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Political Buzz – 2011


Former state Senator Chuck Gray (R) pulled his hat out of the proverbial ring after taking a close look at the new Congressional District 6 map. Gray told supporters in a statement that the new boundaries for the Fountain Hills district would split the conservative vote between himself, Kirk Adams, and Matt Salmon. It is for that reason, Gray said he is withdrawing and throwing his support behind Salmon.

Not long after the announcement, Salmon tweeted that Gray’s endorsement is a “great gift” for 2012. He also called Gray one of the most influential conservatives in the East Valley.

The last round of campaign finance reports showed that Gray raised $35,000 during the third quarter of 2011. Salmon and Adams both raised in excess of $300,000 during the same time period.

Arizona Congress redistricting,


Arizona will have a Green Party primary for the presidential nomination.

So far, two candidates have filed for a spot on the Green Party presidential primary ballot, and with the Jan. 9 deadline for candidacy, there's still time for others to join.

Richard Grayson, of Apache Junction, and Gerard Davis, of Phoenix, want to represent the Green Party in the presidential race. Candidates have to file in each state they're seeking a nomination, so there could be candidates running in other states, too.


In a written statement, Commissioner Bersin said he was “immensely proud of the significant and meaningful achievements” he made during his two years at the head of CPB.

Bersin was appointed to the position by President Obama during a congressional recess and was never confirmed by the US Senate.

Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar, the former Tucson Border Patrol chief, will take over as acting commissioner.

Bersin and Governor Jan Brewer verbally sparred earlier this year in Phoenix over whether or not the US-Mexico border is safer than in years past.

Bersin’s last day in office is December 30.


Governor Jan Brewer said the news that Standard and Poor's credit rating agency has upgraded Arizona's credit outlook from "negative" to "stable" is another sign the state is starting to get back into good financial shape.

In a statement, she said the upgrade is, “validation that we’re on the right path.”

This is just the latest sign of Arizona’s improving economy, she said. Other good indicators she cites are nearly thirteen thousand jobs added in November, and the higher-than expected sales tax receipts the state is seeing so far this year.

The state government needs to remain small and efficient, she said, so that growth in the private sector can continue the trend.

Governor Jan Brewer economy,


Texas Congressman Ron Paul, is the first GOP presidential candidate to file the paperwork to get on Arizona’s primary ballot. Nearly, two dozen Paul supporters went to the Secretary of State’s office to turn in the forms putting their candidate on the ballot.

Republican candidates who want to participate in the February 28, 2012 primary in Arizona must file with the state before the close of business January 9th.

Arizona’s primary comes early in the balloting process, only 11 other states have primaries or caucuses before Arizona Republicans head to the ballot box. The primary also takes place just days after a GOP Presidential debate in Phoenix.


Retired Navy Capt. and astronaut Mark Kelly says he has been approached about running for Congress.

For now, Kelly says, he won't spend much time thinking about that possibility, because he is focused on helping his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, recover from the gunshot wound she took to the head on Jan. 8.

When we interviewed Kelly in the suburban Houston home where he and Giffords are living during her rehabilitation, he was insistent on his priority -- "motivator in chief" for his wife, as he put it.

Yet, he spoke with intelligence and clarity about issues near and dear to Giffords and said he has sat in on some of her congressional office briefings and is following the issues along with her.

He declined to absolutely rule out a run for political office.

In the interview, Kelly said there's a need for more balance in politics.

"It would be nice to move back towards more moderate politics and, to be honest, more moderate politicians, more people in the middle," Kelly said in the interview. "But civility in politics and being able to listen to your opponent and try to understand where they 're coming from is really important.

"I think you see a lot of people that don't want to have a discussion. They just want to be on transmit and not the receive mode."

Is that a hint that Kelly wants to have a discussion, perhaps as a candidate?

Gabrielle Giffords Mark Kelly political civility,

About Political Buzz

News, commentary, analysis from the AZPM political team: Christopher Conover, Andrea Kelly, Michael Chihak.