Originally published Aug. 28 in the Tucson Weekly
Republican Trent Humphries was flushed and dripping sweat as he rang a doorbell in the Del Webb neighborhood in northeast Tucson in mid-July. The man who answered wasn’t interested.
“I’m watching the All-Star Game,” the resident complained. “What do you want?”
It wasn’t the warmest greeting that Humphries experienced as he walked door-to-door in an effort to promote his campaign for a House seat in Legislative District 26, which stretches from Saddlebrooke through Oro Valley and across the Catalina Foothills.
But canvassing precincts is one of the old-fashioned ways that Humphries and his fellow LD26 Republicans–Vic Williams and Marilyn Zerull–have been introducing themselves to voters.
All three are political rookies with little name ID coming into the campaign. Humphries, who owns a computer-repair company, was better known as “Framer,” his nom de guerre on a local blog he began penning during the 2006 election season. Williams retired to Tucson after selling off a successful warehouse-supply business and took up politics as a hobby, helping out with various party functions and organizing a GOP cigar club. Zerull has been a party activist for many years, as well as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America.
Even though Republicans have a registration advantage in LD 26, there are no GOP incumbents in the race. One of the House members, Republican Pete Hershberger, is running in the district’s GOP Senate primary against Al Melvin. The other House member is a Democrat, Nancy Young Wright, who is seeking election to the seat after finishing up the term of Lena Saradnik, who stepped down after suffering a stroke.
The split representation makes Legislative District 26 one of Arizona’s rare swing districts. That means Democrats hope to hang on to the seat they have and win the second seat in November as part of their effort to flip at least four seats statewide and gain a majority in the 60-member House of Representatives.
The three Republicans in the upcoming primary, on the other hand, want to see the GOP reclaim dominance in the district.
Humphries, who has been funded by $12,921 in Clean Elections funds, has embraced some innovative campaign strategies in the race. He’s hosted forums on key issues in the district, including health care and law enforcement. His emphasis on keeping the state out of Continue reading