt, who is now GOP chairman of LD30; and Kurt Knurr.
Democrat Andrea Dalessandro, who ran unsuccessfully for the LD30 House seat in 2008, is taking another shot this year.