Briefing the candidates in Arizona

 In Election 2008

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I spent most of last week in Arizona, where it was a balmy 108 degrees.  I quickly learned the local routine of efficiently moving yourself from one air-conditioned place to the next.

I traveled to Arizona to meet with candidates who are vying to replace disgraced Rep. Rick Renzi (R), who faced a 35-count indictment in federal court for embezzling money and collecting payoffs to influence a federal land deal. The race is rated as a toss-up, the most competitive rating possible.  While I did not receive a response to my invitation on the Republican side, I was able to meet with the three Democratic campaigns while I was in town.

There are three candidates competing in the September 9th Democratic primary.  I met with staff for Ann Kirkpatrick, and had personal meetings with candidates Howard Shanker and Mary Kim Titla. We discussed Peace Action West’s vision for US policy on ending the war in Iraq, promoting diplomacy with Iran, and moving toward global nuclear disarmament.  We also had some interesting conversations about the most effective ways to convey foreign policy messages to voters.

This next election is certainly shaping up to be an interesting one, especially in the western states.  In the next few months, I will continue to build relationships with promising congressional candidates, and we will see where the candidate briefing tour takes me next!

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