by David Safier
It's an unusual strategy for someone running for state office. Keep a low profile. Stay out of sight. Duck calls from the media. But that seems to be the campaign Republican Diane Douglas is waging in her bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Candidates in down-ballot races usually do whatever they can to attract some attention, get a little press. Since the primary, Douglas has gone in the other direction. Democrat David Garcia, meanwhile, is working hard to increase voter awareness of his candidacy.
According to an article in the Capitol Times, Douglas has been a no-show for three debates since she beat John Huppenthal in the primary.
For example, 256 school business managers and school employees showed up to hear a debate between Garcia and Douglas on Sept. 10 in Mesa at the bi-monthly meeting of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials. The group lobbies the Legislature and has traditionally has a working relationship with the schools chief.
The event turned into Garcia giving his views and then answering questions from [Chuck] Essigs.
A fourth debate may be canceled because she hasn't responded.
Douglas hasn't done media interviews or updated her website since the primary. She doesn't return phone calls.
Maybe she's playing a waiting game. The question is, waiting for what? True, she's a publicly funded candidate so she doesn't have much money, but debates are free. Maybe she's avoiding the spotlight because it would reveal her as a one issue candidate who hates the Common Core and, well, that's about it. Then she can use whatever funds she has for some kind of media blitz to craft her public image — a "The less they know about me, the better" strategy.
It's also possible she's completely gobsmacked at winning the primary and thinking she might possibly, actually be Ed Supe. No one gave her much of a chance. Huppenthal said early in the primary season he was ahead by 20 points, and he probably wasn't far off the mark. Then came his meltdown with the Falcon9/Thucydides blog commenting disaster and his multiple flip-flops on Common Core, and Douglas cruised to a win. She still may be trying to figure out what she's going to do next.