Wed, Jan

Participation in primary too low for vital races


Former Cottonwood City Councilman Randy Garrison handily defeated by almost 2-to-1 current Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens for the Yavapai County District 3 seat being vacated by longtime Supervisor Chip Davis.File image/Larson Newspapers

Both candidates ran solid campaigns and either would have made an excellent advocate for the Verde Valley at the county level. We thank Joens for her service to Cottonwood and congratulate Garrison on his win.

Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman ran unopposed. We look forward to Garrison and Thurman fighting against the Prescott-centered balance of power and getting more from the county to help all the Verde Valley.

For his part, Davis is running for Arizona House District 1, but is currently in third place for the two open seats, behind frontrunner Noel Campbell and only a few hundred votes behind David Stringer.

Clarkdale Mayor Doug Von Gausig was reelected in an uncontested race while Camp Verde Mayor Charlie German defeated David Boily. Von Gausig has long been the voice of Clarkdale. As the northernmost municipality on the Verde River, Clarkdale sets the tenor of how towns and cities should protect and benefit from one of Arizona’s most vital waterways.

In Cottonwood, mayoral candidate and former Councilman Tim Elinski leads the race, but has not broken the 50 percent margin as of press time, meaning he will likely be in a runoff with the second-place finisher, currently Holly Grigaitis. The third-place finisher, currently Cottonwood City Councilman Terence Pratt, will likely not advance to November.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. John McCain faced one of his toughest Republican challengers to date, former Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward, defeating her 51.63 percent to 39.23 percent. If re-elected in November against challenger U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-District 1], McCain will outpace Barry M. Goldwater to become Arizona’s second-longest serving senator behind Carl Hayden.

The senate is the senior house of Congress, but the Founding Fathers never intended “senator” to become a full-time career.

Both Goldwater and Hayden were focused on Arizona’s residents while it seems McCain is mainly concerned with a legacy aimed at foreign policy and military affairs while largely ignoring the concerns of our state. Despite owning a ranch in Cornville, his conspicuous absence from local businesses, festivals and even public election debates to which he is invited tells voters his connection to the Verde Valley is pure politics at its worst.

He has no problem inviting world leaders to speak as his closed-door “Sedona Forum” but his staff explicitly and repeatedly refuses to grant invitations to the local press.

We were able to attend Vice President Joe Biden’s visit in 2013, but the invitation was not from McCain. When a vice president from Delaware has better local connections than a senator who lives 20 minutes away, is this someone who really deserves your vote?

The biggest problem with the municipal elections being paired with the August primary election rather than the November general election is the low turnout for a vital local election.
It would make more sense to hold nonpartisan municipal elections totally separate or move them all to November, when voter turnout, especially among independents, would be much higher and more representative of our communities as a whole.

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Verde Valley Weather

Cottonwood United States Clear (night), 24 °F
Current Conditions
Sunrise: 7:32 am   |   Sunset: 5:49 pm
72%     7.0 mph     29.868 bar
Wed Low: 21 °F High: 61 °F
Thu Low: 31 °F High: 62 °F
Fri Low: 30 °F High: 58 °F
Sat Low: 26 °F High: 62 °F
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Mon Low: 32 °F High: 66 °F
Tue Low: 38 °F High: 67 °F
Wed Low: 32 °F High: 64 °F
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Fri Low: 30 °F High: 66 °F