I'm slowly making my way down my sample ballot. Hopefully by this weekend (post the JDRF walk this Saturday morning, I'll compose a post with a complete set of all my picks. I'm afraid all of the research on the judges will be last minute.
Well, this weekend I watched two debates:
Harry Mitchell verses David Schweikert (and Nick Coons).
Ok, I was already decided on this issue a loong time ago, but it was still fun to watch. Last week I did a little phone canvasing for Harry Mitchell and if I would have watched this debate I would have been better on the phone.
Harry Mitchell is a true moderate Democrat - someone who is used to representing more conservative districts than the party he belongs to. In the debate he emphasized the bills he wrote and received Republican co-signers (one co-signed by Ron Paul to freeze Congressman pay raises). He also emphasizes tax cuts - especially those on capital gains and the estate.
There's also an interesting (though superficial) debate on the health care bill in this debate. Although Schweikert makes some completely wrong points on the health care bill that Mitchell doesn't do near a good enough job refuting.
Moving on to a race I'm still undecided on - the important State Mine Inspector:
The candidates are Manuel Cruz verses the incumbent Joe Hart.
They both seem extremely experienced in mining. Joe Hart is the Republican who seems to be a little more oriented toward the interest of miners and the miner companies. He wants to act like more an advocate of mining and less a regulator. Although, I do believe he is sincerely trying to close and cover dead mines (he's covered I believe 200 since being in office), and I do believe he cares about safety. He just also cares about mining as an industry - and that comes out in this debate.
Manuel Cruz is the Democrat and he's the more environmentalist candidate - someone who wants to emphasize safety regulation and mining safety. He wants to be the regulator (although I'm sure he'll advocate as well). He was extremely critical of Joe Hart on a couple of key points - particularly Hart's slow rate of closing dead mines (Hart claims resource constraints).
So, largely, I suspect that both candidates will run the office in similar ways, I also suspect that each will emphasize certain aspects of the office a bit differently.
Comically, Obamacare came up in this debate (Hart accusing Cruz of using Obamacare-like financing as a way to push his mining agenda :-) ).
I think both candidates are qualified to run this office.
The Arizona Republic endorses Joe Hart, and someone inexplicably endorses David Schweikert.
I have to say I more or less agree with the AZ Republic here on both counts (I'm still voting for Harry Mitchell and I'm leaning toward a vote for Cruz). I think the next two years is going to be (for better of for worse) about debt reduction, and David Schweikert is probably more suitable for this particular task than Mitchell.
However, the thing that worries me is if Republicans take the House (which they probably will) will have a nightmarish scenario where House Republicans hold up all kinds of stuff (including Health care reform) through endless law suits and subpoenas. Diane Rehm goes into this on today's show.
I like Mitchell, a lot and am committed to vote for him, but I probably wouldn't be tooo sad if Schweitkert won (ok, a little sad)...
(Incidentally, Schweikert's the small business owner of a real estate investment firm which given the nature of our bubble and burst in Arizona is probably not a good thing).