The marquee race in Southern Arizona: The throwdown between Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Arizona Senate President Tim Bee in Congressional District 8.

Giffords, who won the CD8 seat last year by 12 percentage points over Republican Randy Graf, faces a more moderate Republican in Bee, who is completing his fourth term in the Legislature.

Giffords has now had two years to establish her credentials in the district. She’s made a point of working the political circuit back home when she’s not in Washington.

She’s also been one of the top freshman lawmakers when it comes to fundraising; at the end of March, Giffords had raised more than $1.9 million and still had $1.6 million in the bank—a significantly higher haul than Bee’s $752,000 (Bee still had $525K on hand at the end of the first quarter.)

But CD8 leans Republican and the GOP is determined to take it back. In Bee, they have a candidate who has never lost in an election in Southern Arizona.

Overall, both lawmakers have fairly moderate records, although they have their differences on plenty of issues, such as abortion, free trade and…well, we’re sure there are other areas where they disagree, even if both will do their best over the course of the campaign from taking too many stands that might possibly offend the moderate middle both will be targeting.

Voters can expect Giffords and Bee—who were schoolmates back in the day at Emily Gray Junior High—to remain civil to one another on the campaign trail.

But the candidates themselves will be overshadowed by the negative campaigns ginned up by the political parties and independent campaign committees. Between now and Election Day, look for Giffords to be painted as a leftist lackey of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while Bee is portrayed as a conservative clone of George W. Bush.

CD8 Fun Facts

Congressional District 8 is home to roughly 156,000 Republicans, 140,200 Democrats, 2,300 Libertarians and 107,000 voters who aren’t registered with those parties.

Candidate Web sites

Democrat Gabrielle Giffords

Republican Tim Bee


4 Responses

  1. Those are the choices? No independents running? I may have to sit that one out.

  2. MODERATE??? Any candidate who trumpets the anti-gay Klan Parade like Tim Bee did with the 2008 AZ Amendment is ANYTHING but moderate.

    When will this jackass understand? Arizona and CD-8 do not want his hate-mongering Karl Rove values shoved down our throat again like in 2006. In that year Arizona spoke up and said we want nothing to do with the hate movement sweeping America.

    I demand that the author of this article retract the statement that Tim Bee is a moderate. I can’t believe this man is running for the district once held by Jim Kolbe, a respectable man worthy of the title “U.S. Representative”.

  3. Tim Bee’s website is interesting in that his party affiliation (Rep) is NOWHERE to be found, except where one of his offices has a “GOP” label. His tv ad also eschews the Republican label. I have queried the campaign twice about this and received no response. Perhaps this website can followup. How can he be tough enough to lead if he is ashamed of what he is? (I’d be ashamed, too, of course, but candidates can’t have it both ways.) No guts hath Mr. Bee, methinks.

  4. Poor Tim Bee– stop picking on him, he just wants to get along….

    The voters of Arizona CD 8 are seeing the politically ineffective side to GOP Congressional candidate Tim Bee. The guy can not make up his mind….
    Let me preface my remarks by saying that Tim is a really nice guy. In fact, his easy going niceness is part of his political problem. He has a terrible time making up his mind if doing so will offend someone. I learned this first hand while serving in the Senate with Tim. I learned quickly that you never could count on his support.

    We were called into a special session by the governor. One issue we needed to address was something called Excess Utilities which helped school districts budget for and pay for utility expenses. I was trying to garner 16 votes to support the continuation of the program. Senator Bee should have been a pretty easy YES because some of his school dsitricts in LD 30 directly were impacted by the vote. As I recall, the Vail School district desperately needed Tim’s vote.

    I remember calling Tim at home the day before the vote. He assured me he was a YES. We had the necessary 16 votes. The only problem is the next day on the floor, Tim changed his vote to NO. He later told me that he did not know how to tell me he had changed his vote because Senate President Ken Bennett had put pressure on him. When I asked him about Vail, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Ken needed my vote.” I guess the folks in Vail play second fiddle to the senate boss from Prescott.

    Holy Cow! This guy caves in all the time. We sat next to one another on the Appropriations Committee. Numerous times, after he voted (in my opinion the wrong way), he would turn to me and whisper, “I wish I could have voted your way. You know you’re right.” After awhile I started to ignore him because of his lack of political backbone.

    I now read that he is unsure how he stands on the Social Security issue. I also read that after putting Proposition 102 (the Marriage Amendment) on the ballot, he is unsure how he will vote. I am not surprised by either revelation that Bee is “unsure.” The guy should be a social director at a country club, not a member of Congress. Hey, if you plan to visit DC and want to take a Capitol tour, vote for Bee! He will be great at Capitol tours….

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