Primary Day 2014: Bums Bounced, Dems Given Openings to Exploit

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Primary day 2014 was a beautiful day for moderation in Arizona politics.

A perfect day? Hardly, but disappointments in the Republican field offer opportunities for Arizona Democrats in the general election.

Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith's second-place finish to state Treasurer Doug Ducey was anticipated, though the severity of the trouncing -- a 14-point spread for Ducey -- was not, even for Ducey, who called it a "pleasant surprise" during one post-primary interview.

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Tom Horne Refuses to Concede as Mark Brnovich Declares Victory in AG Race (w/Updates: Horne Finally Concedes at 11:47 a.m.)

Mark Brnovich, claiming victory Tuesday night in the Arizona GOP primary for AG

Please see updates and Horne's concession statement at the end of this post.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne stubbornly refused to concede as his Republican primary foil, former state gaming director Mark Brnovich, did a victory lap Tuesday night at the Hyatt in downtown Phoenix, where GOPers gathered to watch returns roll in.

Brnovich opened up an early lead against incumbent Horne after the polls closed and never let go as the evening wore on.

By early today, with 1,519 of 1,566 precincts reporting statewide, Brnovich was besting Horne by six percentage points, 53 percent to 47 percent, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's website.

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Joe Arpaio's Ex-Deputy Chief Brian Sands Dishes Dirt on Steven Seagal, Birthers, and More in Arpaio De Facto Lawman

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I'm on deadline at the moment, but I would be remiss if I did not alert New Times' readers to an e-book by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's ex-Deputy Chief Brian Sands, titled Arpaio De Facto Lawman.

Sands left the MCSO last year after 30 years with the agency, following on the heels of Arpaio's high-profile loss in the ACLU's big racial-profiling case,
Melendres v. Arpaio, which led to a federal judge's appointment of a monitor over the MCSO earlier this year.

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Tom Horne's Bid for Temporary Restraining Order Against Bill Montgomery Rejected by Judge

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The noose around Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's neck just tightened a little.

On Monday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain rejected Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's bid for a temporary restraining order against County Attorney Bill Montgomery, whose office is investigating, among other things, allegations that Horne has used his state office to campaign for re-election..

Though Montgomery has said that he's walled off from any such investigation, Horne's attorney Michael Kimerer argued that Montgomery is biased against Horne (which even Montgomery would concede) and therefore Montgomery's underlings will do his bidding, even if he is walled off.

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Tom Horne Hit with New Attack Ad, and AZPIA Helps the Mullet Party Spoof the Tea Party

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I have a confession to make: I love "dark money."

When it's used to blast someone I don't like, that is.

In the hands of Tyler Montague, president of the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, dark money is truly a beautiful thing.

Montague is one of the folks in Mesa instrumental in ousting former state Senate President Russell Pearce from office and keeping him ousted.

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Russell Pearce's Pals Ralph Heap and John Kavanagh Targeted in TV Ads

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Two of recalled former state Senator Russell Pearce's favorite people are getting skewered in some tasty TV attack ads: Pearce's revenge candidate for state Senate in Legislative District 25, Ralph Heap, and Pearce's longtime ally, current state House Representative and wannabe-state Senator John Kavanagh in LD 23.

Heap, an orthopedic surgeon, has made incumbent LD 25 state Senator Bob Worsley's support of Governor Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion the centerpiece of his challenge to the nice-guy moneybags founder of SkyMall.

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Joe Arpaio: Tom Horne "Favors Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants"

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Why is Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsing Arizona's sleazy Attorney General Tom Horne in the GOP primary?

I'll tell you why: because Arpaio always likes to have a prosecutor or two in his hip pocket.

Should Horne lose the Republican primary to former Arizona gaming director Mark Brnovich, you can bet your bank account that Arpaio will quickly turn around and endorse Brnovich over Democrat Felecia Rotellini in the general election.

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Tom Horne's Complaint Against Mark Brnovich's Judge Wife Rejected

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Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has a fierce following among certain women. In fact, the guy's got a whole cadre of gals willing to do his bidding, a veritable Praetorian Guard of political hatchet-ladies.

Kathleen Winn, Horne's outreach director and co-defendant in his campaign finance case, comes to mind. A die-hard Horne loyalist, I guess you could say she's the captain of Horne's Praetorian Guard.

One Horne partisan from Pinal County is Teresa Ottesen Binder, whom I met at a cocktail-party/fundraiser for the AG that I crashed back in May.

Binder struck me as a nice enough person, though like most in Horne's ever-dwindling camp, she seemed completely incapable of explaining her support for a sleaze like Horne.

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Tom Horne Cozies up to Richard "Women in the Front" Mack, and Ammon Bundy, Son of "Welfare Cowboy" Cliven Bundy

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Fortunately, I've not had to get too close to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne lately, as the stench of desperation coming off the guy is practically visible, like the cloud of dirt that followed around Charlie Brown's pal Pig Pen in the old Peanuts comic strip.

Horne clearly hopes a lurch to the loony right will save his sorry fanny from an embarrassing defeat by GOP rival Mark Brnovich, who rightly called Horne a "chameleon" in their recent debate on Channel 8's Horizon.

Over the years, Horne has morphed from liberal Democrat to moderate Republican to hard-right Republican, and now seems to be shape-shifting into far-right, anti-gub'mint extremist, a role that, sadly, appeals to more than a few in the Arizona GOP.

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Christine Jones Accepts Global Warming, and Really Admires Hillary Clinton

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GOP gubernatorial hopeful Christine Jones held a tele-town hall Monday night to address criticisms being leveled at her campaign from fellow Republicans.

She deserves points for the effort, though with National Review Online digging up an old Facebook post of hers from 2012, encouraging people to "get excited" about Obama's re-election, and a recent gaffe during an interview with Fox 10 where she said she often shoots her gun "with my eyes closed," she may need more tele-town halls before the primary's over.

One a week might be about right, the way she's going.

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