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Phoenix New Times Wonders if Arizona Green Party Legislative Candidate got a Boost from His Name

Published on November 27, 2012, by in General.

The Phoenix New Times has this article about the results of the November 2012 election for Arizona State House, 16th district. The district covers Mesa and Apache Junction. Each Arizona House district elects two representatives. The returns are: Doug Coleman (Republican) 41,063; Kelly Townsend (Republican) 40,720; Matthew Cerra (Democrat) 24,942; Bill Maher (Green) 9,094.

The reporter speculates on whether Bill Maher got a relatively big vote because voters confused him with the famous comedian and movie-maker Bill Maher. However, the real reason the Green Party candidate got so many votes is that the Democrats only ran one nominee in this district, although they were free to have run two.

2 Responses

  1. Jed Siple

    Still, having a famous name can’t hurt your chances.

  2. I envy Bill Maher. The only celebrity named Gerard Davis is a retired New Zealand football player. The name recognition might have helped me in Aukland or Christchurch but it did little to help me in Phoenix, Arizona.

    There is sort of an odd alchemy to Arizona State Representative races. In most heavily Democratic or Republican districts, the other “major” party discourages more than one candidate from running. This allows their voters the opportunity to sling shot the party nominee by casting one vote rather than two votes in the race. It works more often than you might think.

    I ran in the heavily Democratic 24th Legislative District. I faced two Democratic incumbants and a sacrifical Republican. Like Bill Maher, I raised no money, spent almost no money, and did no campaigning. I received 5,946 votes or 6.43% of the votes cast. By comparing the vote in the Arizona State Senator race in my district, I found that most of my votes came from disgruntled Democrats.

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