I have to admit, when I saw that Al Melvin formed an exploratory committee to run for governor, I failed to manage my glee writing about his potential candidacy on The Range. Melvin has been a source of comic gold for me in the past, plus it seems like an impossibility that he'll actually get past the Republican primary, so I'm planning on just enjoying the ride while it lasts. Where will the Captain propose nuclear waste dumps? How does he plan to destroy the social safety net? What sort of thoughts captured while shaving will he share on Twitter next? So much to look forward to, really.
However, as the 2014 election gets disturbingly closer and our current governor continues to threaten to run again, spitting at the Arizona Constitution on the way, outside of my detached amusement over Melvin's candidacy, there's a sense of dread that we might actually end up with someone nearly as bad as we have now.
Jim Nintzel goes over the field in this week's Skinny, but it's generally safe to assume that we're going to end up with someone terrible on the Republican side (Mesa mayor Scott Smith generally seems competent and I had a great, seemingly sane, conversation with State Treasurer Doug Ducey once, but I'm expecting that they'll get pushed aside for the creepy Ken Bennett or guy-with lots-of-money-but-zero-personality Wil Cardon).
On the Democratic side, it seems the electoral seas are parting for Fred DuVal, who officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday here in Tucson. DuVal is certainly a guy with a lot of political influence, but I'm having a hard time getting excited for his candidacy so far. First of all, as far as I can tell, he's 0 for 1 in elections, losing in a 2002 congressional primary. Not the biggest deal, but not encouraging, either. Secondly, and this is where I get a little petty, at press time, he's scheduled to have a Phoenix city councilman introducing him at his Tucson event announcing his run. He certainly has a bunch of Tucsonans on his side, but he picks a Phoenician with very little name recognition down here? Just a weird misstep, but it makes it a little tough for me to have high expectations.
So, we're already gearing up for next year's election, but I'm still crossing my fingers that we end up with a real race before we get to November of 2014.