Downing's Independent Campaign: A GOP Opportunity?

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We told you a few days ago about Democrat Ted Downing's plot to run as an Independent instead of a Democrat in his campaign against state Sen. Paula Aboud. That means Downing would avoid a rematch with Aboud in a Democratic primary. That didn't go well for him in 2006 and he has fewer supporters now.

At this point, there's no Republican in the race in midtown Tucson's Legislative District 28, so Downing—who has filed the paperwork to change from Democrat to nonpartisan and independent—must be planning to grab any Democrats who like him better than Aboud along with Independents and Republicans who will vote against Democrats.

Downing's plan could be complicated a bit by Dave Ewoldt, who is shedding his Green Party affiliation to run as an Independent if he can get enough signatures.

But here's a good question: What if the Republicans decide to field a candidate? A GOP candidate could easily collect the couple hundred signatures needed to get on the ballot in the two weeks left before the May 26 deadline.

Downing's independent candidacy could split the vote and end up flipping a safe Democratic seat over to the GOP.

What do you want to bet there are phones call being made?

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