by Jim Nintzel
Republican Gary Kiehne, who nearly upset former Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin in the 2014 GOP primary, wants to run again for the congressional seat held by Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.
Kiehne, a rancher, oilman and rodeo cowboy, announced his run on Emil Franzi's Inside Track radio show over the weekend. Franzi's Southern Arizona News-Examiner has details here. A snippet:
Even though the new congress has been sworn in for a little more than a month, Kiehne said it is important to fire up his campaign now, given the size of the district. It stretches from northern Pima County, up through Maricopa County, Apache County, Coconino County, Greenlee County and parts of Gila County as the district border moves to the Utah state line. The district was drawn that way by the Independent Redistricting Commission following the 2010 U.S. census.
"I spent a full year in 2014 almost every day running in that district," he said. "We still didn't get it all covered."
Because of the size of the district, Kiehne said if Republicans want to unseat the two-term Kirkpatrick, "it's going to take somebody dedicated enough to spend the next 18 months campaigning or the Republicans are not going to win it."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out an email blast this morning remembering some of Kiehne's gaffes on the campaign trail:
Failed 2014 congressional candidate Gary Kiehne is throwing his hat back in the ring this cycle, destined to solidify his reputation as the most gaffe-prone candidate in Arizona political history. Kiehne’s gaffes and Tea Party agenda helped take the Republican primary race right off a cliff and will ensure this year’s edition will be a long race to the right.
“Gary Kiehne’s candidacy last cycle was one rolling series of disasters after another,” said Tyrone Gayle of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “If Gary Kiehne’s reckless Tea Party agenda and outside the mainstream views are the best Republicans can do in this district, then it’s clear that history will repeat itself.”
See for yourself:
Kiehne Said He Supports Whipping Kids in School. During a January 2014 debate, Kiehne advocated for physical discipline in public schools. Kiehne stated, “We have to put discipline back in our school systems, because that’s where all the screw-ups started. When they quit whipping kids in school for messing up.” [YouTube, 12:19, 1/13/14]
Headline: Arizona GOP candidate says Democrats are behind most mass shootings [Yahoo News, 5/18/14]
Kiehne Compared Arizona Police Officers to Nazis. The Arizona Republic reports, “On Thursday in an interview with the Arizona Republic, Kiehne, a hotel owner, complained about the difficulty he faced transporting employees through police evacuation checkpoints during the 2011 Wallow Fire. He referenced SS agents, the Nazi paramilitary officers, and said he believed police officers at the Wallow Fire were willing to ‘shoot you and me.’" [Arizona Republic, 5/21/14]
Kiehne Paid His Property Taxes Late At Least 13 Times. According to the Arizona Republic, “Republican rancher Gary Kiehne, a primary opponent of Tobin's in eastern Arizona, had about 15 past-due bills, making him the next-most-frequent dawdler.” [Arizona Republic, 5/27/14]
Kiehne: “I Didn’t Forget I Knew I Owed it… I Just Wasn’t in Any Hurry.” Kiehne explained his late taxes to the Arizona Republic, “I didn't forget. [...] I knew I owed it […] I just wasn't in any hurry. I was down here politicking.” [Arizona Republic, 5/27/14]
Arizona Republic: “Republican wants tax money for his businesses, not others'.” The Arizona Republic reported Kiehne’s hypocrisy, “One of the wealthiest candidates for Congress in Arizona supports federal subsidies for the industries in which he owns businesses, but he doesn't want taxpayer money to help industries he has no stake in. Republican Gary Kiehne, a political newcomer and cowboy businessman, has interests across at least three states in ranching, oil drilling and hotels. He reports assets of as much as $13.9 million in his personal financial disclosures. In a meeting last week with the Arizona Republic editorial board, Kiehne, who is running in the 1st Congressional District, said he would eliminate federal subsidies for two programs: exports and renewable energy.” [Arizona Republic, 7/20/14]