"The record turnout for Arizona's February 3 Presidential Primary was the result of many great efforts in this state, but mostly it is a shot across the bow of the Bush Cheney reelection campaign.  We are all so honored to have had all of the candidates target Arizona--they visited this state starting in October 2002, hired full-time staff, opened local headquarters and talked with Arizonans in their homes, their neighborhoods and their businesses--and to have held the CNN debate in October.  The candidates' attention to Arizona and their campaign activities, coupled with the strong leadership of Governor Napolitano and an organized state party, resulted in more than 240,000 people voting in the primary--an increase of almost 300% from 2000.  The energy the candidates demonstrated, coupled with the tens of thousands of new voters, shows that Arizona is a swing state in November.  President Bush proved that by visiting the state twice during our primary season.  We look forward to being an integral part of putting a Democrat back in the White House on November 2." 
Jim Pederson, Chairman.


Major Events:
-Arizona LULAC's "Meet & Greet the Presidential Candidates" at the Wyndham Downtown Hotel in Phoenix on Monday, February 2, 2004.
-DNC sanctioned debate, hosted by Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Democratic Party, was held in Phoenix on Thursday, October 9, 2003 (CNN).
-Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by National Latino Elected Officials in Phoenix on June 27-28, 2003.
On February 10, 2003, Gov. Janet Napolitano signed a proclamation moving Arizona's primary from the fourth Tuesday in February up to the first Tuesday in February.  Arizona was one of seven states holding contests on February 3, 2004.   The state saw considerable activity in terms of organization, visits, and advertising.  According to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, campaigns spent $2,209,000 on advertising in Arizona through January 9, a figure which does not account for ads run in the closing three and a half weeks.  [Clark-$855,000 (1004 spots), Dean-$997,000 (765), Edwards-$155,000 (403), Lieberman-$172,000 (228)].  Early voting began on January 19, 2004.

Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) waged a serious effort here.  Mark Riddle left his position as executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party to join the campaign and served as state director. The campaign went up with TV advertising on December 4 and continued with two minor breaks right through to the primary.  It opened three offices in the state, the headquarters in Phoenix and offices in Tucson and Flagstaff. 

A sizable volunteer network grew up around the candidacy of Gov. Howard Dean starting in Spring 2003.  In July, Frank Costanzo, a business consultant who was also serving as education coordinator for the Arizona Democratic Party, started as state director.  Dean had unpaid coordinators in each of Arizona's nine counties and in all 30 legislative districts.  Prominent supporters included Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva and former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and his wife Hattie Babbitt.  The campaign ultimately opened three offices, the headquarters in Phoenix and others in Tucson and Bisbee.  In a post-primary note to supporters Costanzo wrote, "[W]e did secure three delegates and that is a major achievement for a state which was inundated by television advertising for the other candidates and where we were fighting national media unwilling to give a non-Washington insider a fair break." 

Sen. John Edwards picked up a few endorsements back in June, but focused more of his energies on the February 3 contests in South Carolina and other states.

Texas native Sondra Haltom served as state director of Rep. Dick Gephardt's campaign; Gephardt had the backing of Congressman Ed Pastor. However the Missourian withdrew two weeks before the primary following his poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Sen. John Kerry had a solid organization in Arizona, opening an office in July and later attracting Mario Diaz, a longtime aide to Gov. Janet Napolitano, as his state director.  Kerry gained the endorsements of seven state legislators as well as that of Congressman Ed Pastor after Gephardt withdrew.

The campaign of Rep. Dennis Kucinich had an office on W. University in Tempe.  Kevin Spidel, a third generation Arizonan and recent ASU graduate, headed up Kucinich's efforts until he left to join the national field staff in early January.  Thereafter Cindy Silacci-DiGeronimo and David Kaler served as co-directors.

Sen. Joe Lieberman targeted Arizona early on.  In Tucson on March 21, 2003 he was the first candidate to announce major endorsements, including 11 of the 20 Democratic state representatives.  However, as the months passed the campaign proved unable to build on that base; indeed four of those state representatives and a state Senator later switched their support to other candidates.  David Schapira, a native Arizonan who most recently worked with at-risk inner city students at Phoenix Union's alternative school Desiderata, was announced as state director in July and the campaign opened its Arizona headquarters around that time, the first to do so.  A December summary from the campaign highlighted Lieberman's "appeal among the state's moderate, independent-minded voters, strength in the Latino community (25% of the state's population), and early lead in endorsements" as keys to his success.  Late in the campaign Lieberman received a boost from the Arizona Republic which endorsed him on January 29. 


Arizona Democratic Party
Chairman -  Jim Pederson
Executive Director -  Paul Hegarty
Campaign Director -  Michelle Davidson
Deputy Campaign Director -  Kristofer Garcia
Finance Director -  David Waid
Deputy Finance Director -  Devin Rankin
Compliance Director -  Darryl Tattrie
Director of Information Technologies - Robert Scott
African American Outreach Coord. -  A.J. Miller
Volunteer Program Director -  Maritza Lopez
Executive Assistant -  Neha Bhatia


Copyright © 2004  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.