Election Guide: U.S. House and Senate

By Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 28, 2004

U.S. House and Senate

The 2004 presidential election has dominated the headlines in the past few months. However, despite the hoopla surrounding the race for the highest office in the land, there are other political positions that demand our attention.

This year a cadre of candidates are vying for your vote for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Here are our picks for Arizona senator and representatives of districts 7 and 8, districts that serve a good portion of UA students.

U.S. Senator: John McCain

The incumbent, Republican John McCain, is a virtual celebrity in D.C. and across the nation.

The race is little more than a formality - McCain will be handed yet another term, facing only light opposition from his opponent, Democrat Stuart Starky.

However, as futile as his Senate race may be, Starky should be commended for his willingness to run in order to bring his concerns about Arizona to the table. Starkey, a public school teacher from south Phoenix, campaigned with a strong emphasis on educational reform. His firsthand experience with the way public schools are run could prove invaluable in the effort to achieve a higher academic standard in Arizona. However, his political inexperience does not make him a viable candidate for U.S. senator.

McCain is a giant on the national circuit, and as close to a sure thing as they come. His intense popularity transcends party lines, and he is commendably unafraid to vote against his party at times.

For the good of Arizona, we recommend you vote for John McCain. His recognition is tethered to that of our state, and our needs are made vocal because of his prominence.

U.S. Representative, District 7: Raul Grijalva

Neither Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva nor his opponent, Republican Joe Sweeney, deserve warm support. Grijalva has a track record of voting on the far left of the spectrum, to the point of alienating his constituents, while the main thrust of Sweeney's platform consists of anti-immigration policies.

But even if Grijalva isn't the most desirable candidate, he's certainly better than Sweeney. He supports increasing Pell Grants, a boon for many needy college students.

Additionally, Grijalva has made it a priority to represent Arizona's growing Hispanic population. And if a representative from Southern Arizona isn't going to do it, who is?

But perhaps the best thing about Grijalva is that he isn't Sweeney - D.C. already has its fair share of xenophobic neocons.

U.S. Representative, District 8: Jim Kolbe

Despite avowing a deep interest in the issues that concern the state of Arizona, Democrat Eva Bacal has utterly failed to articulate her positions or the principles on which those positions are based. (If you want to know just how thoroughly she's failed, check out the "Issues" section of her Web site.)

Bacal has campaigned on the idea that Republican incumbent Jim Kolbe's tenure as a U.S. representative has been without progress or innovation. She presents herself as the candidate for change, and draws on being a woman and a mother of five as qualifications for the job.

That Bacal is, in fact, a woman cannot be denied. That she has borne five children is pleasant. However, these two factors cannot overcome her inability to voice her opinions, and that inability makes her unqualified to represent the people of District 8.

Jim Kolbe has held his seat for two decades. His moderately republican outlook reflects the values and beliefs of the people he is supposed to represent. Democrats hate him for his opinions on foreign policy and the economy. Republicans hate him for his stances on social issues. And if there's one sign of a true moderate, it's being universally hated.

Opinions are the opinion of the Wildcat opinions board. Its members are Susan Bonicillo, Nate Buchik, Evan Caravelli, Brett Fera, Caitlin Hall and Andrea Kelly.