by Jim Nintzel
Republican Jesse Kelly, one of five Republicans running for the chance to take on Democratic incumbent Gabrielle Giffords in CD8, has won the endorsement of former state lawmaker Randy Graf.
“I think Jesse is the most conservative and the best candidate to run against Giffords in the general election,” says Graf.
It was Graf who turned CD8 upside down by first challenging Republican Jim Kolbe in 2004. While Kolbe knocked back Graf’s challenge that year, he retired in 2006 rather than seeking a 12th term in Congress. Graf won the GOP primary that year, but lost the seat to Giffords in the general election, capturing just 42 percent of the vote.
Graf may have lost the general election, but he’s set the tone for this year’s crop of candidates. With the exception of businessman Jay Quick, the GOP candidates sound like they’re all singing from Randy’s songbook.