Last night at “The Great Debate A Governor’s Forum” at Sabino High School, a straw poll vote by the audience favored Tucsonan John Munger of the 4 Republican male candidates challenging Republican Governor Jan Brewer. Candidates at the debate were political newcomer Dr. Matt Jette, State Treasurer Dean Martin, millionaire businessman Owen Buz Mills, and Tucson attorney John Munger, J.D.
Results from the straw poll per Channing Bancroft, President of the Sabino Young Republican Club:
Buz Mills- 99
Dean Martin- 78
Gov Jan Brewer- 5 (though not present)
Dr. Matt Jette-3
It seems that not everyone voted, as both the Star reporter and I estimated the crowd to be about 600, as the auditorium capacity was reported to be 1100.
Governor Brewer was invited but did not attend, though her name was on the program and on the straw poll ballot.
For my previous blog about the format, panelists and organizers of this event, click here.
Munger was passionate in stressing that Arizona needed new “leadership”, Mills said that his opponents were mostly “more of the same” and that new “thinking outside the box” was needed, while Jette thought that Arizona needed to “retool, rethink, relearn” to get itself out of its economic abyss. Of the four speakers, Martin has the most political experience having been a State Senator in Phoenix and now State Treasurer for a total of ten years. He said Arizona’s problems were neither Democratic nor Republican but “a math problem”, which he would be able to fix with his financial background.
Only Jette would consider a 3 year guest worker program for those seeking employment in America, while the other three candidates wanted to secure the border to Mexico likely with the National Guard. All three agreed on advancing nuclear power in Arizona, but Jette wanted to also look into solar and wind power as alternatives.
When asked about photo radar enforcement, none seemed to favor it except for Jette who said that drivers “just need to slow down”.
When asked if they lost the Republican primary, would they support the one who did win– Martin, Mills, Munger all said “yes”, but Jette said “it depends”– which drew groans from the audience. At one point one of his opponents called him a “Democrat Lite”, but he countered by saying that the Republican Party included all types of members from Far Right Conservatives, to Moderates and Independent thinkers.
Overall, each of these candidates offers a different perspective, but is that enough to overcome Governor’s Jan Brewer’s incumbency (and long political career), and name recognition? GOP voters will decide this on August 24 in the primary.
Last night Tucsonans in Pima County indicated that they liked their own local candidate and his ideas for change. (See www.johnmunger.com.) Munger emphasized that he is a “pro gun, pro life, fiscal conservative”.
Note: If you want to learn more about political newcomer/businessman candidate Buz Mills (who received the second most votes), click here (http://ondemand.azpm.org/videoshorts/watch/2010/4/23/kuat-buz-mills/) for his recent April 23 interview on the Channel 6 KUAT AZ Illustrated Roundtable.