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As goes Billy Kovacs, so go Pima Democrats

Billy Kovacs is going to lose. Billy Kovacs is the future of the Democratic Party in Southern Arizona. Reconciling those two truisms is the biggest challenge the party faces, here, statewide and nationally because they could use some new blood. ... Read more»

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6 comments on this story

Aug 7, 2018, 5:11 pm
-3 +0

Blake, you’re dreaming about Billy Kovacs, a cute rich kid whose mommy and daddy are paying for his campaign. For a reality check read Ann Kirkpatrick Says Economic Growth, Healthcare, Gun Safety Will Win Back Tucson’s CD2 Seat at https://goo.gl/BM3Drf

Aug 7, 2018, 5:40 pm
-1 +1

Larry, you seem to be misreading Blake’s column. It’s not an endorsement of Kovacs as a candidate in this race — it’s a calling out of the local Democrats for doing a lousy job at cultivating and training candidates.

Weren’t you the guy who had to run away from your full-throated endorsement of a CD 2 candidate so fast you almost flew out of your shoes? ; )

Aug 9, 2018, 12:25 am
-2 +1

Blake, I think your comments are mistaken. When were you last active in the Pima County Democratic Party (PCDP)?  I was the Chair of the LD 9 Democratic Committee for 5 years with my term ending after the November 2016 elections. While I served on the Party’s Executive Committee & attended various local Party functions,  I saw the PCDP cultivate a lot of young political talent, including Sierra Yamanaka, Daniel Hernandez, Morgan Abraham, to name a few As for LD leadership & organization, I’m only familiar with LD 9, but I’m amazed at the level of organization & energy we have, especially now. Suggesting the PCDP should have started cultivating someone in 2013 to run for Congress in 2018, is naive. It ignores the dramatic & unexpected changes in the political scene over the past 5 years, and the fact that the PCDP is not, thank goodness, the Democratic Party of Mayor Daley’s time when autocratic leadership was able to impose it choices on submissive Party foot soldiers. The PCDP operates in a more democratic manner where there a plenty of opportunities for young people to take an active part in developing their political skills by working on campaigns and serving in leadership positions in the various groups which make up the PCDP. I don’t believe that Billy Kovacs took that opportunity, but that’s okay. He devoted his time to his business interests which is certainly his right. However, to suggest that somehow the failure of his campaign to take off is due to a failure of the PCDP to mentor him sufficiently is mistaken. The PCDP was there. Perhaps the problem was that Billy never looked to it for help.

Aug 10, 2018, 5:57 pm
-0 +2

Brian, I ran Demion Clinco’s campaign in 2014 for State House and was his treasurer for his 2016 Pima Community College board campaign. I was also a 2016 Flinn-Brown Fellow at the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. I took it upon myself to build the policy knowledge to run for office even though I was not seeking it at the time. The true problem is that we don’t have a bench of candidates ready to run for office. There is no pipeline for training, leadership development, and candidate prep to take on any level of elected office in Pima County. This is a fact, but we should learn from this mistake and start building the system up now and not sit here pointing fingers at each other.

Aug 10, 2018, 6:11 pm
-0 +2

Hi Larry, Here in your own words “Among the five serious candidates, Kovacs is the only one emphasizing the economy in Congressional District 2. As Bill Clinton pointed out in 1992, winning elections is about “the economy, stupid!”


Also written by you,


Btw please check my FEC filings to take account for contributions made to my campaign from my family. My dad contributed less than $250 to my campaign, My mom is around $150, my brother is at $250, and my sister is at $100. In the land of reality where I live, I have contributed every check I’ve WORKED FOR over the last 16 months from Hotel Congress into my campaign. This amount has totalled over $40,000k. If you want I’ll send you my pay stubs to prove it. If you would like to argue these points with me I would invite you to sit down for some coffee as I would be happy to enlighten you. Thanks for calling me cute though? Weird, but I’ll take the backhanded compliment.

Aug 10, 2018, 8:01 pm
-0 +1

All this may be true but they have no one local ready to take the next step up the ladder. Shasta was great. Don Jorgensen was very savvy. They are stuck with the resources they have to do the job they do. And they can’t do it alone. It can’t be done at the LD level all by your lonesome. It’s gotta be integrated.
Billy’s right. They need a pipeline and it needs attention from the state and national party, especially given how important this state portends to be in the future. We may be living in the Ohio of the late 20s.
And BTW, R’s need to figure out how to do all this at the local level because one party rule is bad for everyone.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Kovacs during a forum of the Democratic candidates.


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