Brown air could lead to greener state politics

  • Arizona

    Diane Sylvain
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to a feature story.

Even though Republican Gov. Fife Symington is facing a trial next March for bank fraud, Arizona Republicans say they don't anticipate a backlash in the upcoming elections. Of the six U.S. House seats now held by Republicans, only the 6th District seat is competitive.

Republicans are also solidly entrenched at the state level, says Sylvia Barns, political analyst for the state Republican Party. She predicts her party will keep its majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Sandy Bahr, of the Arizona Audubon Council, disagrees. She predicts a slight shift toward the center because Republican "reforms' offered in the last session were more than voters bargained for: One bill would have gutted funding for Superfund waste site cleanups while another proposed placing bounties on wolves, which have yet to be reintroduced.

Air quality tops the list of environmental issues facing the state, she adds, since air pollution in urban areas such as Phoenix has become so severe it could trigger federal restrictions that block growth.

On the ballot: U.S. SENATE: no races. U.S. HOUSE: 1st District - Matt Salmon (R-incumb.) vs. John Cox (D); 2nd District - Ed Pastor (D-incumb.) vs. Jim Buster (R); 3rd District - Bob Stump (R-incumb.) vs. Alexander Schneider (D); 4th District - John Shadegg (R-incumb.) vs. Maria Elena Milton (D); 5th District - Jim Kolbe (R-incumb.) vs. Mort Nelson (D); 6th District - J.D. Hayworth (R-incumb.) vs. Steve Owens (D).