Crazy Day For Arizona Dems; Burton-Cahill Retires from Senate, Schapira to Run For Senate, and Tempe Republican Ben Arredondo's Now a Donkey

Phoenix New Times
(From left) Tempe City Councilman Ben Arredondo, Representative Ed Ableser, some kid, Representative David Schapira, and Senator Meg Burton-Cahill

The Democratic Party is mixing things up a bit.

At a press conference this afternoon, state Senator Meg Burton-Cahill announced she was retiring from the Senate, Representative David Schapira announced he will begin "exploring" a run for her Senate seat, and, straight out of left field, Tempe City Councilman Ben Arredondo, a Republican, will be running for Schapira's seat as a Democrat.

"I have a couple of doctors who believe my health would be better if I were working in a non-hostile work environment," Burton-Cahill says.

The Legislature? A hostile work environment? Get outta town.

Burton-Cahill's departure from the Senate leaves a void that Representative David Schapira, who comes across as a pissed-off high school gym coach, hopes to fill.

Schapira joked that he and Tempe's other representative, Ed "The Kid" Ableser, drew straws to see who would run for the soon-to-be vacant Senate seat, and he came up short. He said he will be "exploring a run for Senate."

The big news to come out of the press conference, however, came from Tempe Councilman  Arredondo. The long-time Republican announced that he will begin campaigning to fill Sapira's seat in the House, "under the Democratic flag."

Arredondo says he is philosophically more in line with Dems, despite being the token GOPer on the Tempe City Council for nearly a decade.

"I think he has been a de facto member [of the Democratic Party] for sometime," Schapira says of Arredondo.

Arredondo downplays the significance of party labels at the city level and says it's not until you make the jump into state politics that you have to choose.

Tell that to all the Republicans who voted for Arredondo over the past decade.

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