(Washington, DC) -- Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) released the following statement in response to Randy Graf’s win in the republican primary for the eighth Congressional district of Arizona:The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) caused a major shitstorm when they started running ads in the district promoting Steve Huffman a couple of weeks ago. It spurred the other four GOP candidates to issue a joint message that basically told Ken Mehlman and the rest of the Republican Powers That Be™ to "Go Fuck Themselves", to quote the #2 man (#1?) in command of their Party.
I congratulate Mr. Graf on his victory in the Republican primary. However, there are such profound and fundamental differences between his views and mine on several key issues that I would not be true to my own principles were I to endorse him now for the General election in November."
We call on the NRCC to immediately stop using Republican fundraising dollars to defeat fellow Republicans. This primary campaign should remain above the belt and outside the Beltway.
We want the people of Congressional District Eight to know that this seat is not for sale. We trust the voters to choose their Republican nominee - not Washington special interests."linkage
According to a local GOP-based blog, Steve Huffman, the beneficiary of the NRCC's money and candidate who still hasn't conceded the race, is refusing to do so until all absentee and provisional ballots are counted. Huffman, who was Kolbe's pick in this fight, will probably follow his mentor's lead and refuse to support Graf - but who knows?
The other big question mark is whether the NRCC is going to funnel any resources to southern Arizona now that they have a Minuteman carrying their banner. It seems they have a penchant for endorsing crazies in the primary season here in the bluer and more tolerant part of the state. Look at Joe Sweeney in neighboring CD7 - he got 40% of the vote yesterday. That's shameful. Although at least he didn't win like last time.
To get some flavor on what the GOP voters are going to be forces to choke on as they go to the polls in November, or not, check out this interview with Randy Graf on the Daily Show (hat tip to the m2powered blog for the linkage).
[UPDATE] Ahhhh, memories.
In a discussion Friday with the Arizona Daily Star editorial board, Graf expressed support for the replacement of the graduated income tax with a flat tax or a national sales tax, and he hinted at curtailing federal involvement in education and health care."I don't see a role in the Constitution for a U.S. Department of Education," he said.