IN THE RACE: Andrew Thomas, Republican. EXPERIENCE: Former Maricopa County prosecutor. CHANCES: Though he’s downplayed his disbarment for overzealous prosecution of elected officials, it’s unlikely that Thomas can overcome that political baggage. He doesn't seem to be campaigning much is isn't viewed by many as a serious candidate. Mark Henle/The RepublicUh let's see...the Republic has done more than almost anyone to smear Thomas and ruin his career, which makes it difficult for him to make a living, much less campaign while he's forced to collect signatures and $5s for Clean Elections funding. Thomas has attended plenty of debates - but maybe since many of them have been put on by Tea Parties, the Republic doesn't care to cover them. Now that he's turned in all of his signatures, expect to hear a lot more from him.
Thomas is going to take the conservative base in the primary, as all the other of the candidates split the rest of the GOP moderate-to-liberal-vote (note the exception of Melvin, who is also very conservative, but is not expected to turn in enough signatures to make the ballot). Look at it this way: If the conservative base, conservatively estimated at 1/3 of the GOP vote, votes for Thomas, then he gets about 33% of the vote. That leaves 66% of the vote to be split among Ducey, Bennett, Jones, Smith and Riggs. It is statistically impossible for one of those remaining five to get more than 33% of that remaining pot, considering the first four are running fairly close (view the polls here).
I think most Arizonans have figured out that the Bar coming after Thomas was a partisan witch hunt. Look how much it hurt Bill Clinton when the Arkansas State Bar suspended his license for five years - zero. I recently had a prestigious conservative legal organization try to recruit me to work for them, and when I told them I was collateral damage in what happened to Thomas, that the Bar suspended my license, they didn't even care, and said, "We look at that as par for the course if you're a conservative attorney, it's expected."
Thomas is the only candidate running for governor who has the guts to take on corruption in government. He also is the most principled. Point to one example where he deserted conservative principles? Or where you could not rely on him and his word? Stand up to Brewer's Obamacare Medicaid expansion? CHECK (unlike most of the gubernatorial candidates). Endorsed by AZ Right to Life for years? CHECK. Stood up against Common Core? CHECK. Concerned about illegal immigration? CHECK.The list goes on. Name an issue, any issue.
Andrew Thomas has charisma, good looks, and got into Harvard Law School as a white guy with no connections, just from an average background. It's frankly amusing to me how the liberal news media overlooks all that, especially the dismissal of his intelligence. Then they act shocked when he does well despite their constant attacks.
If you want the same old tired politician who inevitably - as well as now while they're campaigning - compromises their values and ours, go with someone else. But if you want someone you can trust, who isn't afraid to take on corruption in government, then you know who to support.